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Thomas Csrnko ’74

Thomas Csrnko '74

Major General Thomas Csrnko, U.S. Army Retired, is honored as a 2011 Distinguished Alumnus for his respected and award-winning career in the United States Army.

General Csrnko is a 1974 graduate of IUP with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and commissioned an infantry officer in the United States Army. His early assignments included the 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia; 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; 3rd Armored Division, Germany; and the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.

His military education included the Infantry Officer Basic and Advance courses, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College. He earned a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University in 1989.

General Csrnko was assigned to the Pentagon in 1990, in the J3, Special Operations Directorate, Joint Staff. He then commanded 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. His ensuing assignments included chief, Special Operations Coordination Element, III US Corps, at Fort Hood, Texas; director, Joint and Multinational Operations Directorate, Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and commander, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Lewis, Washington.

In 2001, after selection for general officer, General Csrnko assumed duties as the chief, Office of Military Cooperation—Kuwait at the American Embassy in Kuwait City. Following the events of September 11, he organized the efforts for the introduction of U.S. and coalition military forces into the country in preparation for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following Kuwait, General Csrnko was assigned as the commanding general, Special Operations Command, Europe, Stuttgart, Germany. During this assignment, his command worked with government agencies on issues critical to U.S. national security, including agreements with eight North African nations that resulted in numerous international training events with U.S. Special Forces.

General Csrnko returned to the U.S. in 2006 as the commanding general, U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He was responsible for the training and preparation of all U.S. Army Special Forces in support of ongoing combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as foreign internal training missions in support of regional commands and U.S. Ambassadors. General Csrnko’s final assignment was the commanding general, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His responsibilities included the selection, training, and qualification of more than sixteen thousand students of Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations and Special Forces soldiers worldwide. Identifying a need for advanced education, he established a Master of Science degree in Interagency Studies in conjunction with the University of Kansas and a Master of Science degree in Regional Studies in conjunction with the National War College. General Csrnko retired from active duty in October 2010.

General Csrnko has been the recipient of numerous awards and decorations. He and his wife, Diane, live in Monument, Colorado, with their son, Ryan, a high school junior. Their oldest son, Scott, is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and will graduate in May and be commissioned an infantry second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Profile published on 4/19/11

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