Judd Lyons entered Missouri Military Academy in 1978 for a two-year stay that changed the course of his life. At MMA Judd lettered in varsity wrestling and played Echo Company football. He earned the academic fourragère for high academic achievement and the Military Wreath and Star signifying the top ten percent of military science students. After a 37-year career in the Army, Judd pivoted slightly in civilian life, joining the Department of Defense where he now serves as deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve integration. For his accomplishments, he is inducted into the 2022 MMA Hall of Fame for Distinguished Military Service.
After graduating from MMA in 1980, Judd enlisted in the Nebraska Army National Guard as a private first class. He earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Bellevue College and made the Army National Guard his career. After earning a commission as a second lieutenant in the National Guard’s Officer Candidate School, he moved up the ranks to colonel before his deployment to Afghanistan in November 2006 as a commander responsible for more than 300 soldiers, sailors, airmen, coalition partners and civilian contractors. His service included developing joint operations and a common operating picture between the 209th Afghan Army Corps and the Afghan National Police throughout the nine provinces of northern Afghanistan.
Returning to Lincoln, Judd served as chief of staff for the Nebraska Army National Guard and rose in rank to major general as adjutant general and director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. He moved to the Pentagon in 2013, where he served as deputy director and then acting director of the Army National Guard. In 2015, the Department of Defense Joint Staff detailed Judd to the Department of State for a two-year assignment as deputy and senior military adviser to the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He later earned a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is a graduate of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies Senior Executive Seminar, the Senior Executives in National and International Security Course at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the Army Strategic Leadership Development Program and the Defense Department’s Vanguard Senior Executive Development Program.
He retired from the Army in 2017 as a Major General. For nearly five years Judd has worked for the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. In his current role as deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve integration, he is the principal adviser to the assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, responsible for both the integration of reserve affairs across the Defense Department and strategic engagement on all reserve component matters. It is our honor to recognize his accomplishments with his induction into the MMA Hall of Fame.