| Joseph Votel|
| February 14, 1958 (age 57)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States (1958-02-14) |
United States of America
United States Special Operations Command
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Lloyd Austin, Martin Dempsey, John Abizaid, David Petraeus, Osama bin Laden
United States Army
Joseph Votel Wikipedia
Joseph L. 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.
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 afterwords he commanded the 1st Ranger Battalion. Later he commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment, during Operation Enduring Freedom. On the 19 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.
In a speech on 29 July 2016, Turkish President Erdoğan accused Votel of "siding with coup plotters", after Votel accused the Turkish government of arresting the Pentagon's contacts in Turkey.
His military schools include Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the United States Army War College.