Brig. Gen. Joel L. “Joker” Carey is the Director of Operations, Strategic Deterrence, and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Brig. Gen. Carey oversees a directorate staff and the 603rd Air Operations Center providing integrated air and missile defense, aeromedical evacuation, space and cyberspace operations, aerial refueling, weather, combat aerial delivery, operational support airlift and distinguished visitor airlift, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and precision strike in the European and African Commands.
Brig. Gen. Carey was commissioned as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC at Baylor University in 1992. He has served in numerous positions at the squadron, group, wing, numbered air force, major command and Joint Chiefs of Staff levels. His assignments have included command of an operational fighter squadron, vice commander of two air expeditionary wings and commander of three wings, including a flying training wing, air expeditionary wing and large combat wing. He has deployed in support of operations Deliberate Force, Provide Comfort, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Freedom Sentinel and U.S. Air Forces Central Command’s Theater Security Package. Prior to his current position, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Headquarters Allied Air Command, Ramstein AB, Germany.
The general is a command pilot with more than 3,200 hours in the F-15C/D, A-29, F-111, EF-111, MC-12W, C-208 and T-38C aircraft, including more than 600 combat hours.
1992 Bachelor of Arts, Economics, Baylor University, Waco, Texas
1998 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2006 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Master of Strategic Studies, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2017 Air Force Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
1. May 1993–July 1994, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
2. July 1994–May 1998, Student, F-111 Formal Training Unit; Student, EF-111 Transition Course; later, Flight Lead and Assistant Chief of Plans, 429th Electronic Combat Squadron, 27th Fighter Wing, Cannon AFB, N.M.
3. May 1998–December 1998, Student, F-15C Formal Training Unit, 1st Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
4. December 1998–December 2001, F-15C Mission Commander and Chief of Safety, 12th Fighter Squadron; later, Flight Commander, 44th Fighter Squadron, 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan
5. January 2002–July 2005, F-15C Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner and Assistant Director of Operations, 1st Fighter Squadron; Chief, Standardization and Evaluation, 325th Operations Group, 325th FW, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
6. July 2005–June 2006, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
7. July 2006–June 2009, Chief of Policy, Third Air Force; later Chief, Commander’s Action Group and Executive Officer to Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany
8. July 2009–June 2012, F-15C Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner and Chief, Plans and Programs, 18th Wing; later, Director of Operations, then Commander, 44th FS, 18th Wing, Kadena AB, Japan
9. July 2012–July 2013, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. July 2013–December 2013, Vice Commander, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
11. February 2014–July 2014, Vice Commander, 438th AEW, Kabul, Afghanistan
12. July 2014–June 2016, Chief, Force Application Division, Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate (J8), Joint Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
13. June 2016–May 2018, Commander, 12th Flying Training Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas
14. June 2018–June 2019, Commanding General, Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air and Commander, 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, Kabul, Afghanistan
15. July 2019–July 2021, Commander, 18th Wing, Kadena AB, Japan
16. August 2021–June 2022, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Headquarters Allied Air Command, Ramstein AB, Germany
17.June 2022-present, Director of Operations, Strategic Deterrence, and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, Ramstein AB, Germany
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 3,200
Aircraft flown: F-15C/D, A-29, F-111, EF-111, MC-12W, C-208 and T-38C
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with combat device and oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with silver and oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 16, 1992
First Lieutenant Nov. 8, 1994
Captain Nov. 8, 1996
Major May 1, 2003
Lieutenant Colonel May 1, 2008
Colonel Oct. 1, 2013
Brigadier General Oct. 2, 2018
(Current as of June 2022)