In a ceremony held at the Tampa Convention Center on 28 August 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven turned over the helm to U.S. Army General Joseph L. Votel. General Votel is the 10th USSOCOM Commanding Officer and will have responsibility for Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Special Operations Forces. Admiral McRaven will retire from active duty at age 58 after a 37 year career.
Admiral McRaven grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and received his commission after graduating from the University of Texas in 1977. He completed BUDS/SEAL in 1978. McRaven served in Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Admiral McRaven helped to establish and was the first graduate of the the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict curriculum at the Naval Post Graduate School.
General Votel, is currently commander of JSOC at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. The General hails from St, Paul, Minnesota, and graduated from West Point in 1980. Votel has broad SOF experience including commanding the 75th Ranger Regiment and deputy commanding general for the 82nd Airborne Division. General Votel is a veteran of Operation Just Cause, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
We’d like to thank Admiral McRaven for his service and wish him fair winds and following seas. We also extend our congratulations to General Votel on assuming command of the greatest fighting force in human history. We wish him well in these challenging times, along with our desire for his continue success.
We do have one small favor to ask of General Votel and that is to please keep lutefisk off USSOCOM’s menus.
Congratulations once again to Admiral McRaven and General Votel.