January 25, 2019 Architecture Alumnus Named to Governor’s Cabinet

Headshot of Major General Jeffrey Holmes

Major General Jeffrey H. Holmes, a 1985 graduate of the College of Architecture and Design, has been named a cabinet member by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

Maj. Gen. Holmes was named Commissioner/The Adjutant General of Tennessee’s Department of Military, a department of the executive branch of government that maintains a responsive military and civilian state and national emergency response force.  The appointment was announced by Gov. Lee’s transition team in late December.

In his role as Commissioner/The Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Holmes will be responsible for the supervision of the Military Department, which includes the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee State Guard and the Volunteer Challenge Academy.

After earning a Bachelor of Architecture at UT, Maj. Gen. Holmes, AIA, earned a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.  He is an architect at J. Holmes Architecture and past president and principal of Hart Freeland Robert/HFR Design, one of the oldest architecture firms in the state.  He received the Samuel Morgan Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tennessee AIA in 2017 and numerous design awards over his 34-year architecture career.

Maj. Gen. Holmes currently serves as Deputy Adjutant General, Tennessee National Guard, and Assistant for Reserve Affairs, U.S. Army Chief of Engineers in Washington, D.C.  In these roles, he provides recommendations regarding mobilization in support of national emergencies and homeland security and for the rapid activation of engineer units in support of wartime mobilization missions.

Previously, he served as the Assistant Adjutant General-Army (Traditional) and commander of the 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard.

Maj. Gen. Holmes enlisted as an Armor Crewman in 1979, and while still a student at UT, he was commissioned Field Artillery from Tennessee Military Academy Officer Candidate School.  Maj. Gen. Holmes commanded the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment during its deployment to Iraq in 2010 and served as the Commander of 3rd Squadron, 278th ACR in Operation Iraqi Freedom III in 2004-2005.

Maj. Gen. Holmes has earned numerous military honors, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Action Badge among many others.

Founded in 1965, the UT College of Architecture and Design enriches quality of life in the region and world through transformational design education, the Governor’s Chair for Energy + Urbanism, design/build program, key partnerships and award-winning facilities including the state-of-the-art Fab Lab.  The college is comprised of more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students in architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture.  Visit to learn more.