Legion Of Merit Medal (1OL)
Army Meritorious Service Medal (4OL)
Army Commendation Medal (1OL)
Army Achievement Medal (1OL)
Army National Guard Achievement Medal (4OL)
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
DCNG Distinguished Service Medal (1OL)
Combat Infantry Badge
Senior Parachute Badge

Erneido A. Oliva

Born June 20, 1932 (age 86)
Aguacate, Havana Province, Cuba

Allegiance United States of America


United States Army
District of Columbia National Guard
Assault Brigade 2506
Cuban Revolutionary Army
Cuban Constitutional Army

Years of service 1951–1993

1992 - Promoted to Major General of the  District of Columbia Army National Guard
1987 - 92 - DCNG Deputy Commanding General
1984 - 87 - Commanding General, 260th MP Brigade.
Under the CAPSTONE Program, performed as the Provost Marshal of USASETAF, NATO, Vicenza, Italy -  (AO- Italy, Greece and Turkey)
1984 - Promoted to Brigadier General of the Line  (USAR)
1983 -  Army War College.   
1981- 83 - Commanding Officer, 260th MP Group/Brigade. In June 1983, the Pentagon ordered the  reorganization of the MP Group as a Brigade under Oliva's command).
1981 -  Appointed DCNG Inspector General of the DCNG.
1979 - 81 - MP Group XO.
1975 - 79 - Commander,171st MP Bn.

1973 - Earned a Master's Degree in International Studies, The American University, Washington, D.C.

1971-73 - XO, 380th Inf Battalion, DCARNG.
1971 - C&GSCollege and the Industrial College.
1971 - Joined the DC National Guard as a Major.

1965 - 67 - 82nd Airborne Division, Co Cdr  (Participated in the International Forces that intervened in the Dominican Republic.
1965 - Jumpmaster School, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
1965 - Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia.
1964 - Advanced Artillery Career School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma
1964 - AFB, Language School, Texas
1964 - Promoted to Captain by Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance at his Office in the Pentagon.
1963 - Fort Benning Infantry School, Georgia - Student Co. Cdr. (208 Cuban officers Army, Navy and Air Force).
1963 - Named by President John F.Kennedy as the Representative of all Cubans enrolled in the US Armed Forces.

1963 -
After his return from Cuban prisons, was Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army (the fourth time holding the rank of a 2Lt in a short military career -- (a recognized world military record).

1960-62 - Assault Brigade 2506 - From an initial  position equivalent to a Second Lieutenant was promoted several times. Almost a year later, reached the position of Second in Command of the Brigade.  Commanded Task Force Red that  established a beachhead at Playa Larga Beach during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

1960 - Resigned to the Cuban Revolutionary Army. Resignation was not accepted and deserted flying to Miami. Barely a week later, joined a very small group of young Cuban Patriots who were  trained  by dedicated and skillful CIA advisors in the jungles and mountains of Guatemala.

1959 - 60 -  Assigned to Managua Base. A couple of months later, reassigned to the INRA,  where he performed as one of its Inspector Generals.

1959  - At his return to Cuba from Panama, March 1959, was demoted to Second Lieutenant by "Che" Guevara who signed his new ID card  as a 2nd Lt in the Cuban Revolutionary Army and sent him to Managua Base.

1958-59 - USARCARIB  SCHOOL - Escuela de las Americas, Canal Zone, Panama, Twice Honor Graduate. At the completion of two Courses, appointed  for 2 years as an  Instructor of Weapons and Tactics at the  American School. Performed only two months. Ordered to return to Cuba by Camilo Cienfuegos, Chief of the new Revolutionary Army.

1956 - 57 -  Artillery Professor, Cadet School  -  Cuban Military Academy
1956 - Promoted to First Lieutenant  (First promotion of his Class of 1954)
1955 - Cuban Artillery School (Honor Graduate)
1954 - Promoted to Second Lieutenant in the Cuban Army (Graduated from the Cadet School/Cuban Military Academy)


       The Bay of Pigs Invasion - Second in Command (1961)
       Dominican Republic Intervention (1965-
       1966) as an airborne company commander


From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

Erneido Andres Oliva Gonzalez (Born 20 June 1932 in Aguacate, Havana Province, Cuba)[1] is a Cuban-American who was the deputy commander of Brigade 2506 land forces in the abortive Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in April 1961.


In 1954 Oliva was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Cuban Army after graduating from the Cuban Military Academy, "the Cadet School." After graduating with honors from the Artillery Academy in 1955 he was appointed professor of Artillery in the Cadet School until 1958. From 1958 to 1959 he was a student, also graduating with honors, and an instructor at the US Army Caribbean School in the Canal Zone, Panama. In late 1959 after the Castro revolution overthrew General Batista, the Cuban army was "purged", but Oliva was appointed as a general inspector at the INRA Headquarters.

In May 1960 he was one of a group of former Cuban officers planning a campaign against the Castro regime. They were all graduates of Cuba's military academy. He left the army early in August 1960 and flew to Miami.

On August 29, 1960, Oliva and about 40 young Cuban exiles, recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency were transported via CIA C-54 aircraft to San José, Guatemala to perform guerrilla training that later became conventional.  Oliva was appointed deputy commander of Brigade 2506, the assault brigade of Cuban exiles, that landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961 under the command of Jose (Pepe) San Roman. San Roman landed at Playa Giron and Oliva, commanding a brigade task force, established a beachhead at Playa Larga about 20 miles east of Giron. After the Brigade had ceased fighting on April 19, 1961, due to lack of air support promised by the Kennedy administration, Oliva organized all the Brigade's men that were withdrawing to Playa Giron and, with men of the 2nd and 6th battalions, tried to reach the Escambray mountains. However, Castro's air attacks forced the Brigadistas to scatter into the woods and swamps near Girón.[3] He was captured by Cuban militia on April 23, 1961. He was finally released from prison and flown to Miami on December 24, 1962 after the U.S. Government paid a ransom of $500,000 for each of the three leaders of the Brigade.

On December 29, 1962, Oliva was on stage next to the US President, John F. Kennedy, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, during the 'welcome back' ceremony for ransomed Brigade 2506 veterans and he addressed the veterans. On behalf of the members of the Brigade, 1,500 of whom were in formation at the stadium, he presented the Brigade flag to the President who said: "Commander I assure you that this flag will be returned to this Brigade in a free Havana."[4] Since his arrival in the United States, Oliva developed a close relationship with U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Bobby Kennedey involved him in the Cuban Project (Operation Mongoose), a White House-organized counterrevolutionary unit led by Manuel Artime based in Costa Rica and Nicaragua that staged commando raids on Cuban shore installations. In March 1963 Oliva was commissioned in the US Army as a second lieutenant and was appointed by President Kennedy to represent Cuban-American personnel serving throughout the US armed forces.

In 1964, he was promoted to Captain at the Pentagon by Cyrus Vance, then Secretary of Defense. The Special Army Training for the officers of Brigade 2506 was terminated by President Johnson two months after the assassination of President Kennedy. At the White House in February 1964, in the presence of the then Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, President Johnson informed Oliva of his decision to end all Cuban anti-Castro projects sponsored by the government including the one led by Oliva in the U.S. Army.

Oliva underwent infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and artillery training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He participated in the U.S. intervention of the Dominican Republic where he served over a year. In 1969, he requested to be transferred to the US Army Reserve. In 1970, he joined the District of Columbia National Guard as a major.

In August 1984, Oliva was promoted to Brigadier General of the line in the US Army Reserve and commanded a Military Police Brigade. He earned a master's degree in International Affairs from the American University, Washington, DC and attended the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at Harvard University.

In July 1987, after commanding for 8 years a Military Police Group and a a Brigade, US President Ronald Reagan, appointed Oliva to the position of Deputy Commanding General of the D.C. Army National Guard. In December 1992, he was promoted to Major General in the District of Columbia Army National Guard.

Since retirement on January 1, 1993, Oliva has remained active in the anti-Castro effort, though largely steering clear of exile politics. In 1996, he founded the private Cuban-American Military Council (CAMCO), to promote cooperation between all Cuban military veterans, whether members of the Brigade 2506, the US Army or the Cuban army under Batista or Castro. Oliva has been a member of all four. In January 2008, he was honored with the Heritage Award, a nationally recognized award of Heroes and Heritage which was presented to him by the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was later appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the Board of Governors of the United States Organizations, Incorporated (USO) for a three-year term. Oliva lives with his wife, Graciela Ana Portela Avila, in the Washington Metropolitan Area. They have a daughter and a son and two grandsons.