William E. Ward

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William E. Ward
General Kip Ward November 2009.jpg
Ward as a general in November 2009. He was reduced in rank to lieutenant general upon his retirement in 2012.
Nickname(s) "Kip"
Born (1949-03-06) March 6, 1949 (age 67)
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1971-2012
Rank Army-USA-OF-08.svg Lieutenant general (reduced from US-O10 insignia.svg General)
Commands held U.S. Africa Command
Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command
25th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Operation Restore Hope
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal (3)
Legion of Merit (4)

William E. "Kip" Ward (born March 6, 1949),[1] is a former United States Army four-star general who previously served as Commander, U.S. Africa Command from October 1, 2007 to March 8, 2011. Prior to that, Ward previously served as Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command. After he left U.S. Africa Command, Ward reverted to his permanent rank of major general and served as a special assistant to the Army’s vice chief of staff after the Department of Defense concluded he had misused taxpayer money.[2] Ward then retired with the rank of lieutenant general in November 2012.


Ward holds an M.A. in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. in Political Science from Morgan State University. While at Morgan State he was a member of the National Society of Pershing Rifles. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and U.S. Army War College.

Military service[edit]

Ward was commissioned into the infantry in 1971. His military service includes overseas tours in Korea, Egypt, Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, two tours in Germany, and a wide variety of assignments in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. He relinquished command of Africa Command to General Carter F. Ham.


While a retirement ceremony was held in April 2011, Ward remained on active-duty, pending a special Army investigation by the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense.[2] The investigation has run 17 months and a ruling on the matter is pending with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Unnamed "defense officials said Ward is facing numerous allegations that he spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars allowing unauthorized people, including family members, to fly on government planes, and spent excessive amounts of money on hotel rooms, transportation and other expenses when he traveled as head of Africa Command".[3] In a Pentagon report, Ward spent $129,000 of taxpayer money on an 11-day trip with an entourage of 13 military and civilian personnel.[4]


Ward held the four-star grade of general while serving as Commander, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), a "position of importance and responsibility" under 10 USC § 601.[5] Ward was reduced in rank upon retirement by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Ward's retired rank is that of Lieutenant General which was determined to be the last rank in which he had satisfactorily served.[6]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Ward received the following awards and decorations:[1][7]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
Expert Infantry Badge.svg Expert Infantryman Badge
US Army Airborne master parachutist badge.gif Master Parachutist Badge (United States)
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
United States Army Staff Identification Badge.png Army Staff Identification Badge
10MountainDivCSIB.jpg 10th Mountain Division Combat Service Identification Badge – SSI-FWTS
9th Infantry Regiment DUI.png 9th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
Canadian jump wings.png Canadian Parachutist Wings (Red Maple Leaf / Non-Operational)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with two bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster)[8]
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Defense Meritorious Service ribbon.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal (with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg Joint Service Commendation Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Bronze star
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with two bronze service stars)
Bronze star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze service star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service ribbon.svg Korea Defense Service Medal
Bronze star
Humanitarian Service Medal with bronze service star
Army Service Ribbon.svg Army Service Ribbon
Award numeral 6.png Overseas Service Ribbon (with award numeral 6)
Bronze star
NATO Medal for Yugoslavia with bronze service star

William E. Ward received the Trumpet Award in 2010[9] as well as the BEYA award for Lifetime Achievement.[10]

Notable memberships[edit]


  1. ^ a b "S. HRG. 110–370 Nominations Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 110th Congress" (PDF). Government Printing Office. pp. 1032–1034. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Vandiver, John, "Former AFRICOM chief Ward still on active duty pending probe", Stars and Stripes, May 28, 2012
  3. ^ "APNewsBreak: Army general facing possible demotion for lavish travel, hotel spending", AP via Washington Post, August 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-15.[dead link]
  4. ^ http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120916/DEFREG02/309160002/DoD-Conference-Expenses-Under-Scrutiny?odyssey=nav%7Chead
  5. ^ "10 USC § 601 – Positions of importance and responsibility: generals and lieutenant generals; admirals and vice admirals | Title 10 – Armed Forces | U.S. Code | LII / Legal Information Institute". Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  6. ^ http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/national/general-william-kip-ward-demoted-for-lavish-travel-and-spending
  7. ^ "Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates presents the Defense Distinguished Service Medal to outgoing commander of U.S. Africa Command Army Gen. William Ward during the AFRICOM change of command ceremony at Sindelfingen Stadthalle City Hall in Stuttgart, Germany, on March 9, 2011. Ward, the first commander of AFRICOM, handed over the reigns to Army Gen. Carter Ham.". Defense.gov News Photos. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  8. ^ http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63703
  9. ^ http://www.africom.mil/file.asp?HR=2&ID=20100204115435
  10. ^ http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/02/22/34806-africom-commander-new-orleans-engineer-get-beya-awards/index.html?ref=home-headline-title2
  11. ^ http://www.100blackmen.org/docs/2012_100_BMOA_Media_Kit.pdf
  12. ^ http://www.opp2d.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=267853&module_id=39091
  13. ^ http://www.morgan.edu/research_and_economic_development/external_research_advisory_panel/members/william_ward.html

External links[edit]