Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman
Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Lieutenant General Osterman is a native of Edgewater, Maryland. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant of Marines through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned a BA in Biology.
Upon completion of The Basic School and the Infantry Officers Course in 1982/83, Lieutenant Osterman served as a rifle platoon commander and 81mm mortar platoon commander with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines.
He subsequently served on sea duty as the Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Kennedy (CV-67) from 1985-1986 and as Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Forrestal (CV-59) from 1986-1988.
Returning to Quantico, he was assigned as an instructor at The Basic School and then at the Infantry Officers Course from 1988-1991. He attended the Amphibious Warfare School as a student from 1991-1992.
Captain Osterman was then transferred to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines where he served as C Company Commander and Battalion Operations Officer until 1995. During this tour he participated in Operations RESTORE HOPE and CONTINUE HOPE in Somalia and Operation SEA SIGNAL in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as part of humanitarian relief operations.
Transferring to the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island as a student, Major Osterman graduated in 1996. He was subsequently assigned to 1st Marine Corps Recruiting District, where he served as the Commanding Officer of Recruiting Station Albany, New York from 1996-1999. Following this tour, he was assigned as a student at the Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 2000.
Lieutenant Colonel Osterman assumed command of 1st Battalion, 3d Marines in June 2000. The battalion deployed to Okinawa and participated in operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. He relinquished command in 2002.
This was followed by his assignment to a joint tour as an instructor and as the Chief of Staff, NATO School, Oberammergau, Germany where he was responsible for training support to over 54 nations.
Colonel Osterman assumed command of 25th Marine Regiment in 2004. He deployed to Iraq with most of his Regimental staff from April 2005 to March 2006 as advisors to the Iraqi Army in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Upon relinquishing command in June 2006, Colonel Osterman transferred to Quantico, Virginia and assumed duties as the Director of the Expeditionary Warfare School. Following this, he was assigned as the Assistant Division Commander, 2d Marine Division in July 2008. He assumed duties as the Assistant Division Commander, 1st Marine Division in July 2009 and deployed to Afghanistan as Commanding General, 1st Marine Division (Forward) from March 2010 to March 2011.
Upon relinquishing command in June 2011, Brigadier General Osterman was transferred to Quantico, Virginia where he was assigned as the Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. Upon completion of this tour in December 2012, he then reported to ISAF Joint Command in Afghanistan, where he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Joint Operations until March 2014. Upon completion of this tour, he then reported to Marine Corps Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, NC, where he served as the Commander, Marine Corps Special Operations Command until July 2016. He was assigned as the Deputy Commander, United States Special Operations Command until July 2018. He is currently assigned as the Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
Lieutenant General Osterman's decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal with gold star, Legion of Merit with gold star, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star. He is a recipient of the Navy League's John A. Lejeune leadership award.