Gilberto Villahermosa was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and grew up in the Panama Canal Zone and Washington State. He graduated from Lakes High School in Steilacoom, Washington before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point. Upon graduation he was commissioned a second lieutenant and served in the U.S. Army for 33 years before retiring in May 2013.
A Specialist on the Soviet Union and Russia, he served as an Intelligence Analyst for Soviet Military Doctrine and Conventional Forces at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C. from 1990 to 1993 and established a reputation as one of the U.S. Army’s leading experts on Soviet and Russian military doctrine and armed forces.
In 1992 he traveled throughout Siberia as part of a State Department delegation targeting $2.2 billion in aid to Russia. He was also the first U.S. Military Representative to the Republic of Georgia in 1993 and the Republic of Tajikistan in 1995 during the civil wars in both countries and spearheaded U.S. military-to-military engagement strategies with each republic ensuring an enduring U.S. presence.
He has traveled extensively throughout Afghanistan, first in 1995, when he entered the country for discussions with Tajik rebels; then as the Executive Officer for the Commander of NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) and the U.S. Senior National Representative to NATO in Kabul (2004-2005); and finally with the United States Central Command in 2012.
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