July 9, 2014

Live Oak native retires as commander of the Florida Army National Guard

July 9, 2014 Bryant Thigpen Suwannee Democrat

Live Oak —

Live Oak native Major General James “Don” Tyre retired from the U.S. Military recently as commander of the Florida Army National Guard and assistant adjutant general of Florida for Army. Tyre served this country for 45 years and earned the Florida Army National Guard’s highest ranking. 

On Friday, June 27, friends and family gathered at the historic St. Francis Barracks in St. Augustine for a retirement and military ceremony to honor Tyre for his years of service. Adjutant General of Florida Major General Emmett Titshaw presented Tyre with the U.S. Army service medal and the Florida cross. 

Tyre was born on June 14, 1950, in St. Petersburg and later moved to Columbia County before sinking his roots in Suwannee County. At the age of 14, Tyre and his family became Suwannee County residents. Four years later, in 1968, Tyre walked across the stage at Suwannee High School and received his high school diploma. 

For the next two years, Tyre attended North Florida Community College (formerly known as North Florida Junior College) in Madison, where he graduated with an Associate of Arts degree. 

In the late 1960s, Tyre met the love of his life, Mary, in Suwannee County and the couple were married in 1970. They have three children: Mandy, Jamie and Lindsey.

Tyre joined the Florida Army National Guard in 1969 and served 10 years as a non-commissioned officer before attending military academy. In 1980, Tyre was commissioned as an engineer officer, and his first officer assignment was in Jacksonville as an equipment supply officer at the 50th Area Support Group. 

In October of 2010, Tyre’s military career peeked when he was named the assistant adjutant general of Florida for Army, serving at the Florida National Guard headquarters in St. Augustine. In this capacity, Tyre was responsible for the operational readiness of more than 10,000 soldiers, and was also responsible for the manning, training, administration and logistics for both state and federal missions. 

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