University of Tennessee

Haslam Alum To Join Joint Chiefs of Staff

July 26, 2016

Joseph LengyelKNOXVILLE—Joseph Lengyel, an Air Force general and graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was confirmed by the Senate for promotion to the rank of four-star general June 30. He will be promoted to the new rank and will become chief of the National Guard Bureau in a ceremony later this summer.

Upon assuming the new role, Lengyel will lead 453,000 soldiers and airmen serving in the United States Army National Guard and U.S. Air National Guard. As chief, he also will be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He currently serves as vice chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Lengyel enrolled in the Aerospace and Defense Master of Business Administration program in UT’s Haslam College of Business while serving as vice commander of First Air Force, headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. In the middle of the program, he was reassigned to become a defense attache to Egypt and relocated to Cairo. Lengyel completed his aerospace and defense MBA in 2011.

“We’re very proud of what Gen. Lengyel and all our alums are doing all over the world,” said Andy White, director of UT’s Aerospace and Defense Business Institute. “Our program attracts top leaders because they can attend from almost anywhere. The quality of instruction and tailored curriculum attract a lot of great leaders.”

According to Jim Wansley, director of the Aerospace and Defense MBA program, the class met in Knoxville during six one-week residence periods and included top leaders from Delta Air Lines and Lockheed Martin as well as the managers of key defense acquisition programs.

“Gen. Lengyel stood out during his time in our ADMBA program,” Wansley said. “He was clearly one of the leaders of the class, and although a general officer during our program, worked well in the team environment.”

Lengyel has more than 3,000 flying hours as an F-16 pilot and earned his bachelor’s degree and an Air Force commission at the University of North Texas. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force’s Air War College and the Harvard Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security.


Gerhard Schneibel (865-975-2894,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,