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Eric J. Wesley
File:File:Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley.jpg
Lt Gen. Eric J. Wesley in Army Service Uniform
Born 1964 (age 56–57)
Place of birth Yorba Linda, United States
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1986–present
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning
1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Awards Army Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal (for Valor)
Bronze Star Medal

Eric J. Wesley (born 1964) is a U.S. Army lieutenant general and is currently the Deputy Commanding General of Army Futures Command and the Director, Futures and Concepts Center (formerly the U.S. Army Capabilities and Integration Center) headquartered at Joint Base Langley Eustis in Virginia. He previously served as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, Georgia. He was commissioned as an armor lieutenant from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1986.

Early life[edit | edit source]

The son of Donna and Richard Wesley, an aerospace engineer, Wesley grew up in Yorba Linda, California where he was a student and water polo player. He attended Troy High School in Fullerton, California and was interested in military service from an early age.[1]

Junior and field officer career[edit | edit source]

Wesley's first assignments included tank platoon leader, scout platoon leader, and battalion logistics officer for 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor Regiment, of the 1st Armored Division in Wiesbaden, Germany. He then commanded a tank company in 1st Battalion, 34th Armor, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas until December 1993. For the next few years, he was assigned to the United States Army's Special Operations Command where he was deployed in support of Operations Joint Guard and Joint Endeavor in Bosnia-Herzegovina.[2]

In 1998, he was assigned to the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he held several leadership positions including battalion and brigade operations officer and brigade executive officer. Four years later, he deployed with the same brigade to Operation Desert Spring in Kuwait, and then in 2003, his brigade led the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division's invasion into Baghdad, Iraq in what would later be called Operation Iraqi Freedom. His leadership roles in the invasion were captured in books written by embedded journalists including David Zucchino's book "Thunder Run," an account of the division's strike into Baghdad and Bing West's "No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah".[2][3][4] Upon redeployment, he led the effort to move the 3rd Infantry Division to a modular organization.[2] As a lieutenant colonel, Wesley returned to Fort Riley, Kansas in June 2004 and assumed command of the 1st Tank Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment. He deployed the “13th Tank” back to Baghdad, Iraq and conducted combat operations there from January 2005 to January 2006. Upon his redeployment back to Fort Riley, he relinquished command and became the operations officer of the 1st Infantry Division until June 2007.[2] Following this command from August until June 2008, he attended the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC,[5] and then returned to the “Big Red One” at Fort Riley, Kansas and assumed command of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.[2]

After finishing brigade command he deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan and served as the chief of current plans for the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Following this deployment, Wesley served from August 2011 through June 2013 in the White House on the National Security Council as the Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan. In this capacity, he led inter-agency efforts to develop policy including a decreasing posture of forces in Afghanistan and subsequently deployed back to Afghanistan to be the director for future plans in ISAF's joint command.[2]

General officer[edit | edit source]

Wesley at the Brookings Institute with foreign policy expert and fellow Michael E. O'Hanlon, speaking about Army modernization on September 24, 2019

Wesley was promoted to brigadier general in 2014 while in Kabul, Afghanistan.[5] While in this role, he reorganized the numbers of deployed personnel in the country under the direction of General Joseph Dunford and Milley. Subsequently selected to serve as the Deputy Commanding General for Support for the 1st Infantry Division, Wesley returned to Fort Riley, Kansas in September 2014 where he was the acting senior mission commander at the base while the division was deployed.[6][7][8]

Following completion of this assignment he was assigned to the Pentagon as the deputy director for program analysis and evaluation for the Army's G8[9] where he led the Army's efforts to improve Army acquisition.[2] In January, 2017, Brig. Gen. Wesley was nominated for promotion to the rank of Major General.[10] and assigned as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, Georgia.[11] where he oversaw the initial integration of women into infantry and armor branches and the Army's Ranger school.[12] While there he led the effort to reorganize the Army's maneuver force into what would later become a multi-domain capable force[2]

Subsequently, on April 12, 2018, he was nominated for a third star and promoted to the rank of lieutenant general[13] and assumed the responsibilities as Director of Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) and deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.[14] Wesley was then tapped to lead the task force responsible for standing up the Army's new four-star command in Austin, Texas.[15] - Army Futures Command while simultaneously transitioning the Army's Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC), headquartered at Fort Eustis, Virginia, from TRADOC to Army Futures Command[16]

Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley takes a photo with U.S. Military Academy cadets after a discussion on Multi-Domain Operations

In this capacity, he leads the Army's effort to accelerate the development of the Army's new war fighting concept - Multi Domain Operations - the most fundamental rewrite of an operational concept since AirLand Battle was published in 1982.[17][18] He has been an Army advocate of adapting modernization in accordance with this new concept and actively communicates the precepts with think tanks, academia, heads of other armies, and policy makers.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Wesley is married to Cynthia Wesley and they have three children, Tyler, Austin, and Meredith. He has earned masters degrees from the National War College (National Security and Strategic studies) and Troy University (International relations).[2]

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

As listed by Army biographies.[2][5]

Awards[edit | edit source]

Decorations[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. West Point Center for Oral History (February 4, 2020). "Finding The Center Of Gravity: Leadership And Modernization In The Army". http://www.westpointcoh.org/interviews/finding-the-center-of-gravity-leadership-and-modernization-in-the-army. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Futures and Concepts Center (April 2019). "Biography: Lieutenant General Eric J. Wesley". https://futuresconcepts.army.mil/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2019/10/FCC_Director_LTG_Wesley.pdf. 
  3. Zucchino, David (2004). Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. New York, NY: Grove Press. pp. 70–73, 95–96, 102, 128, 158–166, 169–176, 192, 203, 218, 329. ISBN 0-8021-4179-X. 
  4. West, Bing (2005). No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2005048199: Bantam Dell. pp. Xix, 15–17, 366. ISBN 978-0-307-80834-9. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 United States Army (February 18, 2020). "Lieutenant General Eric J. Wesley". https://www.gomo.army.mil/ext/portal/officer/OfficerResume.aspx?GOID=8583&Printobjects=3. 
  6. Stairrett, Amanda (February 18, 2020). "‘Ready to change the world again’: The future comes to Fort Riley". Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. https://www.dvidshub.net/news/310440/ready-change-world-again-future-comes-fort-riley. 
  7. Pinnington, Abram (September 23, 2014). "1st Inf. Div. welcomes new members of command group". Army.mil. https://www.army.mil/article/134260/1st_inf_div_welcomes_new_members_of_command_group. 
  8. Stairrett, Amanda (February 5, 2015). "Fort Riley leaders urge public to speak up on potential sequestration impact". Army.mil. https://www.army.mil/article/142305/fort_riley_leaders_urge_public_to_speak_up_on_potential_sequestration_impact. 
  9. Department of Defense (March 30, 2015). "General Officer Assignments". Department of Defense News Releases. https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/Article/605435/general-officer-assignments/. 
  10. Marchello, Lindsay (June 22, 2016). "MCoE CG humbled by promotion". The Benning News. https://benningnews.org/2016/06/22/mcoe-cg-humbled-by-promotion/. 
  11. Williams, Chuck (March 18, 2016). "Brig. Gen. Eric Wesley assumes command of Fort Benning". Ledger-Enquirer. https://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/military/article66922312.html. 
  12. Ernst, Douglas (October 27, 2016). "Army enters new era: 10 women pass first gender-integrated infantry officer course". https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/27/army-enters-new-era-10-women-pass-first-gender-int/. 
  13. Voss, Michael (April 18, 2018). "Wesley assumes ARCIC director responsibilities". Peninsula Warrior. https://www.militarynews.com/peninsula-warrior/news/army_news/wesley-assumes-arcic-director-responsibilities/article_71637ada-36a6-54bf-a357-9db9ce288920.html. 
  14. "Wesley assumes ARCIC director responsibilities" (in en-US). https://www.jble.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1495515/wesley-assumes-arcic-director-responsibilities/. 
  15. "Soldiers say the Army's relentless push for readiness is 'breaking the force' in leaked documents" (in en). 2019-09-20. https://taskandpurpose.com/army-readiness-document. 
  16. Egozi, Arie. "US Army's Brain Transplant: Futurists Move To Futures Command" (in en-US). https://breakingdefense.com/2018/12/us-armys-brain-transplant-futurists-move-to-futures-command/. 
  17. "How is the Army modernizing?" (in en-US). 2019-09-12. https://www.brookings.edu/events/how-is-the-army-modernizing/. 
  18. Judson, Jen (October 8, 2018). "U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Chief talks Multi-Domain Operations". Defense News. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/ausa/2018/10/08/us-army-capabilities-integration-chief-talks-multidomain-ops/. 

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