Meet Brigadier General Julia J. Cleckley, U.S. Army

Brigadier General Julia J. Cleckley, U.S. Army (Retired) is the first African American female to be promoted to Brigadier General in the Army National Guard. She was also the first African American woman to be promoted to the rank of Colonel in the Army National Guard’s Active Reserve (AGR) program and the first woman to be assigned as division chief at the National Guard Bureau.


Brigadier General Julia J. Cleckley began her military career in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). She resumed her military service by joining the New York Army National Guard in 2976. In April 2001, she became the first woman to be assigned as the Chief, Human Resources Officer (G-1) for Army National Guard, where she was responsible for providing personnel, manpower, health programs, policy guidance and resources to enable the 54 States and Territories to achieve optimum levels of personnel readiness. Brigadier General Julia J. Cleckley other assignments included January 1977 to May 1980, Race Relations/Equal Opportunity Training Officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Brigade, 42d Infantry Division, New York National Guard, New York, New, York; June 1980 to May 1983, Equal Opportunity Officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Brigade, 42d Infantry Division, New York Army National Guard, New York, New York; June 1983 to May 1985, Assistant Professor of Military Science, Headquarters, 1st Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Regiment, Fort Bragg, North Carolina w/duty at Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginia to name a few.


1976 Hunter College, BA Degree in Psychology and Education; 1985 Golden Gate University, MS Degree in Human Resources Management; 1989 Mobilization Readiness Course; 1990 Command and General Staff Course; 1993 Department of the Army Inspector General College; 1993 United States Army War College, Tufts University, MA – Fellowship.

Major Awards and Decorations:

Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal; Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal, and Army Service Ribbon.

In 2014, General Julia Cleckley published her autobiography titled A Promise Fulfilled, that tells the story of her story as a wife and mother while serving in the National Guard. She is currently President and CEO of Cleckley Enterprises, a speaking and consulting firm, and lives in Boynton Beach, Florida. As a








retired U.S. Army Officer, General Cleckley began her career as a Private rising to the rank of General Officer. General Cleckley joined the National Association of American Veterans, Inc. as a Senior Board Advisor 12 years ago to offer her experience in the areas of Human Resources (taking care of people through training and management in the organization), Leadership (showing responsibility and accountability as well as the act of guiding and motivating goals that are set), Mentoring, the key to insuring guidance and success; and showing Diversity that means focusing on empowering and inspiring our nation’s Servicemembers and Veterans to reach their goals. Her motto is “dream big, keep the faith and work hard!”

In November 2021, Brigadier General Julia J. Cleckley was featured in the Veterans Day Issue of the Valencia Lakes the ECHO as a new Veteran resident to the Valencia Lake Community in Florida. Shortly after Veterans Day the Valencia sponsored an event to further honor our nation’s Veterans with the installation of a new, grander flagpole, befitting these men and men, as well as their community.








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