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Born in London, England and grew up in Jamaica, West Indies, Neil Higgins was commissioned in the United States Army as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Middle Tennessee State University in 1984. Neil Higgins retired in 2009 after serving 25 years having achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Some of his key operational assignments include serving with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in various responsibilities to include, Commander of the Parachute Rigger Company in OPERATION DESERT STORM. He then served as the Division Support Command Assistant S-3 for the 101st Air Assault Division (Airborne). Other assignments followed at Fort Bragg in the US Army Special Operations Command where he commanded Alpha Forward Support Company in the 528th Special Operations Support Battalion and served as the 3d Special Forces Group S4. In 2000, Neil Higgins relocated to Naples, Italy where he served as the Executive Officer for the Allied Forces South (AFSOUTH) Assistant Chief of Staff J4. Neil Higgins followed his Southern Italy assignment to Northern Italy with the Southern European Task Force (SETAF) in Vicenza, Italy where he was the Deputy G4. His next assignment was a 14-month tour in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM VI in Afghanistan where he served as the Deputy CJ4 and Supply Division Chief for Combined Joint Task Force - 76. Neil Higgins closed out his active duty military career returning to Naples, Italy serving as the SETAF Army Liaison Officer to COMSIXTHFLT in the Joint Training Readiness and Exercises Branch (JTRE) in N35 Future Operations.
Neil Higgins transitioned seamlessly over to the civilian workforce in 2009 and served as the N7 Deputy Director, Training, Readiness and Exercises Directorate for an additional 10 years at C6F. As the N7 Deputy Director, he was responsible for supervising and managing personnel to plan and deliver relevant training and major exercises in order to prepare the CNE-CNA-C6F Maritime Operations Center to conduct joint maritime operations in USEUCOM and USAFRICOM. Neil Higgins transferred to Millington Tennessee, where he served as the Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) Transformation Officer where he was responsible for the transition of its Navy Recruiting Districts (NRDs) into Navy Talent Acquisition Groups (NTAGs). Neil Higgins is currently serving as the Deputy N7 Director for Navy Recruiting Orientation Unit (NORU).
During his distinguished military service, Neil Higgins earned the Master Parachutist Badge, the Rigger Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the Air Assault Badge, and numerous foreign parachute jump badges. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star with OLC, the Air Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with 5 OLC, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Joint Achievement Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal with 1 OLC. He is also a recipient of the Quartermaster Distinguished Order of Saint Martin. Neil’s civilian awards include the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal along with US Army’s Commander’s award for Public Service. Neil Higgins earned a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master’s Degree in Logistics from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Neil Higgins and his wife, the former Jane Simms, have three children: Meghan - 32 years old, Taylor - 30 years old, and Jonathan - 27 years old.