Marlboro councilman retires after decades of military service


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MARLBORO – Township Councilman Jeff Cantor has retired after 32 years of service in the U.S. Army. He served on active duty and in the Army Reserves.

“I have been blessed to be able to serve in the military,” said Cantor, who has been a member of the Marlboro Township Council since 2004. “I have worked with some of the finest leaders this world has to offer. I have been sent to some pretty amazing places and learned so much from all of my time overseas.

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“Although it is hard to leave your loved ones behind, I am glad I had the opportunity to bring some degree of stability to many of the places I have been. It’s not often that you have the ability to create a provincial government, or build roughly 300 schools, or hire and train a brand new police force and set up a brand new police academy.

“It wasn’t easy, but it was extremely rewarding. Although my time in uniform comes to a close, I will remember fondly all the great soldiers I have had the privilege to lead and to work with. I am thankful I had the opportunity to wear the uniform and represent my country in 61 other countries. I will miss it, but I am looking forward to the next chapter,” said Cantor, who retired with the rank of colonel in the Army Reserves.

Cantor was honored by Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik and his fellow members of the council during a meeting on July 12.

During the early years of the 21st century as the United States was involved in military actions around the world, Cantor was called to duty on numerous occasions.

In 2003, Cantor was the Bravo Company Commander for the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion. He was the civil affairs commander for the city of Kirkuk, Iraq, which consisted of more than 1.2 million people of different ethnic backgrounds. His company was the first civil affairs unit to be infiltrated into Iraq. Cantor helped set up a provincial government after the downfall of Saddam Hussein.

He helped to design the Kirkuk provincial government, create the Kirkuk employment center, which placed about 8,500 people in jobs, repair and reopen more than 285 schools, train the Kirkuk police force and establish a police academy and training program.

In 2009, Cantor was mobilized and deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He became the chief of reconstruction and development for the 82nd Airborne Division and CJTF-82, Regional Command-East.

In 2016, Cantor served in the central European nation of Slovenia. He was in charge of 2,000 troops from 10 nations and his mission was to teach emergency management, disaster response and counter-terror operations to the allied nations’ military forces.

Cantor held military occupational specialties in Infantry, All-Source Intelligence, Imagery Intelligence and Civil Affairs.

During his military career, Cantor was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3rd award), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal (2nd award).

He has been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Combat Action Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge.

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