Major General Cornell A Wilson was appointed by Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina on October 2015 to his cabinet as the Secretary for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Formerly the Governor’s Military Advisor since 2013, his responsibilities include protecting the state’s military installations, working with the military communities around the installations, helping military families and veterans get the support and services they need and helping connect veterans with jobs.
A graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Chemistry, he received his commission in the United States Marine Corps through the Navy ROTC program in 1972. He has a long and distinguished record of service to our country in both active and reserve duty assignments. He has commanded Combat Arms and Combat Service Support units from the Company, Battalion, Group and Brigade levels. His staff assignments included service in manpower, operations and logistics positions. Selected as a General Officer in 1999, he served as a Deputy Commanding General for Marine Forces Central Command and the Deputy J3 for Central Command in Tampa, Fl; Commanding General for 4th Logistics Service Support Group in New Orleans, La; Commanding General for II MACE, 2nd Brigade Commanding General and the Deputy Commanding General II MEF at Camp Lejeune, NC; Director, Manpower and Reserve Affairs at Headquarters Marine Corps in Quantico, Va.; Commanding General Marine Forces Europe and Africa in Stuttgart, Germany; Deputy Commanding General Marine Forces Command in Norfolk, Va and Commanding General Marine Forces Southern Command in Miami, Fl. In 2003, he commanded a Joint Task Force of Coalition Partners in combat in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom based in Kuwait.
His professional military education includes the Harvard University Program for Senior Executives for National and International Security, Marshall Center Senior Executive Seminar in Garmisch, Germany; NATO Defense College General and Flag Officer Course, Rome, Italy; National Defense University’s Capstone Course and the Logtech Executive Course.
He currently serves as a board member for the Toys4Tots Foundation. He also serves on the Veterans Administration Advisory Council for Minority Veterans and the Reserve Forces Policy Board.
He and his wife of 36 years have 3 adult children and one grandson.