Lt Col Joseph Timberlake


Lieutenant Colonel Joseph W. Timberlake is the Commander and Professor of Aerospace Studies for Air Force ROTC Detachment 190, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. As the Department Head he leads a five person cadre, responsible for training, mentoring, and commissioning cadets throughout the year.  Colonel Timberlake also serves as the Air Force liaison to the University of Illinois’ Military Education Council. The Flyin’ Illini Cadet Wing is one of the original six AFROTC Detachments in the United States, chartered in 1949.

Lt Col Timberlake earned his commission in 2000 from Officer Training School.  He has served in a variety of acquisition, staff, and joint operational assignments. His acquisition programmatic experience includes Space Base Infrared Systems (SBIRS) Low, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System follow-on radar, F-35 Lightning II, non-lethal weapon research, and SBIRS Space Vehicle 7&8. He also led the Training, Readiness, and Exercises Division within Joint Task Force Civil Support; a 2-star headquarters under US Northern Command. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Deputy Division Chief for Environmental Systems within the Remote Sensors Systems Program Office, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base (AFB), California.



    • 1999 – Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe
    • 2001  Aerospace Basic Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
    • 2006 – Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
    • 2010  Master of Engineering degree in Systems Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe
    • 2012  Air Command and Staff College – Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I, Maxwell AFB, Ala by correspondence
    • 2014  Joint and Combined Warfighting School – JPME Phase II, Norfolk Naval Air Station, Va.
    • Ongoing Acquisition Professional Development Program:  Program System Engineering III, Science & Technology III, Program Management I, Test & Evaluation I
    • November 2000 – September 2003, Project Manager, Space Tracking and Surveillance System, SMC/MT, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
    • September 2003 – June 2006, F-35 Chief Engineer, Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), El Segundo, Calif (November 2004 – May 2005, Contract Officer Representative, DCMA, Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan)
    • June 2006 –July 2010, Student Squadron Commander, Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
    • July 2010 –July 2013, Deputy Branch Chief, Radio Frequency Bioeffects, Air Force Research Laboratory, JBSA Fort Sam Houston, Texas
    • July 2013 – April 2017, Executive Officer & Division Chief, Training, Readiness, and Exercise, Joint Task Force Civil Support, JBLE Fort Eustis, Va.
    • April 2017 – August 2019, Deputy Division Chief of Environmental Systems, SMC/RSW, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
    • August 2019 – Present, Commander, AFROTC Detachment 190, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Major Awards and Decorations

Effective Dates of Promotion

    • Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak    leaf cluster
    • Meritorious Service Medal
    • Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak    leaf cluster
    • Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
    • Joint Service Achievement Medal
    • Second Lieutenant November 18, 2000
    • First Lieutenant November 18, 2002
    • Captain November 18, 2004
    • Major October 1, 2010
    • Lieutenant Colonel February 1, 2016