Brig. Gen. Lapthe C. Flora is the U.S. Army Africa Deputy Commanding General and Army Reserve Component Integration Advisor. He also serves in the Virginia Army National Guard as the Assistant Adjutant General – Army, Land Component Commander, where he provides oversight and guidance in the areas of training, personnel, logistics, facilities and maintenance in support of over 7,000 citizen Soldiers.
Flora earned his commission as an Infantry Officer from Virginia Military Institute in 1987, and has commanded at every level from company to brigade. In addition to his command assignments, He also served in several key staff positions as 116th IBCT Executive Officer, 29th Infantry Division G3, and JFHQ-VA J5. While serving in the 29th Infantry Division in 2001, Flora deployed to Bosnia as part of the G3 staff and served as the Deputy G3 Chief of Future Ops, Training & Synchronization with Multinational Division North. As a battalion commander in 2006, he led the 1-116th IBCT in support of NATO peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. In 2011, he served as the Senior Advisor and Director, Afghan National Army, Ground Forces Command, ISAF Joint Command in Afghanistan. Most recently, he served as the Assistant Adjutant General for strategic initiatives in the Virginia National Guard.
Flora’s awards and decorations include the General MacArthur Leadership Award, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” Device Numeral 3 and Bronze Hour Glass, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (3rd Award), NATO Medal (3rd Award), VA Governor Medal, VANG Legion of Merit, VANG Bronze Star, VANG Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
A native of Saigon, he is the first Vietnamese boat person to be promoted to general officer in the United States Army and the second of Vietnamese descent. Following the Communist capture of Saigon in 1975, Flora and his brothers fled the city to avoid being drafted into the North Vietnamese military. He spent more than three years in the jungle and then fled by boat to Indonesia where he spent a year living in three separate refugee camps.
In his civilian capacity, Flora is a principal applications engineer with the night vision business of Harris Corporation in Roanoke, Virginia. He is a certified lean six sigma black belt with 30 years of image intensification manufacturing experience and holds six patent awards related to the AN/PVS-14 and AN/AVS-9 night vision goggles. Additionally, Flora has served in multiple management capacities, to include as the engineering manager, engineering director, and vice president of quality assurance with ITT Defense and Electronics, Night Vision and Geospatial System.Download full-resolution image of Brig. Gen. Lapthe C. Flora