One of the new deputy commanding generals at Fort Bliss has serious ties to the post and is thrilled to be back at what he calls his “Army home.”
Brig. Gen. Jay Gallivan is the new deputy commander general for the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss for operations. Gallivan, age 48, arrived this summer and took over as one of three deputy commanders for the division and installation.
He said he is grateful and excited to be back “serving in this wonderful community and this great installation of teammates.”
“I never thought I’d be so fortunate to be back,” said Gallivan, who was born in the Boston area, but grew up all over as the son of a soldier.
“I am grateful to be back in the 1st Armored Division, to be an Iron soldier, to be part of Fort Bliss, with all the spectacular resident units that are here and be back in El Paso,” he said.
He served at Fort Bliss from 2008-10 as a battalion commander with 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment with what was then 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division. That brigade has since reflagged to 3rd Brigade.
That stint as a battalion commander included a deployment to Iraq.
Gallivan returned to Fort Bliss in 2013 for a second tour. Almost immediately after arriving back, he deployed to the Middle East and served as the chief of staff for the 1st Armored Division’s forward deployed element in Jordan. He did that for close to a year and then served as a brigade commander with Fort Bliss’ First Army contingent.
He commanded the 402nd Field Artillery Brigade and then the 5th Armored Brigade after the two units merged and took the latter’s name. He headed those training brigades – whose primary responsibility is training National Guard and Reserve units before they deploy – from 2014-2016.
Gallivan has been all over the United States and world – first as a child growing up in the Army and then in his own Army career.
He and his family consider Fort Bliss a great place to live and serve.
The people in El Paso and their sense of community really make it stand out, Gallivan said.
“Community is such a beautiful word,” he said.
He is also excited to be back in one of the Army’s most storied divisions and to be part of “this team of teams” at Fort Bliss.
After leaving Fort Bliss, he served as the chief of staff for the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and then as a staff officer in Washington, D.C.
As deputy commander for operations, he views his role as serving as a “coach, teacher and mentor” for battalion and brigade commanders at Fort Bliss.
“The bottom line: It is about building readiness – both in the installation and more broadly for the Army,” Gallivan said.
Gallivan’s resume is deep in training experience.
Besides commanding a brigade in the First Army, Gallivan also served as a senior battalion and brigade trainer at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
Gallivan said his main goal is to “enable the success of all the command teams across this installation – our division commander, brigade, battalion and company commanders.”
Since arriving at Fort Bliss, Gallivan was promoted to his current rank. He called the promotion humbling. But mostly he is grateful to continue serving with soldiers at the installation he now likes to call home.
Watch for more “Meet the Leaders” profiles in upcoming issues of the El Paso Herald-Post.
By David Burge/Special to the El Paso Herald-Post
Burge is a news producer at ABC-7 in El Paso. He has worked at newspapers in California, New Mexico and Texas. Covering the military is a particular passion.