Ken Bowra was appointed as a senior Foreign Service Officer in the Department of State in February 2009 and was assigned until 15 October 2013 to the U.S. Embassy, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he served as the first Program Director of a Department of State Interagency Counter Terrorist Program, the Office of Program Management- Ministry of Interior (OPM-MOI).
He retired as a Major General in October 2003 after over thirty-three years of service in the United States Army. He is a graduate of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. He has commanded Special Forces units at all levels including serving as a Special Forces reconnaissance team leader in MACV-SOG during Vietnam service and as an advisor to Cambodian infantry and airborne units with the UITG/FANK Training
Program. He was later assigned to the American Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia during the period 1974 through Operation Eagle Pull, the evacuation of the American Embassy in April 1975.
Other special operations assignments include Commander, Company B, 2nd Battalion (Ranger), 75 th Infantry; Commander, 2 nd Battalion, 5 th Special Forces Group (Airborne); Commander, 5 th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and service with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He participated in the initial assault into Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury) in 1983 and other sensitive operations, to include operations in Somalia.
General officer assignments include Commanding General, Special Operations Command South, U.S. Southern Command; Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Special Operations Command; Commanding General, United States Army Special Forces Command; Commanding General, United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Deputy Commander, KFOR, NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR), where he served with 39 coalition partners, and conducted operations with Russian Tactical Groups and other nations, and oversaw Kosovo’s first ever municipal elections. He then served as Assistant Chief of Staff/ Operations Director, Allied Forces Northern Europe, where he led the establishment of NATO’s first out of Europe mission to Afghanistan.
He was inducted into the Special Forces Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member of the Regiment and was awarded the Order of Saint Maurice by the National Infantry Association and the Chief of Infantry. As an Eagle Scout and Scout leader, he has been active supporting Scouting in his assignments and was awarded the Distinguished Scouter Award and Order of the Silver Beaver. He serves as the president of the Virginia War Museum Foundation in Newport News, Virginia, and is a consultant for Excelitas Technologies, Inc.