Walter E. Piatt
Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt (2).jpg
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1979–1983
RankLieutenant General
Commands held10th Mountain Division
Joint Multinational Training Command
United States Army Infantry Center
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
Battles/warsIraq War
War in Afghanistan
Operation Inherent Resolve
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (5)
Bronze Star Medal (5)

Walter E. Piatt is a United States Army lieutenant general who currently serves as the 57th Director of the Army Staff. He enlisted in the army in 1979 and served four years as an infantryman. After graduating from Lock Haven University, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1987. Prior to assuming his current position Piatt was the Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum.[1] His other assignments as a general officer include serving as the 52nd Chief of Infantry; Deputy Commanding General-Support, 10th Mountain Division; Commander, Joint Multinational Training Command; Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Europe; and director of Operations/director, Rapid Equipment Fielding, Army Rapid Capabilities Office.[2]

General Officer Assignments

General Officer Assignments[3]
Start End Assignment
May 2019 Present Director of the Army Staff, United States Army, Washington, DC
Apr 17 May 19 Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division (Light) and Fort Drum, Fort Drum, New York and OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE, Iraq
Sep 16 Apr 17 Director of Operations/Director, Rapid Equipment Fielding, Army Rapid Capabilities Office, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), Washington, DC
Mar 15 Jul 16 Director, Operations, Readiness and Mobilization, G-3/5/7, United States Army, Washington, DC
Jul 14 Mar 15 Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Europe, Germany
Jun 13 Jul 14 Commanding General, Joint Multinational Training Command, United States Army Europe, Germany
Jun 12 Jun 13 Deputy Commanding General (Support), 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York

General Officer Dates of Rank

General Officer Date of Rank[4]
Rank Date
Lieutenant General 30 May 2019
Major General 02 Mar 2015
Brigadier General 02 Oct 2012

Attack on the United States Capitol

Prior to January 6, Pentagon officials repeatedly asked city and federal official if they needed assistance from the D.C. National Guard, but only the Mayor of Washington, D.C. requested assistance of 340 unarmed service members.[5][6] At approximately 2:20 p.m. on January 6, LTG Piatt joined a phone call with Washington, D.C. leaders, Capitol Police leaders, the D.C. National Guard and others as the violent attack on the capitol was unfolding.[7] The Hill reported that Piatt said on the call that the Secretary of the Army was meeting with the Secretary of Defense to seek approval of the request for assistance. He also explained that he was not the decision maker and that no one was denying the request for assistance.[8] The New York Times reported that during Congressional testimony February 23, 2021, former Capitol security leaders provided conflicting accounts of the request for the National Guard, reflecting the confusion of the event and the complexity of requesting Guard assistance.[9]

On January 6, 2021, during the storming of the United States Capitol and an hour and a half after the west side defensive perimeter had been breached,[10] according to Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and DC National Guard leader Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, Piatt critically delayed or ignored Sund's request for National Guard support, stating, "I don't like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background", despite this being a stark contrast to the protests of the previous year.[11][12]

On March 8, retired Army Lt. Gen Russel Honoré, whom House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tasked with leading the security review, identified that the U.S. Capitol Police are too “understaffed, insufficiently equipped, and inadequately trained” — and woefully lacking in intelligence capabilities.

On June 15, 2021, Piatt told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that Army officials “all immediately understood the gravity of the situation” after receiving a request in a conference call for “urgent and immediate support” at the Capitol, but that they still needed to develop a plan.[13]

On November 16, 2021, the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General released their findings on the actions that took place to prepare for and respond to protests at the U.S. Capitol.[14] The report concluded that that the actions the DoD took before January 6, 2021, to prepare for the planned protests in Washington, D.C., on January 5 and 6, 2021, were appropriate.[15]

In early December 2021, Colonel Earl G. Matthews, a Trump appointee, released a rebuttal to the DoDIG report that accused LTG Piatt of making willful distortions of the events of January 6, describing Piatt and General Charles A. Flynn as "absolute and unmitigated liars" and of giving “perjured testimony before Congress”.[16]

Mindfulness training

While a colonel (brigade commander, 25th Infantry Division) Piatt's unit had some 200 volunteers participate in a mindfulness study by Amishi Jha and Elizabeth Stanley in the 2010s;[17] the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences notes that this mental practice "teaches the brain to stay 'in the moment'" which helps Soldiers reduce the pain and stress of PTSD.[17]

Awards and decorations

Combat Infantry Badge.svg
Combat Infantryman Badge
Ranger Tab.svg
Ranger tab
United States Air Force Parachutist Badge.svg
Basic Parachutist Badge
Air Assault Badge
United States Army Staff Identification Badge.png
Army Staff Identification Badge
Shoulder sleeve insignia of the 10th Mountain Division (1944-2015).svg
10th Mountain Division Shoulder sleeve insignia
Republic of Korea Basic Parachutist Badge
27 INF DUI.gif
27th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
8 Overseas Service Bars
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Army Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Legion of Merit with four oak leaf clusters
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze Star with four oak leaf clusters
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Army Good Conduct Medal
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three campaign stars
Iraq Campaign Medal with four campaign stars
Bronze star
Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal with one campaign star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Bronze star
Humanitarian Service Medal with one bronze service star
NCO Professional Development Ribbon
Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 9.png
Army Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze award numeral 9
NATO Medal for the former Yugoslavia


  1. ^ Fort Drum Public Affairs (March 29, 2019). "Army announces next assignment, promotion for Fort Drum, 10th Mountain Division commander". United States Army. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  2. ^ "Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen. Walter E. Piatt". United States Army Europe. United States Army. Archived from the original on August 7, 2014. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  3. ^ General Officer Management Office (May 16, 2021). "Lieutenant General Walter E. Piatt (USA)". United States Army. Retrieved May 16, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ General Officer Management Office (May 16, 2021). "Lieutenant General Walter E. Piatt (USA)". United States Army. Retrieved May 16, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Marquardt, Alex; Starr, Barbara. "Pentagon approves DC mayor's request to deploy National Guard for upcoming demonstrations".
  6. ^ Department of Defense, Public Affairs. "Planning and Execution Timeline for the National Guard's Involvement in the January 6, 2021 Violent Attack at the U.S. Capitol". DOD.
  7. ^ Department of Defense, Public Affairs. "On Behalf of the U.S. Army: Statement on the National Guard Response in the District of Columbia From the Secretary of the Army". DOD. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  8. ^ Coleman, Justine (11 January 2021). "Director of Army Staff disputes Capitol Police chief account of National Guard deployment"". The Hill. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  9. ^ Broadwater, Luke; Schmidt, Michael S. "Ex-Security Officials Spread Blame for Failures of Capitol Riot". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  10. ^ Jaclyn Diaz (January 11, 2021). "Ex-Capitol Police Chief Says Requests For National Guard Denied 6 Times In Riots". NPR. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  11. ^ Mazzetti, Mark; Cooper, Helene; Steinhauer, Jennifer; Kanno-Youngs, Zolan; Broadwater, Luke (11 January 2021). "Inside a Deadly Siege: How a String of Failures Led to a Dark Day at the Capitol". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Leonnig, Carol D.; Davis, Aaron C.; Hermann, Peter; Demirjian, Karoun. "Outgoing Capitol Police chief: House, Senate security officials hamstrung efforts to call in National Guard". Washington Post.
  13. ^ "Publication". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ "Review of the Department of Defense's Role, Responsibilities, and Actions to Prepare for and Respond to the Protest and its Aftermath at the U.S. Capitol Campus on January 6, 2021 (DODIG-2022-039)" (PDF).((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "'Absolute liars': Ex-D.C. Guard official says generals lied to Congress about Jan. 6". POLITICO. Retrieved 2021-12-06.
  16. ^ "The Harder Right: An Analysis of a Recent DoD Inspector General Investigation and Other Matters".
  17. ^ a b Thomas Brading (22 Jul 2021) Being 'mindful' improves readiness, says director of Army Staff
Military offices Preceded byBryan L. Rudacille Commanding General of the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command 2013–2014 Succeeded byChristopher G. Cavoli Preceded byRichard Longo Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of the United States Army Europe 2014–2015 Succeeded byWilliam Gayler Preceded byRyan F. Gonsalves Director of Operations, Readiness, and Mobilization of the United States Army 2015–2016 Succeeded byBrian E. Winski Preceded byJeffrey L. Bannister Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division 2017–2019 Succeeded byBrian J. Mennes Preceded byJoseph M. Martin Director of the Army Staff 2019–present Incumbent