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jcleckley03Brigadier General (Ret.) Julia J. Cleckley began her military career after high school in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC).  In 1976, she was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Adjutant General’s Corps with the 42nd Infantry Division in New York City.  She went on to earn a BA degree in Psychology and Education from Hunter College in New York City and a MS degree in Human Resource Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA.   She continued her military service by joining the Active Army National Guard (AGR) while simultaneously establishing herself in the fields of public relations and education.  She was selected for the US Army War College in June 1992, where she received a Senior Service Fellowship to study at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, MA.

Brigadier General (Ret.) Cleckley served in numerous positions throughout her military career including Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Professor of Military Science at Hampton University, Hampton, VA and as the Army National Guard Advisor at Fort Eustis, VA.  In 1987, she was assigned to the National Guard Bureau, Military Personnel Management Branch and went on to manage over 44,000 federally recognized officer promotions for the Army National Guard.  She also served on the Department of the Army Staff at the Pentagon and as Chief of Inspections for the Army Inspector General.   Brigadier General (Ret.) Julia J. Cleckley served as the Special Assistant to the Director, Army National Guard from July 2002 thru September 2004.  As Special Assistant for Human Resource Readiness, she assisted the Director with human resources programs and policies that affected over 350,000 Army National Guard citizen Soldiers.

Throughout her 28 years of military service, BG Cleckley broke many military barriers and held several high-ranking positions.  She was the first minority woman, line officer, to rise to the rank of Brigadier General in the Army National Guard.  In addition, prior to becoming a One-Star General, she was the first African American woman to be promoted to the rank of Colonel in the Army National Guard’s Active Reserve (AGR) program.  BG Cleckley’s other pioneering achievements at the National Guard Bureau include being selected to serve as the first minority female Branch Chief; first woman to be assigned as a Division Chief; and the first woman and minority to serve on the Army National Guard Director’s special staff as Chief, Human Resources Officer (G1).

Brigadier General Cleckley’s numerous awards include:

  • Distinguished Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit
  • Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
  • Army Commendation Medal (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
  • Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • Army Service Ribbon

She is the recipient of several honors to include:

  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Roy Wilkins Renowned Service Award
  • Hunter College Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. President’s Spirit of America Award
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Military
  • Cambridge Who’s Who Honors Edition 2008


BG Cleckley is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and also a member of the Top Ladies of Distinction (TLOD).  She is a member of the Veterans Administration’s Homeless Veterans Committee and the Veteran’s Vocational Rehabilitation Committee, both advises the Secretary of Veterans Administration on all matters concerning veterans.  She is also a former member of the Defense Advisory Council on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) Committee and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), as well as the historic 7th Regiment, 42nd Infantry of New York.

She is President and CEO of Cleckley Enterprises, a speaking and consulting organization, and she is also an author. She resides in Boynton Beach, Florida.

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Photo Gallery

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Office Military Bio

Click here to view Brigadier General (Ret.) Julia J. Cleckley’s office military bio.

BG (Ret.) Cleckley’s thoughts took me from feelings of frustration and pain to unconditional happiness and laughter. She has the ability to speak in a manner that reaches your soul all the while sharpening your awareness.

MAJ Celine Combs

Equal Opportunity Advisor

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