Major General (USA RET)
Alfred A. Valenzuela is a retired United States Army Major General who commanded United States Army South (USARSO) at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.
After serving in many positions around the globe and working his way up through the ranks of officers, Valenzuela served as the deputy commanding general and deputy joint task force Panama commander at the U.S. Army South. After that, he served as assistant division commander (Support) of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, from October of 1996 until June of 1998. In 1997, he became a one-star general.
He received his second star in 1998 and in June of that year was made deputy commander in chief of the U.S. Southern Command, based in Miami, Florida, which had relocated from Panama in 1997. The Southern Command oversaw military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, except Mexico, working, in recent years, on anti-drug efforts, disaster relief, preserving stability, and countering threats to vital U.S. national interests, as well as assisting friendly nations within its area of responsibility. According to the Southern Command website, “[U.S. Southern Command] is engaged in promoting democracy and stability while fostering collective approaches to regional threats, and providing vitality, integrity, and strength to our military allies and their support for democracy and their institutions. Furthermore, when required, it responds unilaterally or multilaterally to crises that threaten regional stability or national interests and constantly prepare to meet future challenges in the region.” It is one of five regional commands found around the world.