During his 33 years of service, Brigadier General Isaac (Ike) Osborne, Jr. has been a vital part of the evolution of the National Guard from a Strategic Reserve to an Operational Force. He is currently the Director of the Joint Staff, Tennessee National Guard at a time when the Guard is being used for more missions than any other time in the history of this nation. He has served in numerous Active Duty and Tennessee National Guard assignments and positions of responsibility since his graduation and commission as a Second Lieutenant through the ETSU Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Brig. Gen. Osborne entered the Army in 1974, and served the majority of his time on active duty at Fort Hood, TX. Upon his discharge from Active Duty in 1978, he entered the Tennessee Army National Guard in Johnson City. During his time as a traditional Guardsman, he was employed by Central Transport in Kingsport. In 1982, Brig. Gen. Osborne became a full-time National Guard employee as a Training Officer, and then served until 1989 as the 176th Maintenance Battalion Operations Officer in Johnson City. In 1989 Brig. Gen. Osborne transferred to the National Guard Headquarters in Nashville. He has served in numerous Command and Staff roles within the Tennessee National Guard to include Maintenance Officer, Deputy Director of the Logistics Division, Assistant Chief of Staff Logistics and Maintenance, Commander of the Support Squadron of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Knoxville, and Chief of the Joint Staff, Tennessee National Guard.
Brig. Gen. Osborne's first introduction to the military was through a mandatory Military Science class at ETSU in 1970. He recalls that ROTC was a required course at that time, and otherwise he might not have entered the military. Military service at that time was not popular, and throughout his career he has witnessed a change in professionalism, commitment, and the public perception of America's Armed Forces.
"I am so grateful this opportunity was introduced to me, and I made the decision to continue in ROTC and Army service," Brig. Gen. Osborne said. "I have been so fortunate to have the opportunity to serve this country, and the ETSU Military Science Department provided me the foundation for this service."Brig. Gen. Osborne has received numerous awards throughout his career which include two Meritorious Service medals and three Army Commendation medals. A native of Blountville, Tenn., he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology from ETSU. He continued his education at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, earning a Master of Science degree in Industrial Education in 1989. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pa., where he earned a Master of Strategic Studies degree. He is a graduate of Sullivan Central High School in Blountville.Brig. Gen. Osborne and his wife, Ilse, make their home in Murfreesboro and have two daughters, Gina of Kingsport and Tiffany of Murfreesboro.