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Released February 7, 2005


Hattiesburg- Following an illustrious career as a military leader that culminated in a triumphant campaign to liberate Iraq, Maj. Gen. Buford C. Blount is joining The University of Southern Mississippi faculty as a distinguished visiting lecturer in the College of Arts and Letters.

Blount, a Southern Miss alumnus, retired in January after serving more than 33 years in the U.S. Army. He has since settled in the Pine Belt area, where he and his wife, Anita, also a Southern Miss graduate, have family ties.

"I have been brought on as Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in National Security and Strategic Studies," said Blount, who earned his master's degree from the United States Naval War College. "In addition to lecturing, I will be working with a variety of departments across the university, consulting with them on grants and other defense and Homeland Security-type programs, as well as International Programs to include the International Development Ph.D. program.

"My many years of service in foreign countries, my recent experience in Washington and my leadership experiences will enable me to contribute in several areas throughout the university," he added.

Until his retirement, Blount served as the Army's Deputy G3 (Plans and Operations) since October 2003. Previously, he was commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. Blount gave up command of the 3rd Infantry Division after bringing it home from Iraq, where it was the lead force in defeating the Iraqi army and capturing Baghdad.

As the vanguard for coalition operations, the division moved 8,000 vehicles and 22,000 soldiers 750 kilometers in 21 days, 500 in the first three days. This was the fastest and longest offensive thrust accomplished in the shortest period in the history of the Army.

"We are extremely excited about the opportunity Maj. Gen. Blount has provided us with his availability to guest lecture to classes across the university," said Dr. Elliott Pood, dean of the College of Arts and Letters. "He provides access to an amazing view of international events."

Blount said he chose to join the university after retiring from the military because he was impressed with its president, Dr. Shelby Thames, and his "vision for the future of Southern Miss."

"President Shelby Thames was instrumental in bringing me on board. I want to do what I can to help the university and the greater Hattiesburg area," Blount said.

Blount will also spend time doing limited consulting with defense contractors, with an eye toward tying some of the work back to Southern Miss, he said.

In addition to doing guest spots on several national news networks, Blount is working on a book about the 3rd Infantry Division's experiences.


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April 6, 2005 11:33 AM