General William "Kip" Ward, U.S. Army

Commander, U.S. Africa Command

U.S. Army Gen. William “Kip” Ward became the first commander of U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, on October 1, 2007, and served until March 9, 2011.

Ward was commissioned into the Infantry in June 1971. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and U.S. Army War College. He holds a Master of Arts in political science from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Art in political science from Morgan State University. His military service included overseas tours in Korea, Egypt, Somalia, Bosnia, Israel, two tours in Germany, and a wide variety of assignments in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii.

His command and troop assignments included: platoon leader, 3d Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry, 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; rifle company commander, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 17th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Howze, Korea; logistics officer, 210th Field Artillery Brigade, VII Corps, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; executive officer, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 7th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; commander, 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 2d Brigade, and logistics officer, 6th Infantry Division (Light), Fort Wainwright, Alaska; commander, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York, and Operation Restore Hope, Mogadishu, Somalia; assistant division commander (Support), 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; commanding general, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and commander, Stabilization Force, Operation Joint Forge, Sarajevo, Bosnia.

His staff assignments included: executive officer, U.S. Army Military Community Activity - Aschaffenburg, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; staff officer (Logistics), Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Washington, DC; executive officer to the vice chief of staff, Washington, DC; deputy director for operations, National Military Command Center, The Joint Staff, Washington, DC; chief, Office of Military Cooperation, U.S. Embassy in Egypt; and vice director for operations, The Joint Staff, Washington, DC.

Prior to assuming command at U.S. Africa Command, Ward was deputy commander at U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany. He previously served as the deputy commanding general/chief of staff, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army. While in this capacity he was selected by the Secretary of State to serve as the U.S. Security Coordinator, Israel - Palestinian Authority where he served from March 2005 - Dec. 2005.

Ward's awards and badges include: Defense Distinguished Service Medal (oak leaf cluster); Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal (two oak leaf clusters); Legion of Merit (three oak leaf clusters); Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (six oak leaf clusters); Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Achievement Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster); Expert Infantryman's Badge; Combat Infantryman's Badge; and Master Parachutist Badge.

After he left U.S. Africa Command, Ward retired at the rank lieutenant general in Nov., 2012.