DES MOINES – Governor Kim Reynolds has selected Maj. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell as the new Adjutant General for the Iowa National Guard. Corell recently returned from a deployment to Kuwait where he commanded the 34th Infantry Division “Red Bulls” in support of Operation Spartan Shield. This was Corell’s sixth deployment overseas since September 2000.
“While we can’t know what the future holds, we do know it will require an Iowa National Guard always ready to answer the call – always ready to defend the homeland,” Reynolds said. “Maj. Gen. Corell brings a wealth of command experience, a lifetime commitment to the Guard, and the highest level of integrity to this critical role.
Corell replaces Interim Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Stephen Osborn, who will continue serving the Iowa National Guard as Deputy Adjutant General.
“I want to thank Gen. Osborn for stepping up and stepping into this very important role,” Reynolds continued. “Your past, present, and future service to Iowa in National Guard leadership is greatly appreciated.”
Corell was born in Manchester, Iowa and raised in Strawberry Point, Iowa. He enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard in January 1986 and received his officer’s commission from the Iowa Military Academy’s Officer Candidate School in March 1989.
He has commanded at every level of the Iowa National Guard. Most recently, Corell commanded the 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division from September 2017 to August 2019 including a nearly yearlong deployment to Kuwait. Previously, he served as the deputy commanding general-maneuver for the division, and from June 2016 to September 2017, Corell served on active duty as the deputy commander, NATO Multinational Division Southeast, in Bucharest, Romania.
Corell also commanded the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa Army National Guard, from June 2010 to June 2012 during which time he deployed the brigade to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). This was the Iowa National Guard’s single largest deployment since World War II.
From February 2004 until February 2008, Corell served as the commander of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Iowa Army National Guard, based in Waterloo, Iowa. The battalion deployed to al Asad Air Base, Iraq from approximately August 2005 until July 2007 in what became the Iowa National Guard’s longest deployment since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The battalion was extended in theater for an additional four months as part of the Iraqi surge campaign that began in January 2007.
Corell earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa and received a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
His military schools include the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Northern Warfare Winter Course, Combined Arms Staff and Services School, Iraq and Afghanistan Counter Insurgency Courses, Command and General Staff College, Combat Lifesaver Course, the U.S. Army War College, Joint Task Force Commanders Course, and the Dual Status Commander’s Course.
Corell’s many military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with two service stars), Iraq Campaign Medal (with two service stars), NATO Medal (ISAF), Multinational Force and Observers Medal among many others.