Major General Benedict last served as the Director, Strategy, Plans and Policy (J-5) U.S. Central Command. He has served as a Marine Corps Officer and Naval Aviator for more than thirty years.
Major General Benedict has commanded at the Marine Air Ground Task Force and Squadron levels. From 2013-2015 he commanded the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) during which time he led two overseas deployments: one while serving simultaneously as the Commanding Officer of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response (SPMAGTF-CR) during its first full rotation supporting the Africa and European Commands areas of responsibility; and the second with the MEU to the Africa, European, and Central Commands. From 2006 to 2008, Major General Benedict served as the Commanding Officer of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 367, including operations in Iraq. His staff appointments have spanned the operational, planning, policy, diplomatic, and acquisition arenas.
Previous General Officer assignments include service as the Director Politico-Military Affairs, Middle East, within the Joint Staff J-5, where he proposed strategies, plans, and policy recommendations on the Middle East to the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff to support his provision of military advice to the Secretary of Defense and President; within the Marine Corps Staff as the Director of Manpower Plans and Policy, where he was responsible for determining total manpower needs, and preparing plans, policies, programs and instructions on manpower matters; and as the Assistant Deputy Commandant for Aviation, where he provided support to assist and advise the Commandant of the Marine Corps on all matters relating to Marine Aviation.
Other senior staff assignments as a Colonel included: Military Secretary to the Commandant of the Marine Corps where he served as the Director of the Commandant's personal and extended staff group; Special Assistant to the Assistant Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff where he traveled as part of the Secretary of State's travel team; and Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research,
Acquisition, and Development, supporting the Department of the Navy's Acquisition Executive. Other assignments included: Chief of Policy and Assessment Branch, Joint Staff J-5, Joint Operational War Plans Division; Head, Future Operations Group, Current Operations Division, Plans, Policies and Operations, HQMC; Squadron Operations Officer for 22d MEU; Squadron Logistics and Operations Officer for HMLA-167; and Operations Officer and Air Officer for 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion.
Major General Benedict has served overseas in support of several combat, contingency, and support operations. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Naval War College, the Marine Corps War College, and the MIT Seminar XXI fellowship program.