General Joseph L. Votel, Commander of United States Central Command
|Birth name||Joseph Leonard Votel|
February 14, 1958|
Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1980–present|
Joseph Leonard Votel (born February 14, 1958) is a four-star general in the United States Army who has been commander of United States Central Command since March 2016. Before that, he served as commander of the United States Special Operations Command.
Born on February 14, 1958 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Votel attended the United States Military Academy and was commissioned in 1980 as an Army Infantry Officer. His initial assignments were to the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany where he served as a Rifle Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Battalion Adjutant and Rifle Company Commander.
Following this tour, he was assigned to Headquarters, Allied Forces Southern Europe – Naples, Italy, and the NATO Peace Implementation Force (IFOR) in Sarajevo. He commanded the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (Light) at Fort Drum, N.Y. and afterwards he commanded the 1st Ranger Battalion. Later he commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment, during Operation Enduring Freedom. On the 19th of October 2001, Votel led 200 Rangers from 3rd Battalion, who parachuted towards an airfield south of Kandahar, and attacked several Taliban targets.
As a general officer, Votel served in the Pentagon as the Director of the Army and Joint Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Defeat Task Force and subsequently as the Deputy Director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization established under the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
He also served as the Deputy Commanding General (Operations), 82nd Airborne Division / CJTF-82, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, and was subsequently assigned as the Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. His most recent assignment was as the Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command.
On June 24, 2014, he was nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed ADM William H. McRaven as the 10th Commander of United States Special Operations Command. In July, he was confirmed by Congress to be the next commander of USSOCOM. The change of command took place on August 28, 2014. LTG Raymond A. Thomas replaced Votel as commander of Joint Special Operations Command.
Joseph Votel became the commander of USCENTCOM on March 30, 2016.
On April 23, 2018, he made his first official visit to Israel as CENTCOM commander. During his visit, Votel was scheduled to meet with Israeli Defense Force Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, and other senior defense officials.
Turkey coup attempt
Awards and decorations
|Combat Infantryman Badge with Star (denoting 2nd award)|
|Expert Infantryman Badge|
|Master Parachutist Badge with 2 Combat Jump Devices|
|Egyptian Parachutist Badge|
|Army Staff Identification Badge|
|United States Central Command Badge|
|75th Ranger Regiment Combat Service Identification Badge|
|75th Ranger Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia|
|8 Overseas Service Bars|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joseph L. Votel.|
- Andrew Tilghman (March 18, 2016). "This general is about to take on the military's worst 4-star assignment". Military Times. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
- "NOMINATIONS BEFORE THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE, SECOND SESSION, 113TH CONGRESS". Washington, DC: Superintendent of Documents. 2015. pp. 789–793. https://www.congress.gov/113/chrg/shrg93919/CHRG-113shrg93919.pdf
- Dan Lamothe, The swift, quiet rise of Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel, Special Operations commander, The Washington Post, June 25, 2014.
- Gal Perl Finkel, Win the close fight, The Jerusalem Post, March 21, 2017.
- , U.S. Department of Defense, dated 2014.
- Votel to succeed McRaven as SOCOM commander at MacDill, Tampa Bay Times, By Zack Peterson, dated 24 July 2014, last accessed 25 July 2014
- "Commander of US troops in Syria makes unannounced first visit to Israel".
- "Turkey's Erdoğan to drop lawsuits against people who insulted him". BBC News. 29 July 2016.
- Lake, Eli (2016-07-28). "America's Friends Get Arrested in Turkey's Post-Coup Purges". Bloomberg View.
| Commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment
James C. Nixon
William H. McRaven
| Commander of Joint Special Operations Command
Raymond A. Thomas III
| Commander of United States Special Operations Command|
Lloyd J. Austin III
| Commander of United States Central Command