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Brigadier General John J. Elam

Deputy Commanding General

416th Theater Engineer Command





Deputy Commanding General, 416th Theater Engineer Command


Brigadier General Elam was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 12 September 1983 through the Michigan State University Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). For over 30 years, Colonel (P) Elam has served both active and reserve units in the United States Army.


Brigadier General Elam’s first assignment was with the 9th Engineer Battalion in Aschaffenburg, Germany, where he served as Platoon Leader in Delta Company and later as Battalion S-4. Upon return to the US, he was assigned as Battalion Maintenance Officer in the 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He then joined the Reserves in 1990 serving as Project Engineer, New York District Corps of Engineers; Commander, Alpha Company, 469th Engineer Battalion, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ; and Battalion Civil Engineer, 854th Engineer Battalion (Combat Heavy), Kingston, New York.


Brigadier General Elam then served as the Battalion Executive Officer and Commander of the 1/98 Battalion, 98th Training Division (TASS), which planned and conducted engineer training for all Reserve and National Guard soldiers across the Northeast section of the country.


Brigadier General Elam continued his career serving as the 411th Engineer Brigade Plans Officer and Operations Officer planning and directing numerous joint construction exercises as well as coordinating Theater Engineer activities during a one year deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He returned to the 854th Engineer Battalion as the Commander for almost three years leading his Battalion to numerous overseas exercises including Thailand, The Philippines, Germany and Mongolia.


Prior to assuming command of the 102nd Training Division, he was most recently assigned to the 411th Engineer Brigade as the Deputy Commander, where he prepared the Brigade for deployment and directed combat engineer and construction operations across Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.


Brigadier General Elam holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University, and a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. He is also a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic and Advance Courses, United States Army Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the United States Army Command and General Staff College and most recently, the Army War College.


Brigadier General Elam’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Combat Action Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. He’s also been awarded the Bronze Order of the Engineer Association’s DeFleury medal.