by Andrea Sutherland
Military service runs deep in Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson’s Family.
“My grandfather served in World War I, my father in World War II, my brother served in Vietnam,” Anderson said. “Service resonates in our Family.”
A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, Anderson said the knowledge gained from several assignments and deployments has prepared him to take command of the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson.
“The Army is people,” he said. “My goals, my job is to support our Soldiers and their Families. … It’s not about legacy for me. It’s not about me at all. It’s about (ensuring) this post provides the best quality of training and support, both in garrison and while deployed, for every unit.
“It’s all about deeds, not words. Our actions matter. We’re going to be a transparent organization. We’re committed to being a team. This is all about taking care of Soldiers and their Families.”
Anderson said Mountain Post Soldiers and the community can expect to see the commanding general frequently.
“I will be one with them,” he said. “We are part of Colorado; we are certainly part of Colorado Springs. … Being the commander here, I ask nobody to do what I wouldn’t do myself. I have to lead by example. I am a Soldier here at Fort Carson just like everybody else.”
A New York native, Anderson served in airborne, air assault, ranger, and light and mechanized infantry units. He earned his master’s degrees in administration from Central Michigan University and in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.
“Everything you do builds upon (itself),” he said. “All of your experiences get you to where you need to go. I take pride in the fact that I have served in a lot of different places and units. That’s what I love about the Army.”
Anderson completed three tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, first as a brigade commander for the 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), from Fort Campbell, Ky., then as the Multi-National Corps-Iraq chief of staff and later as the Multi-National Force-Iraq and United States Forces-Iraq chief of staff.
During his first tour in 2003, Anderson oversaw tactical operations, including the capture and killing of key al-Qaida leaders and the deaths of Uday Hussein and Qusay Hussein. Anderson returned to Iraq during the surge in 2006-2008, overseeing ground operations, and again in 2009-2010, overseeing the strategic drawdown and transition to the government of Iraq.
“What I got to see in Iraq these last eight years as a tactical commander in the initial part of the war, fighting all the way through it, fighting in numerous places, running cities … that’s all the tactical stuff,” he said. “Then I got to go back during the surge, which was the operational piece, which gave me a whole different perspective.”
Anderson said understanding all areas of the Army has been a key in his career.
“It’s not about being the guy who only knows one type of unit, one type of location,” he said. “The Army is big and it’s about understanding the Army. All of the things I have done has helped me understand the Army.”
Although Anderson has visited Fort Carson in the past, this is the first time he has been stationed at the Mountain Post.
“I used to love snow. I have to learn to re-love snow,” he said, laughing. “Everything that I’ve heard about this place, in the very short time I’ve been here, it’s been demonstrated to be true — the community, the people, it’s obviously a great division, history, mission … it’s all true.”