Col Josh Walker
Colonel (Retired) United States Army, Special Forces
Josh Walker is a recognized leader in Special Operations, Strategic Planning, and Policy, with combat and operational experience in the Middle East, Africa, the Indo-Pacific, and European regions. Josh served as the senior special operations advisor on three separate U.S.
Embassy country teams in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Beirut, Lebanon. In each assignment, he learned the value of a whole-of-government approach to counter-terror and security assistance efforts. Josh also has significant experience helping shape national military policy and strategy for Irregular Warfare.
Over his 25-year career, Josh led on numerous combat operations, including as a 2-man team, a 12-man Special Forces A-Team, a 90-man Special Forces company, a 450-man Special Operations Task Force, as well as a strategic planner for Division and Corps-level Joint Task Forces. His achievements in the field include:
• From 2018 - 2019, Josh served as the senior, forward commander for SOF in Beirut, Lebanon and built the new Task Force 5 to unify and lead US SOF across the Levant; Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. • In 2014, as Special Forces battalion commander, he led the no-notice crisis response mission to defend the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq when ISIS captured Mosul and threatened to overrun the complex. • On the Horn of Africa in 2012 and 2013, he led the SOF military-to-military relationships with eight East African countries and re-established a formal partnership with Tanzania. His efforts also won approval from the Defense Secretary for new, sensitive missions into Somalia.
• While deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2011-2012, he led the U.S. and NATO Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP), which led to the reintegration of more than 1,000 former insurgents in Northern Afghanistan.
• In 2007, he led a special forces company conducting special operations in the South-Central area of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
• In 2003, as a Special Forces Captain, he led a two-man team to establish the first counter-terror effort in the jungles of the southern Philippines, in support of national intelligence agencies.
In addition to his combat deployments, Josh has extensive experience as a strategic planner and operations leader.
• In 2016, he oversaw more than 23,000 personnel and a budget exceeding $200 million as chief of staff of the 1st Special Forces Command.
• In 2015, Josh was selected to design and establish, the first 2-star Special Operations Joint Task Force (SOJTF-OIR) to turn the tide against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. GEN Votel stated this new C2 structure “was the future of Special Operations Mission Command.” That SOF HQ led the defeat of ISIS.
Education and Professional Associations:
Josh has a BA in sociology from Washington State University, where he was an Army ROTC Distinguished Military graduate. He has two MS degrees: one in Irregular Warfare from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and one from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.