John E. Cardwell (’84)

Category: Communities

Major General John E. Cardwell graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in June 1984 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in Armor. After the Armored Basic Course and Ranger School, his active-duty assignments included Germany, Fort Knox, and service with the 82nd Airborne Division during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

In 1994, Cardwell left active duty to join the US Army Reserve where he commanded two battalions and a brigade. He served as director of strategic plans, Emergency Planning Liaison Officer, and Chief of Staff for the 84th Training Command. He was promoted to Brigadier General and served as the Commanding General for the 9th Mission Support Command in Hawaii where he was awarded the Distinguish Service Medal, the Army’s highest peace time award. He followed this up with duty as the Deputy Commanding General for the 75th Training Command. He concluded his 37-year military career in 2021, as a Major General, where he served as the special assistant to the Commander of US Northern Command and NORAD at Peterson AF Base overseeing Joint Reserve operations in support of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A citizen soldier, Cardwell has worked as a financial planner and a community banker. He served on the City of Loudon Planning Commission and the Industrial Development board. He has also volunteered his time as a Boy Scout leader and coached football, girls’ softball, and middle school basketball.

Cardwell and his wife, Janet, live in Loudon, Tennessee.