National Defense University

Educating, Developing and Inspiring National Security Leaders

Major General Ricky L. Wadell, Ph.D., USA Reserves

Director, CAPSTONE

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Major General Rick L. Waddell, Ph.D., US Army Reserve, Senior Director, CAPSTONE.

Major General Rick L. Waddell, Ph.D., US Army Reserve, Senior Director, CAPSTONE. (Photo by Southcom.mil)


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Major General Ricky L. Waddell is the Deputy Commander for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters United States Southern Command, Miami, Florida. In this capacity General Waddell serves as principal advisor to the Combatant Commander on issues that maximize the effectiveness of Reserve Components integration into the Theater Campaign Plan. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree and is an Engineer Officer. He holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts in History and Portuguese from Oxford University, Master of Arts in Public Administration from Webster University, and a Master of Arts, Master of Philosophy, and PhD in International Relations from Columbia University.

He served in engineering units and staff positions throughout his Active Duty career, both in the United States and Latin America (12 years). His assignments included the 15th Engineering Battalion, 9th Infantry Division where he served as a Platoon Leader and Battalion Maintenance Officer; Joint Task Force Bravo at Palmerola Air Base where he served as the JTF Engineer; C Company, 35th Engineer Battalion, where he served as the Commander; Instructor at the United States Military Academy in the Department of Social Sciences; and as Director for European Security Affairs on the National Security Council.

Throughout his Army Reserve career, he has served in key staff positions in the United States, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Force-Korea. His assignments include Special Assistant at the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army; Energy Sector Strategic Analyst at United States Central Command; Special Advisor to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Tikrit, Iraq; Joint Strategic Planner for Headquarters Multinational Force-Iraq; Director of Oil, J9, United States Forces-Iraq; and J4 (wartime), U.S. Force-Korea.

Prior to his current assignment, he commanded the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force – Shafafiyat, North Atlantic Treaty Organization International Security Assistance in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In his civilian career, MG Waddell spent 17 years working in South America, mostly in the energy and mining industries, living 12 of those years in Sao Paulo, Brazil.