Wildwood, NJ – This morning at a wreath laying ceremony honoring New Jersey’s veterans, Governor-elect Phil Murphy announced the appointment of Col. Jemal J. Beale to lead the New Jersey National Guard and the state’s Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs as Adjutant General. Col. Beale is the first minority to lead the New Jersey National Guard.

Col. Beale is a decorated combat veteran with more than 30 years of military service.  Before his appointment as the Adjutant General, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff (Logistics) for the Joint Force Headquarters, New Jersey National Guard, managing the organization’s logistical support mission. 

“New Jersey veterans have been asked to do a lot but too many feel they have been forgotten, lack jobs, struggle with mental health issues, and many are homeless. If we are to achieve a stronger and fairer New Jersey, it must begin by standing by those who have stood by us,” said Governor-elect Murphy. “Col. Beale brings decades of military experience and leadership to our administration, and will be a steadfast advocate for the needs of our veterans.”

“Our military service members and veterans have made many sacrifices to safeguard our state and nation,” said Col. Beale. “I am committed to the Soldiers and Airmen of the New Jersey National Guard and will ensure our veterans —of all military branches— and their families receive the care and attention they earned and deserve.

Col. Beale, 48, previously served as Director of Plans, Operation, Training and Safety for Joint Force Headquarters of the New Jersey National Guard at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and was the key advisor on matters related to training, operations, mobilization, force structure and readiness of more than 6,100 personnel. From 2012 until 2014, Beale was the Executive Officer of the 42nd Regional Support Group based in Somerset, NJ, responsible for mobilizing National Guard forces in support of domestic emergencies and overseas deployments. He was also the Commander of the New Jersey Army National Guard Recruiting Battalion from 2010 through 2012.

Col. Beale serves in the New Jersey National Guard and has served in the Army Reserves and Active Army. He has served in support of domestic missions and overseas operations in Afghanistan, Italy, Germany, and Albania. In 2008, Col. Beale commanded the Border Police Mentor Team in Afghanistan, where he advised and mentored the commanding general of the Afghan 4th Border Police, ARSIC West, Herat.

Col. Beale began his military service in 1987 as an enlisted Soldier assigned to the 50th Main Support Battalion in Sea Girt. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Combat Action Badge, Air Assault Badge, Humanitarian Service Medal, and Basic Recruiting Badge.

Col. Beale received his Master’s of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Kean University, Union, NJ.

A second generation Soldier, Col. Beale is the son of retired Chief Warrant Officer Two Howard W. Beale of Long Branch, NJ.

Col. Beale resides in Ocean Township, Monmouth County, and is a member of VFW Post 1333 in Asbury Park. He and his wife, Shawanda, have three children.

The Adjutant General

Colonel Jemal J. Beale


Colonel Jemal J. Beale was nominated to be the Adjutant General of New Jersey in January 2018. He is a decorated combat veteran with more than 30 years of military service. He was previously assigned as the Director of Logistics (G4-NJ) for the Joint Force Headquarters of the New Jersey National Guard.

COL Beale has served in the U.S. Army, N.J. National Guard, and the U.S. Army Reserves. He is second generation Army and New Jersey Army National Guard Soldier; son of Chief Warrant Officer 2 (Retired) Howard W. Beale. He is originally from Monmouth County, N.J. (Neptune and Long Branch) and currently resides in Ocean Township with his lovely wife, Shawanda; daughters Ariel & Victoria; and son Malcolm. In his free time, he is a youth football coach and assists his parents in the family real estate business.

He began his military career in February 1987 as an enlisted Soldier (63J – Chemical Quartermaster Repairer) with the 50th Main Support Battalion, in Sea Girt, N.J. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) in May of 1990 after completing the Early Commissioning Program (ECP) via the Seton Hall University, Reserve Officer Training (ROTC) Program. As a 2LT, he converted from Quartermaster Corps to the Ordnance Corps and is also currently qualified as a 90A-Logistician and 43A-Human Resource Officer.

Some of his awards include the Bronze Star (1), Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) (7), Army Commendation Medal (6), The Combat Action Badge (CAB), the Air Assault Badge, Basic Recruiting Badge, and several other awards, citations and decorations. He has served throughout the continental United States, Afghanistan, Albania, Germany, and Italy.

COL Beale is a graduate of the United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA (Class of 2017) where he was awarded a Master’s of Strategic Studies. He also has a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) from Kean University, Union, N.J. where he was inducted into the Pi Alpha-Alpha (Public Administration) national academic honor society.

He is a Life Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Life Member of the National Guard Association of the United States; Life Member of the National Guard Association of N.J., American Legion member, and a member of several other organizations.