Maj. Gen. Holmes has 40 year of service in the military. He received his commission from Officer Candidate School after beginning his military career as an armor crewman at Fort Knox, KY in 1979. He spent his formative years in armor and cavalry units and also attained training in the field artillery, military police, and engineer branches.
His military education includes the Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Staff and Services School, Command and General Staff College, Dual Status Commander Qualification Program, the United States Army War College and the Senior Executives in National and International Security course, Harvard Kennedy School. He holds a Masters in Strategic Studies from the Army War College and a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Tennessee.
Maj. Gen. Holmes commanded armor and armored cavalry units at the company, battalion, and brigade levels. He served as an armored cavalry squadron commander in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and again as the Regimental Commander in Iraq in 2010 with the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Duty with warfighting units include: 1st Infantry Division; 42nd Infantry Division, and the 3rd Infantry Division. He has also commanded the 194th Engineer Brigade in West Tennessee.
Maj. Gen. Holmes national level positions include serving as the Deputy Chief of Engineers in the Pentagon and Deputy Commanding General for First Army, Army level command with the responsibility for assisting the Commanding General with the training, readiness, and mobilization of all Army National Guard and Army Reserve units across the United States and two U.S. territories.
His most recent Tennessee assignment was serving as the Deputy Adjutant General, Tennessee National Guard. His joint experience includes assisting with the development of the Joint Battle Staff at Joint Forces Headquarters, Tennessee National Guard and planning the 2015 Tennessee Maneuvers domestic operations exercise, the state’s largest training exercise since World War II involving over 550 state, federal, and volunteer agencies in 25 counties.
Maj. Gen. Holmes experience in Military Support for Civilian Authorities during State and National declarations of emergencies include commanding deployed Tennessee National Guard forces in support of relief efforts from Hurricane Gustav in 2008 along the Gulf coast and coordinating federal military forces in response to Hurricane Sandy in the North Eastern U.S. in 2012.
Maj. Gen. Holmes is a registered architect licensed in Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He serves on numerous boards and advisory groups in Tennessee. He is a founding board member of Leadership Middle Tennessee, a regional leadership program.
His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), Combat Action Badge, Iraq Campaign Medal (with 2 Bronze Service Stars), along with numerous other federal and state awards.