Brigadier General Elwell graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Transportation Corps in 1985.

Through his 30 years of both active and reserve service, he has commanded at every level from Platoon to Brigade, including a Battalion Command in Afghanistan. He began his career as a transportation platoon leader in the Iowa National Guard. He served as the Commander of the 34th Movement Control Detachment and S-4, among other staff positions. After two years teaching at the Command and General Staff College, he deployed with the 3rd Corps Support Command as the Support Operations Battle Captain during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He then became the Commandant for the 3rd Corps Support Command’s Heavy Equipment Transport School in Kuwait. This school trained more than 400 HET drivers to respond to the needs of Combatant Commanders in the region.

After returning from Iraq, BG Elwell commanded the 484th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control), in Springfield, MO. His command concluded with the Battalion deploying to Afghanistan in 2009 to support Operation Enduring Freedom. The 484th was in charge of all transportation for joint forces in Afghanistan and supported coalition forces. This transportation unit included a fixed-wing air cell and a U.S. Air Force team, which were under the command of the 484th. After returning from Afghanistan, BG Elwell was selected to Command the 640th Regional Support Group in Nashville, TN. In 2012, BG Elwell transferred to the 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Des Moines, IA, as the Chief of Staff and later served as the Deputy Commander. In January 2015, BG Elwell was selected to Command the 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in Los Angeles, CA.

His military Education includes the U.S. Army Transportation Officer’s Basic Course, Quartermaster Officer’s Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Command and General Staff College, U.S. Army War College and Advanced Joint Primary Military Education. BG Elwell's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Defense of Korea Service Medal, NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

BG Elwell is married to Judy and they live in Des Moines, IA.