Four-star general named UofL Alumnus of the Year UofL 1997 graduate is U.S. Army’s second-highest ranking officer

    Gen. Joseph M. Martin
    Gen. Joseph M. Martin, UofL Class of 1997, will be honored as Alumnus of the Year 2021 in a livestreamed broadcast of the Alumni Awards, Oct. 21, at the University of Louisville.

    A four-star U.S. Army general with 35 years of distinguished service has been selected as the 2021 Alumnus of the Year by the University of Louisville.

    Gen. Joseph M. Martin will be honored by his alma mater in a livestreamed broadcast of the UofL Alumni Awards on Oct. 21 during Homecoming Week.

    “I am thrilled to welcome Gen. Martin back home to UofL so we can present this deserved honor to him,” UofL President Neeli Bendapudi said. “He exemplifies all that we stand for as Cardinals, particularly living a life focused on the highest standards of leadership in achieving a noble purpose.”

    Martin earned his Master of Education in Occupational Training and Development degree from the University of Louisville in 1997. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1986 and was commissioned as an armor officer. He also is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

    As the 37th Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army, he is the second-highest ranking officer in the Army, and one of only 16 four-star generals currently serving in the Army. Through the course of his distinguished 35-year career, Martin has commanded soldiers at every level, including the Army’s Operational Test Command, the National Training Center, and the famed First Infantry Division.

    Martin has deployed numerous times including during Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve where he commanded the Combined Joint Force Land Component Command. His most recent assignment was director of the Army Staff.

    Martin’s staff assignments have included observer/controller at Fort Irwin, California, and instructor/writer and aide to the commanding general at the U.S. Armor Center at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He also served as a battalion operations officer, aide to the III Corps commanding general and brigade operations officer at Fort Hood, Texas. Additionally, Martin served as the armor branch chief and chief of the Maneuver, Fires and Effects Division at the United States Army Human Resources Command in Alexandria, Virginia. He also served as the initiatives group director for the commander, U.S. Forces Iraq and U.S. Joint Forces Command.

    Martin’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal with “V” device; the “V” device signifies heroism or valor in combat. He also earned the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

    Martin and his wife have been married for 33 years and have two children.

    Twenty other distinguished alumni will be honored at the UofL Alumni Awards, including winners of the Alumni Ambassador Award, Diversity Leadership Award, Emerging Leadership Award and the naming of Alumni Fellows in UofL’s colleges, schools, libraries and student affairs division.

    UofL’s Alumni Awards are sponsored by Commonwealth Credit Union and Buff City Soap. For information about all events planned for UofL’s Homecoming Week 2021, visit the Homecoming website.


    Jill Scoggins is Director of Communications at UofL's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. She has been at UofL since 2010.