Lieutenant General Rafael A. Ribas serves as the Deputy Commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, U.S. Southern Command, Doral, Florida. He is the principal advisor for reserve matters to the commander providing oversight on manpower, personnel and administrative functions to maximize the effective integration of the Reserve Component in support of the Combatant Commander's theater campaign plan.
Lieutenant General Ribas was commissioned through the University of Miami Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1987. His education includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the University of Miami. He has a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College and is also a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College.
Lieutenant General Ribas has served in various key leadership, command, and operational assignments in the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), the Florida Joint Force Headquarters, and the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia. In August of 2007 he took command of 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment while concurrently serving as the State Partnership Program Coordinator for U.S. Southern Command. In November 2011 he was assigned as Executive Officer of the IBCT and served as the Chief of Staff of Task Force Republican National Convention in Tampa in August 2012. In March of 2013 he was assigned as Deputy Commander and subsequently in January 2015 as the Commander of the 53rd IBCT, the State's largest Major Subordinate Command.
In March 2016, he was assigned as the Director of the Joint Staff - Florida National Guard, responsible for directing the activities of the Army and Air Joint Staff and serving as the principal advisor to the Adjutant General on domestic operations. During Hurricanes Matthew (2016), Irma (2017), and Michael (2018) he was nominated by the Governor and appointed by the Secretary of Defense to serve as the Dual Status Commander for hurricane response operations within Florida. During Hurricane Irma, he commanded over 10,500 Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine personnel. From January 2018 to May 2019, he concurrently served as the Deputy Commanding General-ARNG, United States Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Georgia.
Lieutenant General Ribas is a veteran of two deployments to Iraq, in 2003-2004 as the Executive Officer of the 1-124th IN (Ramadi, Iraq) and in 2010 as Commander of the 2-124th IN (Kuwait/Iraq). His personal decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star with "V" Device and 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Florida Cross, and German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold). He is also a Level III designated Joint Qualified Officer.