Gen. Stephen J. Townsend began his United States Army career as an Army infantry officer. He received his commission upon graduating from North Georgia College is 1982. He has led and commanded troops at every level from rifle platoon to infantry division and Army Cops as well as two combined/join task forces.
With more than 30 years of military experience, Townsend has a long list of previous assignments. Prior to AFRICOM, Townsend was Commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command where he oversaw all recruitment, training, and education for America’s Army. Other assignments include Commander, XVIII Airborne Corps and Commanding General of Operation Inherent Resolve. He has soldiered with four regiments and with five divisions. His key staff assignments include service as a planner and operations officer at battalion, brigade, division and joint task force levels. He served at U.S. Pacific Command as the J-5 strategy and plans officer for China. Townsend has a long list of combat and operational experience including Operation Urgent Fury, Grenada; Operation Just Cause, Panama; Operation Iraqi Freedom, Afghanistan; and Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan.
Townsend is currently the 5th commander of United States Africa Command, responsible for all U.S. military operations and activities to protect and advance U.S. national interests in Africa.
About the Army ROTC Hall of Fame
The ROTC Hall of Fame was established in 2016 as part of the ROTC Centennial celebration. The first class (2016) inducted 326 former ROTC Cadets who had distinguished themselves in their military or civilian career.
The Hall of Fame honors graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. It provides a prestigious and tangible means of recognizing and honoring Army ROTC Alumni who have made lasting, significant contributions to the Nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the Army ROTC Program.
Read more about the 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees.