Colonel Clifton "CJ" Lopez

Commander, HQ, U.S. Army Garrison, JRTC and Fort Johnson

COL Clifton “CJ” Lopez began his Army career after joining the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Ragin Cajuns, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2000.

Upon graduation, COL Lopez was commissioned into the Military Intelligence Corps.  His initial assignment was with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where he served as the Battalion Intelligence Officer, and then later with the 125th Military Intelligence Battalion, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where he served as the CI/HUMINT Operations Officer with Foxtrot Company, a Platoon Leader within Charlie Company, and as the Battalion’s Assistant Operations Officer.

Following selection and training with Special Forces, COL Lopez was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as the Assistant Operations Officer and then as the Commander of Operational Detachment-Alpha 053, and now 0223. Following his assignment with the 2nd Battalion, COL Lopez served as the Commander for Headquarters and Headquarters Company and as the Assistant Operations Officer for the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

In 2012, COL Lopez graduated with a master’s in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.  He was selected back to the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), where he commanded Alpha Company and later became the Executive Officer for the 3rd Battalion.  His next assignment was to Tampa, Florida as a U.S. Special Operations Command strategist in the Commander’s Action Group and later as the chief strategist for a global campaign plan.  

COL Lopez was then selected to command the 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), in Clarksville, Tennessee. Upon completion of the command, COL Lopez was assigned to the Army’s Combat Training Centers for a second command as the Special Operations Training Detachment Commander.

His most recent assignment was to the U.S. Air Force’s Air War College in Montgomery, AL, where he graduated with a master’s in strategic studies.

COL Lopez’s operational deployments include Operation Joint Forge, Bosnia-Herzegovina; multiple iterations to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq; Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan; and Operation Inherent Resolve, Syria.

COL Lopez is married to the former Mary Clare Thompson of Sylvan Lake, Michigan. They have one son, Kal, 18 years old, and one daughter, Falon, 14.