Major General Stephen J. Townsend graduated from North Georgia College in 1982, and was commissioned through ROTC.
Major General Townsend has had two previous tours with the 10th Mountain Division (LI). His initial assignment was with the 82d Airborne Division were he served as a platoon leader, executive officer and assistant S3 in the 2d Battalion (Airborne), 505th Infantry and deployed for Operation Urgent Fury, Grenada. After the Infantry Officer Advanced Course he was assigned to the 7th Infantry Division (Light) at Fort Ord, California where he served as the battalion S3 of 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry and commanded Alpha Company. MG Townsend was then reassigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, were he served as the S3 (Air) and assistant S3 at HQs, 75th Ranger Regiment, deployed for Operation Just Cause, Panama and commanded Charlie Company, 3d Ranger Battalion. Upon completion of the Command and General Staff College he returned to Fort Benning were he served as Senior Liaison Officer at Ranger Regiment HQs and S3 of the 3d Ranger Battalion and deployed for Operation Uphold Democracy, Haiti. He was then assigned to United States Pacific Command, Hawaii as a J-5 Action Officer and later as Special Assistant to the Commander. Reassigned to Fort Drum, New York, he was S3 of 2nd Brigade, 78th Division (Training Support), Fort Drum, New York before taking command of the Polar Bears of 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 10th Mountain Division (Light). He led Task Force Polar Bear to Afghanistan for Operation Anaconda. After the War College, MG Townsend returned to Fort Drum where he served as the Division G3, 10th Mountain Division (Light) and then Director of Operations, C/J3, Combined Joint Task Force–180, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. He was next assigned to Fort Lewis, Washington where he served as the Commander, 3d Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2d Infantry Division and led Task Force Arrowhead on offensive operations across Iraq. Next he was Executive officer to the Commander, United States Central Command, Tampa, Florida. He then served as the Senior Commander at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and later Deputy Commanding General (Operations), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and CJTF-101 in Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. MG Townsend’s most recent assignment was as Director, Pakistan/Afghanistan Coordination cell, Joint Staff, Washington, DC.
Major General Townsend’s education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and two Masters degrees.
Major General Townsend has a number of awards and decorations to include the Combat Infantryman Badge (with star), Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist and Air Assault Badges and Ranger Tab.