Major General John S. Kem, U.S. Army
Provost, Army University
Deputy Commandant, Command and General Staff College
Major General John S. Kem became the first Provost of the Army University on Aug. 31, 2015. He oversees reorganizing the Army’s education enterprise into a university structure that will maximize educational opportunities for Soldiers by providing valid academic credit for the education and experience they receive while on active duty. The Army University encompasses all Training and Doctrine Command schools, provides a single point of contact for all Army education matters and addresses the educational needs of the Army while providing individual Soldiers and Army civilian employees the opportunity to accomplish their own academic goals. He will also oversee the Army Press, the publishing arm of the Army University that includes “Military Review” and “The NCO Journal” magazines and the Combat Studies Institute.
As Deputy Commandant of the Command and General Staff College, Kem is responsible for the day-to-day operations of CGSC and the following schools: the Command and General Staff School, School of Advanced Military Studies, School for Command Preparation, and Army Management Staff College all at Fort Leavenworth as well as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, GA, and the Warrant Officer Career College at Fort Rucker, AL.
Kem was commissioned through the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, where he graduated as a distinguished cadet and earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. He later earned a Master’s of Science in Environmental Engineering, and a Masters of Business Administration from Northwestern University and the Kellogg Business School. His military education includes Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Advanced Course, Army Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces where he earned a Master’s of Science in National Resource Management. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Kem previously served as the Commanding General United States Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division in Portland, OR. His command assignments include the Europe District, North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 2008 to 2011; the 16th Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Division, Germany and Operation Iraqi Freedom, from 2003 to 2005, and Company A, 307th Engineer Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC, from 1991 to 1992.
Previous assignments include serving as Chief, Programs Division, Office of the Chief, Legislative Liaison, Washington; Director, Coalition-Joint Engineering Directorate, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan; Executive Officer to the Director Joint Improved Explosive Device Defeat Organization, Washington; Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, Washington; Congressional Fellow, Washington; Operations Officer, 10th Engineer Battalion and Operations Officer 3rd Engineer Brigade, Fort Stewart, GA; and Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, USMA, West Point, NY. He also served as Adjutant, 307th Engineer Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm; Executive Officer, D Company, 16th Engineer Battalion; Boeselager Reconnaissance Platoon Leader, Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, Germany; and Platoon Leader, C Company, 16th Engineer Battalion.
Kem’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (w/Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal (w/7 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Badge, Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Pathfinder Badge, and Army Staff Identification Badge.
Kem was born in Chicago. He is married and has three children.