MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Navy Adm. William H. McRaven will turn the helm of U.S. Special Operations Command over to Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel during a change of command ceremony at 2 p.m., Aug. 28 at the Tampa Convention Center. The ceremony is by invitation only.
Votel will be the tenth commander of USSOCOM and will be responsible for ensuring the readiness of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations Forces.
McRaven, 58, has commanded USSOCOM since Aug. 2011, and will retire from active duty after 37 years of service to the nation.
McRaven, who grew up in San Antonio, Texas, was commissioned an ensign in the Navy through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps after graduating from the University of Texas in 1977. He completed Basic Underwater Demolition School/SEAL training in 1978 and has commanded at every level in special operations.
The admiral served in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom amongst others. He also served as the Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council Staff.
The admiral also helped establish and was the first graduate of the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict curriculum at the Naval Post Graduate School. His Naval Post Graduate School thesis was the basis for his book Spec Ops published in 1996.
McRaven is married to the former Georgeann Brady of Dallas, Texas.
Votel is currently commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. He assumed command of JSOC from McRaven In June 2011.
Votel, a native of Saint Paul, Minn., graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1980.
He has served in a variety of infantry and special operations assignments to include commanding the 75th Ranger Regiment and as the Deputy Commanding General for Operations of the 82nd Airborne Division. The general also served as the Chief of Staff of USSOCOM where he was responsible for coordinating USSOCOM staff’s support to Special Operations Forces around the world. He is a veteran of Operations Just Cause, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Votel is married to the former Michele Belair of Saint Paul, Minn.