In 2011, First Army relocated its headquarters from Fort Gillem, GA to the Rock Island Arsenal.  Join us on Monday, August 20 as Lieutenant General J. Michael Bednarek, Commanding General, First Army, explains more on "who" the First Army is and "what" they do for the Department of the Army.  

Lieutenant General Mick Bednarek assumed command of First Army, April 6, 2011.

Lieutenant General Mick Bednarek was born in London, England. He graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and later completed a Masters Degree in Personnel Management. Lieutenant General Bednarek's military education includes Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Underwater Operations (SCUBA) Course, Military Free Fall Course, the Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.


Lieutenant General Bednarek has served in a variety of command and staff positions in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific. Upon completion of the Infantry Advanced Course in 1981, he was assigned as the Infantry Branch Representative for the Army Military Personnel Center at Fort Benning, Ga. He served as the Branch Representative until 1983 when he was reassigned to 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Ga. There he served as Battalion S1, Company Cdr, and Battalion S3, 1st Ranger Battalion through 1987.

Upon completion of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in June 1988, Lieutenant General Bednarek was reassigned to Vicenza, Italy, for duty with the 3rd Battalion, 325th Airborne Combat Team.

He served as the Battalion S3 and Deputy Commander until January 1991. In February1991, he was reassigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment as the Regimental S3 and served in that position until November 1992. In June 1993, Lieutenant General Bednarek was reassigned to Fort Lewis, and served successive assignments as the Deputy Commander, 9th Infantry Regiment, Commander, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, and Commander, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment (DEUCE FOUR).

From June 1996 to July 1998, Lieutenant General Bednarek assumed command of 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He commanded the 4th Training Brigade, Fort Jackson, S.C., from August 1999 through July 2001, then as the Chief, Joint Training Group, Joint Warfighting Center, United States Joint Forces Command. In November 2003, Lieutenant General Bednarek was assigned to Fort Polk, La., as Commander, Operations Group, Joint Readiness Training Center. In March of 2005, Lieutenant General Bednarek was assigned as the Deputy Commanding General (Operations), 25th Infantry Division, Hawaii, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08, Iraq. Upon return from OIF, Lieutenant General Bednarek commanded the 25th Infantry Division, and in June 2008 he assumed command of First Army Division East prior to taking command of First Army in April 2011.

Lieutenant General Bednarek's awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (5OLC), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5OLC), Army Commendation Medal (2OLC), the Army Achievement Medal, the Valorous Unit Award, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and the Army Superior Unit Award. He has also earned the Combat Action Badge, the Expert Infantryman's Badge, the Master Parachutists Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the Freefall Badge, the Scuba Diver Badge, and the Ranger Tab.

Lieutenant General Bednarek is married to the former Holly Meyer and they have four children.