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Aug 09, 2022

Holmdel Township Dedicates Road to Four-Star General

Members of the Holmdel Township Committee held a special ceremony on July 14 to dedicate Crawfords Corner Road in honor of Holmdel native General John  H. Tilelli, Jr. More than 100 Holmdel residents and veterans were on hand to mark the special occasion.  

Tilelli was raised in Holmdel on Crawfords Corner and Everett Road on a plot of land that his family purchased in 1922. He was commissioned an officer in the army in 1963, upon graduation from Pennsylvania Military College (now Widener University). Tilelli rose through the ranks, eventually being appointed a four-star general. He served as vice chief of staff of the United States Army; in this role, he was the second highest  ranking active-duty officer in the army and assisted the president of the United States, the secretary of defense and the secretary of the army with managing the day-to-day operations. Tilelli also served as commanding general of the United States Army Command, with responsibility for approximately 87 percent of the army’s combat force. He rounded out the end of his military career by serving as commander-in-chief of the United Nations Command in Korea.  

“To say that General Tilelli has led a life of extraordinary distinction would be an understatement,” said Holmdel Mayor Greg Buontempo during his remarks. “General Tilelli has made his hometown and his country extremely grateful and proud.” 

When asked about growing up in Holmdel, General Tilelli remarked, “The ideals and seeds of everything you are, are where you came from.” He added, “The fact is that American service members come from all over the United States of America, and it is so important that we support them.” 

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Township Committee unveiled a sign on Crawfords Corner Road which designated it as the “John H. Tilelli, Jr. Byway.”  

The township was joined at the ceremony by General Lisa Hou, adjutant general of the New Jersey National Guard and commissioner of the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Captain Edward Callahan, commander of Naval Weapons Station Earle; as well as many Holmdel veterans, who participated in the township’s first Veterans Roundtable Discussion immediately before the ceremony.