General JAMES M. "MIKE" MYATT has achieved prominence
in the military resulting in national recognition by his
peers and radiating to his alma mater. Mike has served
his country with honor and has the distinction of being
the youngest man in the history of the Marine Corps to
be promoted to the rank of General. "Every assignment,
good and bad, he has approached with the same integrity
and intensity he showed as a student and fraternity officer
at Sam Houston. His values and personal sacrifice have
remained the same," comments his wife, the former Jill
Bell, also a Sam Houston graduate in 1963.
Mike came to Sam Houston in 1959 and earned a Bachelor
of Science degree in Physics
in 1963, receiving the Physics
award in 1962. Mike worked his
way through school sacking groceries
at Piggly Wiggly and became
involved in many aspects of
campus life. In 1960 he became
a member of the Caballero Club,
serving as their rush chairman
and Inter fraternity Council
representative. A charter member
of the Epsilon Psi Chapter of
Sigma Chi, Mike became the fraternity's
president in 1962. Mike served
on the Student Council, was
Vice President of the Junior
Class in 1961, Junior Class
Favorite in 1961-62, and named
to Who's Who the same year.
Mike enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in September,
1960, and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant upon his graduation.
He served in various command and staff positions within
the 1st Marine Amphibious Brigade and the 2nd and 3rd
Marine Divisions. He served two tours of duty in the
Republic of Vietnam: one year as platoon commander,
S-4 officer, and company commander with the 1st Battalion,
4th Marines, and sixteen months as Team Leader, Defense
Special Projects Group and as Senior Infantry Battalion
Advisor to the 5th Battalion, Vietnamese Marine Corps.
Subsequent tours included instructor duties in Systems
Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy; Executive Officer
for the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines; S-4 Officer for
the 2nd Marines; Assistant Chief of Staff G-5; Operations
Officer for the 4th Marine Amphibious Brigade; Plans
Officer at Headquarters Marine Corps; and Marine Corps
Member of the Chairman's Staff Group for the Chairman,
Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Mike attended the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey,
California, earning a Master of Science Degree in Engineering
Electronics and earned the Naval Electronics Systems
Command Award for professional achievement. He attended
the Command and Staff Course of the Naval Way College
in Newport, Rhode Island, graduating with distinction.
He was the first Marine Corps officer to attend the
Norwegian National Defense College in Oslo, Norway.
From July, 1985, through September, 1987, Mike commanded
the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participating in
two Mediterranean deployments with the Marine Corps'
first Special Operations Capable Unit. In December,
1987, he was selected for promotion to Brigadier General
at the age of 46, which he received on June 27, 1988.
Ten days later he was assigned as Director of Manpower
Plans and Policy Division in Washington, DC.
On August 8, 1990, Mike was assigned Commanding General
of the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California.
As Mike was assuming command, President Bush announced
immediate deployment of troops to Saudi Arabia. The
next day, the first units were sent: Mike and his men
were off to the Gulf area, training intensively in Operation
Desert Shield. In January, 1991, Mike was promoted to
Major General in the field. When Operation Desert Storm
began, he and his men were ready for their part. In
February, he led his men successfully in the takeover
of Kuwait City.
Mike has earned several medals and decorations including
the Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion
of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with
gold star, Joint Service Commendation Medal,