Adjutant General

Major General James R. Joseph
Adjutant General

Major General James R. Joseph assumed duties as acting adjutant general in Pennsylvania on January 20, 2015 and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as the 52nd adjutant general and commander of the Pennsylvania National Guard on May 11, 2015. In this cabinet-level position with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, headquartered at Fort Indiantown Gap, General Joseph is responsible for command, control and supervision of National Guard units – Army and Air – allocated to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, six state-owned veterans’ homes and programs for Pennsylvania’s one million veterans.


General Joseph began his military career as an enlisted soldier in 1971. He completed basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey; advanced individual training as a military policeman at Fort Gordon, Georgia and completed a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he was assigned to the 716th Military Police Battalion. He completed his active duty tour at Fort Polk, Louisiana, with the 258th Military Police Company. General Joseph joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1974 and was assigned as a combat engineer with Company C, 876th Engineer Battalion.

General Joseph completed Officer Candidate School in 1978 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He has held leadership positions from Platoon Leader through Assistant Division Commander including numerous key staff positions. He served as Commander of the, 213th Area Support Group until his selection as Deputy Chief and then as Chief, Counterdrug Office, National Guard Bureau. He also served as Assistant Division Commander, 28th Infantry Division, and as Assistant Adjutant General - Army, Joint Force Headquarters, Pennsylvania National Guard, Annville, Pennsylvania. Prior to his present assignment, he served as the Special Assistant to the Combatant Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command for National Guard Matters and liaison to the Chief, National Guard Bureau, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.


General Joseph served as the Chairman of the National Guard Bureau Joint Advisory Council, is a Senior Facilitator at United States Northern Command for the Joint Task Force Commanders Training Course, served as Acting Deputy Director, J5, United States Northern Command and is Dual Status Commander qualified.

He earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University; graduated from the Army War College; the Defense Policy Seminar, Elliott School of International Studies, George Washington University; National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; the General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Seminar, Harvard School of Executive Education, and the FBI National Academy,  to mention a few.


General Joseph is retired from a career in law enforcement, and was the former Director, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.


General Joseph’s awards and military decorations include: Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters); Air Force Commendation Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster); Army Achievement Medal; Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (with 1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters); National Defense Service Medal (with 2 Bronze Stars); Vietnam Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Star); Global War on Terror Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with Gold Hourglass); Army Service Ribbon; Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon (with Numeral 5); Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster); Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (with Palm); Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation; Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal; Pennsylvania Commendation Medal; Pennsylvania Service Ribbon (with Numeral 3); Pennsylvania Twenty Year Service Medal (with 4 Silver Stars); Major General Thomas R. White Jr. Medal; General Thomas J. Stewart Medal; California Medal of Merit; Arizona Distinguished Service Medal; Governor's Unit Citation (with 1 Silver Star); German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold); and The Adjutant General's Staff Identification Badge.

General Joseph’s professional affiliations include: American Legion; Veterans of Foreign War; Fraternal Order of Police; National Guard Association of United States and Pennsylvania; Luzerne County Chiefs of Police Association; Northeast Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association; Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association; Federal Bureau of investigation National Academy Associates - National and Pennsylvania Chapters; and United States Army War College Alumni Association.


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(Current as of MAY 13, 2015)