Lieutenant General Willard M. Burleson III
Commanding General, Eighth Army
Chief of Staff, Combined Forces Command
Lieutenant General Willard “Bill” Burleson is currently assigned as the commanding general of Eighth Army at Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea. He most recently served as the U.S. Forces Korea Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations.
Lt. Gen. Burleson graduated from the United States Military Academy and was commissioned into the Infantry in May 1988. Lt. Gen. Burleson holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, and Master’s Degrees in Strategic Studies from the Army War College and in Military Art and Science from the Command and General Staff College.
Lt. Gen. Burleson’s first assignment was in the 7th Infantry Division (Light), Fort Ord, California, which included service in the Multi-National Force and Observers, Sinai, Egypt, and the invasion of Panama. He also served in 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Savannah, Georgia. He later commanded airborne companies in Vicenza, Italy, which included service as part of the initial entry force for operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. After competing duties in Italy, Lt. Gen. Burleson returned to the 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia and then served as the aide to the commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. Lt. Gen. Burleson later served in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina with deployments to Kosovo and Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Burleson later served as aide to the commander of XVIII Airborne Corps, with duty in the Combined Joint Task Force Afghanistan and Multi-National Corps Iraq. Following that tour of duty, LTG Burleson commanded 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, which included a tour with Multi-National Division, Baghdad, Iraq.
After attending the U.S. Army War College, he returned to the 10th Mountain Division and commanded 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, which included a deployment to Regional Command-North, Afghanistan. Upon completion of brigade command, he served as the commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center’s Operations Group at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Lt. Gen. Burleson later served as the Deputy Commanding General (Operations), 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and Director of the Mission Command Center of Excellence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and as senior advisor to the Ministry of Defense, Afghanistan. Before serving in the Republic of Korea, Lt. Gen. Burleson served as the commanding general of 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Lt. Gen. Burleson and his wife both come from Army families and they have a son and a daughter.