By Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (June 5, 2024) — Col. Joseph Goetz, U.S. Army Engineer School commandant, was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony May 30 in Lincoln Hall Auditorium.

The presiding officer for the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Christopher Beck, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, called Goetz’s promotion a “well-deserved recognition of his potential and his leadership.”

“We’re here to celebrate the promotion of one of our great engineer officers and a superb Army leader,” Beck said. “This promotion is not a prize; it’s not a reward, and it’s not a thank you. Generals are not promoted for what they’ve already accomplished, but rather for what our nation needs them to do in the future. It’s about potential, the ability to serve and the ability to solve our nation’s most-difficult challenges.”

Beck said Goetz was one of 4,277 Army officers commissioned in 1997, and he noted just 17 of those officers have been nominated for brigadier general.

“That’s .003% to this point,” Beck said. “That’s an incredible, incredible accomplishment.”

But no one accomplishes anything of that magnitude in this world alone, Beck added, and he thanked Goetz’s family, including his spouse, Beth, and his children Ben, Charlie and Addy, for their support.

“What an amazing testament this family is to the service of our great nation and our workforce — just a great example of an Army family, so thank you,” Beck said.

After Goetz’s family members pinned on his brigadier general rank, Beck administered the Oath of Office and the general officer flag, belt and pistol were presented.

Goetz, who hails from Rome, New York, thanked his family, friends and fellow service members in attendance, before speaking about a conversation he once had with his father, when he referred to himself as “a self-made man.”

“And he gave me one of those non-committal responses, like, ‘Oh, you think so?’ – indicating to me that he might not be fully on board with my way of thinking,” Goetz said, before noting the myriad of people throughout his personal and professional life, “who have, in fact, made me.”

“I am no self-made man, and I am better for it,” he said.

Goetz has degrees in civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the University of Missouri-Rolla (now called the Missouri University of Science and Technology, in Rolla, Missouri) and the University of Texas at Austin, and is a graduate of the Army War College.

His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Ranger Tab, Sapper Tab and Senior Parachutist wings.

More photos from the promotion ceremony are available to view and download on the Fort Leonard Wood Flickr page at

During a May 30 promotion ceremony in Lincoln Hall Auditorium, Col. Joseph Goetz, U.S. Army Engineer School commandant, has his brigadier general rank pinned on by his spouse, Beth, and daughter, Addy, as his sons, Ben and Charlie, look on. (Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)












About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.