Lieutenant Colonel Joe Owens is the deputy commander for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District. Owens was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduation from high school, he attended Georgetown College in Georgetown Kentucky. In 2005 he was commissioned through the ROTC program at the University of Kentucky. After completing the Officer Basic Course, Lieutenant Owens was assigned to Fort Campbell Kentucky where he served in 326th Engineer Battalion as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Assistant Battalion Operations Officer. During this time he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the surge of forces to that country.
Upon redeploying from OIF, Captain Owens attended the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning Georgia, and was then assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While at Fort Bragg, Captain Owens served as the Deputy Brigade Engineer for 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division and then as the Commander of A Company, 3rd STB, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division. While in company command, Captain Owens deployed a company of over 100 enablers from the special troops battalion as part of an infantry battalion task force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This was a no-notice activation of the global response force and included combat operations deep in Taliban support zones throughout eastern Afghanistan. Upon return from Operation Enduring Freedom, Captain Owens assumed command of B Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps. Following company command, Captain Owens was assigned to 95th Civil Affairs Brigade to serve as their Brigade Engineer. Ultimately, Captain Owens served as the Brigade Chief of Operations and later Brigade Plans officer as a promotable Captain.
Following his assignment with 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, Captain Owens attended the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was promoted to Major. After graduation, Major Owens returned to Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) where he immediately deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and was an integral part of planning and executing the campaign to retake Mosul from Isis in 2016. Upon return to Fort Campbell, Major Owens served as Executive Officer and Operations Officer for 326 BEB, 1 BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Following those assignments Major Owens served as the Executive Officer for 1 BCT, 101st Airborne Division. As the Battalion Operations Officer and Brigade Executive Officer, Major Owens was forward deployed to Operation Inherent Resolve-Iraq where the Brigade destroyed the last of the physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (4 awards), the Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Sapper Tab, Senior Parachutist Wings, the Pathfinder Torch, and Air Assault Wings. Major Owens holds a Master of Science in Engineering and Technology Management from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from the Air Command and Staff College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Georgetown College.