Major General Joseph A. Edwards II currently serves as the Commanding General of First Army – Division West, at Fort Hood, Texas. He assumed command of Division West on Dec. 23, 2022. The mission of Division West is to partner and train reserve components during all phases of mobilization to provide trained and ready forces to combatant commander mission requirements.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, MG Edwards is a 1989 graduate of Mount Gilead High School and a Distinguished Military Graduate and George Marshall awardee from the University of Rio Grande (Honors Program) in Rio Grande, Ohio where he received his BS in Business Administration. He began his military career on May 16th, 1993 when he commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Regular Army. He is a graduate of the Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Services Staff School, United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the resident Air War College. Brigadier General Edwards holds two Masters Degrees; one in Leadership from Central Michigan University and another in Strategic Studies from the Air War College.
MG Edwards is an Army Aviator rated in the UH-1H, OH-58A/C, AH-64A/D, C-12D/V, and UC-35A/B. He has successfully held command and staff positions at every level from Company through Division, as well as Joint and Combined Headquarters. His previous duties include Attack Platoon Leader, 3-1 Aviation and Support Platoon Leader, 1-1 Aviation Regiment, Katterbach, Germany; Assistant Operations Officer, 1-1 Aviation Regiment, Bosnia Herzegovina (IFOR/SFOR); Commander, D Company, 1-14th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, Alabama; Liaison Officer, CFLCC, Kuwait/Iraq (OIF); Commander, B Company, 2-228th Aviation Regiment, Dobbins ARB, Georgia; Fixed Wing Detachment Commander, 101st Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Afghanistan (ISAF); Deputy Director of Army Reserve Aviation and Army Reserve Fixed-Wing Plans and Operations Officer, Fort McPherson, Georgia (USARC); Commander, 6-52nd Aviation Regiment, Los Alamitos, California; Commander, 244th Aviation Brigade, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey (JTF-CS); Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Joint Enabling Capability Command, Norfolk, Virginia (TRANSCOM); and Commanding General, 104th Division (Leader Training), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (USARC).
His awards and badges include the Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC); Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal (2 OLC); Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC); Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (4 OLC); National Defense Service Medal (1 Bronze Service Star); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Armed Forces Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal (Bronze Hourglass, M Device); Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; NATO Medal – Balkans; NATO Medal – ISAF; Master Aviator Badge; Parachutist Badge; Air Assault Badge; and the German Armed Forces Efficiency Badge - Bronze.
In his civilian career, MG Edwards is a commercial pilot of the B-777 aircraft for United Airlines. He currently resides with his wife Dora and their two daughters, Alexus and Jaelynd, in Houston, Texas.