General William E. (Kip) Ward became the first commander of US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, on October 1, 2007. US Africa Command is one of six unified geographic commands within the Department of Defense unified command structure.
General Ward was commissioned into the Infantry in June 1971. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses, US Army Command and General Staff College, and US Army War College. He holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelors of Art Degree in Political Science from Morgan State University. His military service has included overseas tours in Korea, Egypt, Somalia, Bosnia, Israel, two tours in Germany, and a wide variety of assignments in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.
His command and troop assignments include: Platoon Leader, 3d Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry, 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Rifle Company Commander, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 17th Infantry, 2d Infantry Division, Camp Howze, Korea; S-4 (Logistics), 210th Field Artillery Brigade, VII Corps, US Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; Executive Officer, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division, US Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; Commander, 5th Battalion, 9th Infantry, 2d Brigade, later G-4 (Logistics), 6th Infantry Division (Light), Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Commander, 2d Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York and Operation Restore Hope, Mogadishu, Somalia; Assistant Division Commander (Support), 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Commanding General 25th Infantry Division (Light) and US Army, Hawaii, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and Commander, Stabilization Force, Operation Joint Forge, Sarajevo, Bosnia.
His staff assignments include: Executive Officer, US Army Military Community Activity -- Aschaffenburg, US Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany; Staff Officer (Logistics), Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, US Army, Washington, DC; Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff, US Army, Washington, DC; Deputy Director for Operations, J-3, National Military Command Center, The Joint Staff, Washington, DC; Chief, Office of Military Cooperation, Egypt, American Embassy, Egypt; and Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, DC.
Prior to assuming his current position, Ward was Deputy Commander, Headquarters US European Command, Stuttgart, Germany. He previously served as the Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff, US Army Europe and Seventh Army. While in this capacity he was selected by the Secretary of State to serve as the United States Security Coordinator, Israel - Palestinian Authority where he served from March through December 2005.
General Ward's awards and badges include: the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster); the Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters); the Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters); the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal (with six Oak Leaf Clusters); the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Army Commendation Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters); the Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster); the Expert Infantryman's Badge; the Combat Infantryman's Badge; and the Master Parachutist Badge.