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Carter F. Ham
Born February 16, 1952(1952-02-16) (age 69)
Place of birth Portland, Oregon[1]
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army seal United States Army
Years of service 1974–2013
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held U.S. Africa Command
U.S. Army, Europe
U.S. 1st Infantry Division
Battles/wars Operation Desert Storm
Operation Able Sentry (Macedonia)
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya)
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal

Carter F. Ham (born February 16, 1952) is a former United States Army general, who served as the second Commander, U.S. Africa Command. In that position, he was in command of the initial 2011 military intervention in Libya.

Ham previously served as Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army from August 28, 2008 to March 8, 2011. Prior to that, he served as Director for Operations (J-3) at the Joint Staff from August 2007 to August 2008 and the Commanding General, U.S. 1st Infantry Division from August 2006 to August 2007. He commanded Africa Command from March 8, 2011 - April 5, 2013.

Career[edit | edit source]

Ham enlisted in the Army in 1974 and served two years as an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division before being accepted in the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (Army ROTC) while attending John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. He was commissioned, as an infantry officer, as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1976. He later received his master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island as well as graduating from several military schools including the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Armor Officer Advanced Course, the College of Naval Command and Staff of the U.S. Naval War College and the U.S. Air Force Air War College. He is a member of the John Carroll University ROTC Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Christi, are both John Carroll University graduates.

Ham's early assignments included service at Fort Knox, Kentucky and tours of duty in Italy and Germany. After graduating from the Armor Officers Advanced Course, he was a Recruiting Area Commander in Lima, Ohio. In 1984, he served with a joint service unit in support of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

From 1984 until 1989, Ham served as Assistant Inspector General, then as Battalion S-3 and Executive Officer with the Opposing Force at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. He attended the College of Naval Command and Staff, graduating with distinction in 1990, and was then assigned to the US Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia.

He served a tour as an advisor with a Saudi Arabian National Guard Brigade in Riyadh as part of OPM-SANG then returned to Fort Benning, where he was the executive officer for the Infantry School. Ham commanded the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry in Vilseck, Germany including a six-month tour with the United Nations Protection Forces in the Republic of Macedonia. Following battalion command, he was the Senior Observer/Controller of the Timberwolf Team at the Combat Maneuver Training Center, Hohenfels, Germany.

He graduated from the Air War College in 1997 then returned to Germany where he served as G-3, then Chief of Staff, 1st Infantry Division. From 1999 to 2001 he commanded the 29th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, then served as Deputy Director, J-8, United States Central Command in Tampa, Florida and Qatar. Ham was assigned as the Deputy Commanding General for Training and Readiness, I Corps at Fort Lewis, Wash. in August 2003. In January 2004, he assumed command of Multinational Brigade (Task Force Olympia) – North in Mosul, Iraq serving there until February 2005. During his time in Iraq General Ham suffered Posttraumatic stress disorder, caused from attending the aftermath of a suicide bombing. He later sought treatment for his condition and publicly encouraged other soldiers to do the same.

Returning from Iraq, General Ham served as the Deputy Director for Regional Operations, J-3, on The Joint Staff. General Ham assumed command of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas in August 2006 and served as the Commanding General until July 2007, returning to The Joint Staff as Director for Operations, J-3. On August 28, 2008, General Ham became the 34th Commander of the United States Army Europe headquartered at Campbell Barracks, Heidelberg, Germany.

The United States Senate, in November 2010, confirmed General Ham’s nomination to become the next Commander of U.S. Africa Command, headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany.[2] He assumed the post on March 8, 2011.

General Ham is in command of US forces enforcing the Libyan no-fly zone, along with Admiral Samuel J. Locklear.[citation needed] Described as "in charge of the coalition effort", General Ham on March 21, 2011 "said there would be coalition airstrikes on Colonel Qaddafi’s mobile air defenses and that some 80 sorties – only half of them by the United States – had been flown on Monday."[3] Admiral Locklear, aboard the flagship Mount Whitney, has tactical command of the Operation Odyssey Dawn joint taskforce.[4] "General Ham also said he had “full authority” to attack the regime’s forces if they refused to comply with President Obama’s demands that they pull back from Ajdabiya, Misrata and Zawiya," according to one report. Earlier, he said that the United States was not working with the Libyan rebels. “Our mission is not to support any opposition forces,” Ham said by video feed to the Pentagon from his headquarters in Stuttgart.[3]

On October 18, 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.[5]

Viewpoints[edit | edit source]

General Ham has stated (in an online Washington Post article by Greg Miller and Craig Whitlock, posted on October 1, 2012) that, as a result of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's overtaking and capturing more territory in Mali in Africa, and possessing arms from Libya after the Libyan civil war which overthrew Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, there is the possibility of the U.S. assisting (not leading) counterterror operations done by other countries. A more radical step would be the use of drones.[6]

While speaking about the Chinese presence that was "everywhere" in Africa, General Ham expressed an appreciation for the economic competition between China and the US in Africa, observing that China was "very good at infrastructure development -- roads, bridges, airports, government buildings and the like -- constructed by the Chinese in -- which greatly benefits the African people."[7]

Education[edit | edit source]

Charles F. Brush High School
John Carroll University – B.A. – Political Science
Naval War College – Master of Arts – National Security and Strategic Studies

Dates of rank[edit | edit source]

Second Lieutenant First Lieutenant Captain Major Lieutenant Colonel
O-1 O-2 O-3 O-4 O-5
Army-USA-OF-01b.svg Army-USA-OF-01a.svg Army-USA-OF-02.svg Army-USA-OF-03.svg Army-USA-OF-04.svg
June 1976 June 1978 August 1980 June 1987 September 1992
Colonel Brigadier General Major General Lieutenant General General
O-6 O-7 O-8 O-9 O-10
Army-USA-OF-05.svg Army-USA-OF-06.svg Army-USA-OF-07.svg Army-USA-OF-08.svg Army-USA-OF-09.svg
April 1998 October 2003 February 2005 August 2007 August 2008

Major duty assignments[edit | edit source]

Training Officer, II Reserve Officer Training Corps Region, 4th Basic Combat Training Brigade 1976
Section Leader, Combat Support Company, 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne Combat Team) 1977–1978
S-1 (Personnel), 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry, 4th Infantry Division 1978–1979
Commander, C Company, 2d Battalion, 22d Infantry, 8th Infantry Division 1979–1981
Student, Armor Officer Advanced Course 1981–1982
Lima Area Commander, Columbus District Recruiting Command 1982–1984
Detachment Commander, Forward Military Support Element, 1984 Summer Olympics 1984
Assistant Inspector General, National Training Center 1984–1986
S-3 (Air), 6th Battalion (Mechanized), 31st Infantry 1986–1987
Executive Officer, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 52d Infantry 1987–1989
Student, College of Naval Command and Staff, U.S. Naval War College 1989–1990
Executive Officer, United States Army Infantry School 1990–1993
Commander, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division 1993–1995
Senior Task Force Observer/Controller, Operations Group, Combat Maneuver Training Center 1995–1996
Student, United States Air Force Air War College 1996–1997
Chief of Staff, 1st Infantry Division 1997–1999
Commander, Infantry Training Support Brigade, 29th Infantry Regiment 1999–2001
Deputy Director, J-8, United States Central Command 2001–2003
Deputy Commanding General for Training and Readiness, U.S. I Corps 2003–2004
Commander, MNB North (Task Force Olympia) (Mosul, Iraq) 2004–2005
Deputy Director for Regional Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff 2005–2006
Commander, 1st Infantry Division 2006–2007
Director for Operations (J-3), The Joint Staff 2007–2008
Commanding General, U.S. Army, Europe and Seventh Army 2008–2011
Commander, United States Africa Command 2011–present

Decorations and badges[edit | edit source]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal (with one bronze oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (with oak leaf cluster)
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal
Silver oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal (with silver oak leaf cluster)
Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal (with two oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Achievement Medal (with two oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with three oak leaf clusters)
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Superior Unit Award (with oak leaf cluster)
Bronze star
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with two bronze service stars)
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal (with service star)
Bronze star
Bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal (with two service stars)
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon.svg Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon.svg Overseas Service Ribbon (with award numeral 3)
United Nations Medal ribbon.svg United Nations Medal
Us sa-kwlib rib.png Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Us kw-kwlib rib.png Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
POL Złoty Medal Wojska Polskiego BAR.svg Polish Army Medal in Gold (not worn)[8]
Combat Action Badge.svg Combat Action Badge
Expert Infantry Badge.svg Expert Infantryman Badge
US Army Airborne basic parachutist badge.gif Basic Parachutist Badge (United States)
RangerTab TIoH.gif Ranger Tab
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Seal of the United States Africa Command.svg United States Africa Command Badge
ICorpsCSIB.jpg I Corps Combat Service Identification Badge
6 Infantry Regiment DUI.png 6th US Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
ArmyOSB.jpg 4 Overseas Service Bars.

Image gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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