WASHINGTON, DC – Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks has expressed sadness at the passing of retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, a Jamaican American engineer, trailblazer, and unwavering supporter of Jamaica who passed away on April 28, surrounded by his family.
Ambassador Marks, in paying tribute to this distinguished leader, noted that he was the first Marine and the first African American to lead the United States Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
She pointed out that General Stewart was a born Jamaican, who, like so many others had adopted the United States as his home, excelled in the United States military, and had become a source of pride for Jamaica.
Ambassador Marks said, “Although Lt. General Stewart migrated at a young age to the US, he maintained great affinity to the land of his birth and was passionate about Jamaica’s development. This passion and his experience in security led him to champion Plan Secure Jamaica with valuable input in the area of cyber security.
He was known for his mentorship and guidance, always seeking to share his experience and knowledge. In addition, his dedication to fostering a more inclusive environment in the military and the wider engineering community was instrumental in breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for countless individuals.
Lt. General Stewart was pivotal in promoting the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA). This prestigious event recognizes the significant contributions of African American professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. He believed that he could inspire the next generation of Black engineers to pursue their dreams by acknowledging and celebrating these achievements.
Throughout his 38-year career, Lt. Gen. Stewart held numerous leadership positions. He began his military career by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps, where he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a decorated officer with numerous commendations for his service. Not only being the first Marine Corps officer to become Director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency but he also took charge of the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance.
His previous positions included senior intelligence planner for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Director of Intelligence for Marine Corps Headquarters and commanding general of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace.
Lt. Gen. Stewart received his baccalaureate degree from Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL. He also earned master’s degrees in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College and National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
We will be forever appreciative of Lt. General Stewart’s efforts, enthusiasm, and assistance in bringing Jamaica’s vision of security and prosperity to life.”
Ambassador Marks also expressed condolences to his family and friends on behalf of the government and the people of Jamaica.