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Army announces next Commandant, US Army War College

CARLISLE, PA -- May 1, 2017 -- The Army announced today that Major General John S. Kem will be the next Commandant of the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Major General John S. Kem currently serves as the Provost of the Army University and Deputy Commandant of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. As the first Provost of the Army University, he has guided the objectives and organization for a university structure that will maximize educational opportunities for Soldiers across all Training and Doctrine schools, providing valid academic credit for Army education and experience.

“I can think of no better individual to be the next Commandant of the Army War College.  John Kem is an exceptional leader and educator,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp, outgoing USAWC Commandant.

“Martha and I are excited to be joining the Army War College team and the greater Carlisle community,” said Maj. Gen. Kem. “Having spent the last two years working on mid-career education for officers, warrant officers, NCOs and Army civilians as part of the overall Army University effort, it will be interesting and challenging to now work on education and leader development at the more senior level.”

Maj. Gen. John S. Kem previously served as the Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division in Portland, Oregon. His command assignments include the Europe District, North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 2008 to 2011; the 16thEngineer Battalion, 1stArmored Division, Germany and Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 t0 2005; and Company A, 307thEngineer Battalion, 82ndAirborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC, from 1991 to 1992.

Previous assignments include serving as Chief of the Programs Division, Office of the Chief, Legislative Liaison, Washington; Director of the Coalition-Joint Engineering Directorate, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan; Executive Officer to the Director Joint Improved Explosive Device Defeat Organization, Washington; Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, Washington; Congressional Fellow, Washington; Operations Officer, 10th Engineer Battalion and Operations Officer 3rd Engineer Brigade, Fort Stewart, GA; and Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, USMA, West Point, NY. He also served as Adjutant, 307th Engineer Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm; Executive Officer, D Company, 16th Engineer Battalion; Boeselager Reconnaissance Platoon Leader, Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Germany; and Platoon Leader, C Company, 16th Engineer Battalion.

Kem graduated from the United States Military Academy and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He later earned a Master’s of Science in Environmental Engineering, and a Masters of Business Administration from Northwestern University and the Kellogg Business School. His military education includes Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Advanced Course, Army Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces where he earned a Master’s of Science in National Resource Management. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and a Chartered Financial Analyst.

He and his wife, Martha, will relocate to Carlisle for an Army War College change of command ceremony on the historic Carlisle Barracks in early August.

 Command will pass from Maj. Gen. Bill Rapp, 50thCommandant of the U.S. Army War College. Maj. Gen. Rapp, with his wife, Debbie, will retire from the Army at a later date.