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NEW YORK CITY (March 20, 2023) – The United War Veterans Council (UWVC) marked the 20th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War by naming the CEO of Wounded Warrior Project, retired US Army Lieutenant General Mike Linnington as Grand Marshal of the 2023 New York Veterans Day Parade. The ceremony took place before an audience of veterans representing all eras and branches of service, and dignitaries including New York City Department of Veteran Affairs Commissioner James Hendon, on the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Produced by the UWVC, the Parade is the nation’s largest Veterans Day event, with 20,000 participants from across America and around the world. The Army is this year’s featured service.
The announcement of Linnington’s selection in March, which is Brain Injury Awareness Month, is an especially fitting tribute to the service, sacrifice and needs of wounded veterans, since Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) was founded in 2003 to provide care and comfort items to the hospital bedsides of service members wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, WWP improves the lives of millions of warriors and their families through direct programs in mental health, career counseling, long-term rehabilitative care and advocacy efforts.
Twenty years ago today, during the initial advance into Iraq, then-Colonel Linnington commanded the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the famed 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) – the “Screaming Eagles.” Over the course of his 35-year Army career, he held a wide range of command and staff positions worldwide and received numerous awards and decorations. Since retiring from the military, he has continued to serve America’s veteran and military community.
“I am deeply honored to be chosen as this year’s Veteran’s Day Parade Grand Marshal,” said LTG Linnington. “The 20th anniversaries of the War in Iraq and the Wounded Warrior Project call attention to the ongoing needs of veterans and their families who face a lifetime of visible and invisible wounds. All veterans deserve a successful and meaningful civilian life. I am proud to celebrate all the veterans who have served our nation, especially those in need of ongoing support.”
In addition to his service in Iraq, LTG also commanded the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), in Afghanistan. He also served as Commanding General, Military District of Washington/Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, and as Military Deputy for the Under Secretary of Personnel and Readiness. His other assignments included serving as Deputy Commanding General, Fort Benning, Georgia, and as Commandant of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, just north of New York City.
In his post-military career, LTG Linnington has continued to serve America’s military and veterans. He was the first permanent Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), responsible for locating and bringing home the remains of service members of past conflicts. As CEO of WWP, he oversees day-to-day operations and works with the leadership team to set and implement the organization’s strategic vision. He is responsible for ensuring that WWP’s free programs and services continue to have the greatest possible impact on the warriors, caregivers, and families it serves.
Born in New Jersey, LTG Linnington received his commission from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (1980) and has masters degrees in Applied Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and in National Security Strategy from the National War College. He is married with two adult children, and three grandchildren.
As the Grand Marshal of this year’s Parade, LTG Linnington will lead over 20,000 marchers up Fifth Avenue on November 11, 2023. This year’s Parade, which falls on a Saturday, will start earlier than in prior years, running from 9:30 AM to 12:30PM. Spectators can view the Parade in person, between 9:30 and 12:30, between 26th Street and 47th Street, in Manhattan. The Parade will also be broadcast on TV and streamed online on WABC.
“We are honored to welcome LTG Linnington to lead the largest Veterans Day Parade in the nation,” said UWVC President and Executive Director Mark Otto. “As we mark the 20th Anniversary of the war in Iraq, we can think of no better ambassador to remind Americans of our obligation to the men and women that our nation sends into harm’s way. We invite New Yorkers to join us on November 11 as we rededicate ourselves to that responsibility.”
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