University of South Florida

Global and National Security Institute


Lieutenant General (Ret) Vincent Stewart

In Memoriam: Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart

The members of the Global and National Security Institute are deeply saddened by the recent death of retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart.

Stewart had recently accepted an invitation to join GNSI’s inaugural Board of Advisors and was set to take part in the Board’s first official meeting later this week.

“I’ve known Lieutenant General Stewart for many years and considered him a friend,” said GNSI Executive Director, General (Ret) Frank McKenzie. “I was excited about the prospect of working closely with him again on the Board of Advisors. He was as fine of a leader as I’ve ever met and I’m proud to have known him and served with him.”

Stewart, a Jamaican immigrant who served under presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump as the first Black director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, died April 28 at his home in Aldie, Va. He was 64.

According an obituary story in the Washington Post, Lieutenant General Stewart recalled that when he joined the Marines in 1981, he hoped to be “part of something bigger” after working as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman and studying history at Western Illinois University. He figured he would serve in the military for just a few years, but instead remained in the Marine Corps for nearly four decades, rising from a position as a tank-unit platoon leader to become the nation’s highest-ranking military intelligence officer.

In addition to his wife, Phyllis, he is survived by five children, Vincent, Robert, Nicole, Jennifer and Patrick; three sisters; a brother; and 15 grandchildren.

Lieutenant General Stewart received military honors including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, two decorations of the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star. 

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The GNSI Newsroom is dedicated to highlighting news and ideas from the world of global and national security, as well as stories that focus on the Global and National Security Institute at USF. We want to emphasize the many ways GNSI leads the university's strategic focus on global and national security.