Colonel John Cardwell is a native of Tennessee graduating from the University of Tennessee on an ROTC scholarship in 1984 as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was commission in Armor as a Second Lieutenant. Colonel Cardwell’s first assignment was with the 5th Battalion, 68th Armor, Mannheim, Germany, where he served as a tank platoon leader, tank company executive officer, and battalion maintenance officer. Upon returning to the states Colonel Cardwell served as the maintenance officer for the 10th Cavalry, Fort Knox, Kentucky. His next assignment took him to Fort Bragg, NC were he served as the battalion Adjutant for 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 73rd Armor, 82nd Airborne Division and later commanding Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 73rd Armor in the 82nd Airborne Division. With the 82nd Airborne, Colonel Cardwell participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His last assignment on active duty was as Senior Army advisor 24th Infantry Division in support of the 1st Battalion, 108th Armor, Georgia Army National Guard.
Colonel Cardwell entered the US Army Reserve with the 3397th Garrison Support Unit, Chattanooga, TN where he served as the assistant S2/3 and later as the operations officer. In 1999, he was selected for battalion command and took command of the 82nd Airborne Division Detachment, Fort Bragg, NC where he served as the 82nd Airborne Division G3 Rear and the commander of the rear area operations center.
Following this assignment, Colonel Cardwell was again selected for battalion command taking command of the 2nd Battalion, 347th Regiment, Fort Gordon, GA in July 2002. In January 2003, he was mobilized with his battalion in support of operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. He was responsible for the training and validation of all military intelligence, information operations, psychological operations, logistics, and medical training for all units rotating into Kosovo. He later deployed to Germany and Kosovo to oversee final training and command transition of units into the theater of operations. Under Colonel Cardwell’s command, the 2nd Battalion, 347th Regiment was awarded the Superior Unit Award for its performance while mobilized.
In July 2004, Colonel Cardwell assumed command of the 2125th Garrison Support Unit, Decatur, GA. In April of 2005, the 2125th became a Major Subordinate Command of the 81st Regional Readiness Command and exercised command and control of soldiers in five states.
Upon completion of command in 2007, Colonel Cardwell assumed the duties as Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Polices for the 81st Regional Readiness Command. In 2008, he was selected to be the Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer for the State of Tennessee where he deployed as the Department of Defense representative to Homeland Security Task Force Southeast in support of operation for the Haiti earthquake.
Currently, Colonel Cardwell serves as the Chief of Staff for the 84th Training Command, Fort Knox, KY.
Colonel Cardwell graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee and holds a Bachelors degree in Finance and Banking and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.
Colonel Cardwell’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Services Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, Southwest Asia Campaign Medal with 2 bronze service stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Bronze Hourglass, “M” device, and numeral 2, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait), Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, Army Superior Unit Award, and Venezuelan Parachutist Badge .