Major General Padilla was born in April 1959 in Torrejon, Spain, to a career Air Force officer. He is a 1982 graduate of East Carolina University and was commissioned in 1983.
Major General Padilla’s assignments in the operating forces include Platoon Commander, Company Commander and Battalion Adjutant, 3d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; Rifle and Weapons Company Commander, 3d Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment; Inspector-Instructor, Weapons Company, 2d Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment; G-3 Operations Officer, 1st Marine Division; Commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines and Commanding General, 3d Marine Division.
Other assignments include Command Adjutant, Marine Aircraft Group-42, Detachment A, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing; Commanding Officer, Marine Detachment, USS CANOPUS (AS-34); Commanding Officer, School of Infantry-West; and Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. His joint assignments include Plans Officer, J3/5 and Secretary of the Joint Staff, Joint Task Force Six; and Branch Chief for the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (J8) on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon. Major General Padilla’s first General Officer assignment was as the Commanding General Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Eastern Recruiting Region, Parris Island, South Carolina.
Major General Padilla was promoted to his present rank in July 2013 and before coming to NDU as 15th President was the Director of Operations with Plans, Policies and Operations, Headquarters Marine Corps.
Major General Padilla is a graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, Air Command and Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College and Naval War College. He has a B.A. in Geography and an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies.
His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit (with Combat V and two gold stars), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with gold star), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with gold star), and the Combat Action Ribbon (with gold star).