Major General Kurt L. SonntagUnited States European Command CJTF-HOA Commanding General Biography
Maj. Gen. Kurt L. Sonntag is the Commanding General of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. He oversees the command's efforts in countering violent extremism in East Africa, fostering regional security cooperation, strengthening partner nation defense capability, and building and maintaining U.S. strategic access in the region.
Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Commanding General of Special Operations Command South at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla.
Maj. Gen. Sonntag is a native of California and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He began his military career as an infantry officer in 1986. While in the infantry, he served as a Bradley platoon leader, scout platoon leader and as an assistant operations officer with the 4th Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Armored Division.
After attending the Infantry Officer’s Advance Course and the Special Forces Qualification Course in 1991, he served as a detachment commander, battalion logistics officer, support company commander, and company commander in 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Ky. In 1997, he served as a company and battalion observer/controller with the Special Operations Training Detachment at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La.
He later returned to the 5th SFG (A) to command another company, serve as a battalion’s executive officer during Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan, and as the 5th SFG (A) executive officer. Maj. Gen. Sonntag also served as the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-West & Arabian Peninsula’s Chief of Staff during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After commanding 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group he then served as the operations officer for the U.S. Army Special Forces Command. In 2009, he deployed to Pakistan to serve as the Special Operations Command Central (Forward)-Pakistan commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom returning to Ft Bragg to serve as the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command in 2011. He has also commanded an Inter-Agency Advisory Detachment and served as the Deputy Commanding General of USASOC.
Maj. Gen. Sonntag holds a Master of Arts in Military History from Louisiana State University, and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy Studies from the Naval War College. He is also a Harvard Kennedy School National Security Fellow.
(Current as of April 2016)