LTC R. Tyler Willbanks enlisted in the Army in 1989, and earned a commission through ROTC in 1998 from New Mexico State University. He is a native of Gallatin, Tennessee.
His first assignment as an officer was Camp Hovey, S. Korea where he served as a Mechanized HHC Executive Officer and Bradley Fighting Vehicle Platoon Leader. Following this assignment, LTC Willbanks returned to The Old Guard, where he served as Rifle Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer and Assistant Regimental S-4.
Upon completion of the Captain’s Career Course, LTC Willbanks served in Fort Wainwright, Alaska as the S-3 Air and Assistant S-3 during the unit transition and fielding of the 172nd Stryker Brigade. LTC Willbanks served as Commander, Alpha Company, 1st Bn, 17th Infantry, 172nd SBCT in Alaska, and during OIF 5-6 in Mosul and Baghdad, Iraq.
In 2007, LTC Willbanks was assigned to Operations Group, at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, California where he served as a Company Team Observer/Controller for the Airborne/Light Infantry Task Force (Tarantula). LTC Willbanks was then assigned as a G-3 Maneuver Planner for Operations Group.
Upon completion of Intermediate Level Education at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, LTC Willbanks was assigned to the Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF), 5th Brigade, 1st Armor Division, Fort Bliss, Texas where he served as the 1st Battalion Operations Officer.
In 2010, LTC Willbanks was attached to the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), Baumholder, Germany where he served as a Senior Combat Advisor for 1st Battalion, 84th Field Artillery Regiment during a deployment to Faryab Province, Afghanistan (OEF 10).
Upon returning from Afghanistan, LTC Willbanks was assigned as the Battalion Executive Officer for 2/363rd Training Support Battalion, 5th Armor BDE, Mesa Arizona, where he mobilized the battalion to Fort Bliss, TX, 2013- 2014.
In 2015, LTC Willbanks was assigned to the Office of the Program Manager – Saudi Arabia National Guard where he served as a Senior Combat Advisor with the Ministry of National Guard and the Combat Training Center Development Committee.
Upon returning from Saudi Arabia, LTC Willbanks was assigned to The Old Guard as the Lead Inaugural Planner and subsequently assumed the role of Deputy Regimental Commander in 2016.
Operational Deployments include: Iraq “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (2005-2006), Afghanistan “Operation Enduring Freedom” (2010-2011) and Saudi Arabia.
LTC Willbanks’ earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Criminal Justice (BCJ) from New Mexico State University, and is scheduled to Graduate Webster University with a Masters in International Relations in December, 2016.
LTC Willbanks awards include the Parachutist Wings, Air Assault Wings, Ranger Tab, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Additionally, he is awarded the Bronze Star Medal (2), Meritorious Service Medal (4), Army Commendation Medal (3), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3), Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal and the National Defense Medal. His unit awards include the Valorous Unit Award and the Meritorious Unit Citation.