General Michael Kurilla, Commander, U.S. Central Command

General Michael Kurilla

Commander, U.S. Central Command

Michael Erik Kurilla was born in 1966 in California. He grew up in Elk River, Minnesota. He earned his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Military Academy and an M.B.A. from Regis University. He received a master’s degree in national security studies from the National War College and was commissioned as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army after graduating from West Point.

He began his military career as an infantry officer. He served in the U.S. invasion of Panama, the Gulf War, and operations in Haiti, Kosovo, and Bosnia. He deployed to the region under U.S. Central Command, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. In Iraq, he commanded a Stryker battalion in the 25th Infantry Division and was awarded a Bronze Star after a battle in Mosul. He also commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment.

He then served as Assistant Commanding General of Joint Special Operations Command followed by command of the 82nd Airborne Division. He then commanded the XVIII Airborne Corps. In Germany, he oversaw U.S. troop deployments in response to the war in Ukraine.

General Kurilla assumed his role as Commander of the United States Central Command in April 2022.

In the News…

U.S. Central Command confirmed that four attacks were conducted against three cargo ships operating in international waters in the Red Sea. Anti-ship ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. 

CENTCOM officials stated, “These attacks represent a direct threat to international commerce and maritime security. They have jeopardized the lives of international crews representing multiple countries around the world. We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran. The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners.” 


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