Joseph Wawro joined the Department of Homeland Security in 2019 as the Director of the Joint Requirements Council, Office of the Secretary. Joe is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He initially attended Wentworth Military Academy where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army in the branch of Armor. During his 30 year Army career, he served in Germany, Bosnia, and Korea. He has combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe has held several command and staff positions. Joe’s key leadership positions were Platoon Leader (Germany), Troop Commander (Germany and Bosnia), Squadron Commander (Korea), and Brigade Commander (Fort Riley, KS and Afghanistan). His key staff assignments include Battalion Operations Officer and Executive Officer (Fort Carson, CO), Regimental Executive Officer (Fort Polk, LA and Iraq), Division Operations Officer (Korea), Division (National Training Center, CA) and Corps Chief of Staff (Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA), Chief of the Initiatives Group for the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (Pentagon), and Director for Defense, Policy, and Strategy (National Security Council, the White House).
His academic education includes the following:
- Fellow for Chief of Staff of the Army at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2013
- Senior Leader Seminar for GOs/SESs, 2013
- M.A. National Security and Strategy, Naval War College, 2008
- M.A. Business Administration, Embry-Riddle University, 1998
- B.A. History, University of Illinois, 1988
Joe’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards); Bronze Star Medal (three awards); Meritorious Service Medal (four awards); Army Commendation Medal with “Valor” device; Army Commendation Medal (five awards); and the Army Achievement Medal (ten awards). He earned the Combat Action Badge and the Airborne Badge; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for Afghanistan; Iraq Campaign Medal; and Korean Defense Service Medal.