Blackfoot native becomes first female two star general in Texas National Guard
CAMP MABRY, Texas — Brigadier General Joyce Stevens was promoted to the rank of Major General at the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Sept. 5. Stevens became the first female two star general in the Texas National Guard. The announcement was made by Adjutant General of Texas, Maj. Gen. John Nichols.
Assuming the dual roles of Commander for the Texas Army National Guard and Assistant Adjutant General in March 2009, Stevens serves as the principal advisor to The Adjutant General for all Army operations.
Raised in Blackfoot, Stevens graduated from Blackfoot High School. She began her military career in April 1979, entering the Idaho National Guard as a Private (E1) in Boise. She attended Officer Candidate School at the Idaho Military Academy, earning her commission. She moved to Texas soon after that and joined the Texas Army National Guard.
Stevens has held various command and staff positions within the 49th Armored Division, the 71st Troop Command, 536 Forward Support Battalion and the 111th Area Support Group. Most recently, she served as the Deputy Commanding General of the 36th Infantry Division (Light).
She deployed to combat as a Brigade level Task Force Commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2005, where her unit was responsible for Base Operations, which entailed the management and security of Bagram Air Field (the largest US Base in Afghanistan). Additionally, Stevens was responsible for security and reconstruction projects in the adjacent Kapisa, Parwan, and Panjshir Provinces of Afghanistan.
Stevens and her husband, Col. (Ret.) James Stryker, have been married for 20 years. Stevens is the daughter of Beatrice (Bea) Christiansen of Blackfoot and the late Kenneth Stevens. Her sister, Patricia Derbridge, lives in Boise.
"I'm proud of her, of course," said her mom, Bea Christiansen.
"She has gained a lot of knowledge through her schooling and service," she said. "It has helped make her who she is."
Stevens credits her mom for her success. "My mom set a great example and told me to 'always do more than you are asked to do, and
always, always, always do your best,'" she said.
Stevens’ most recent award includes being a recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Women in Texas Government by the Texas State Agency Council for her outstanding management.
The mission of the Texas Military Forces (TXMF) is to provide the Governor and the President with ready and trained forces in support of the citizens of Texas and State and Federal civil/military authorities at home and abroad.