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

image of Jeffrey H. Holmes
Major General Jeffrey H. Holmes

In December, Lee’s transition team announced that Holmes would serve as commissioner and adjutant general of Tennessee’s Department of Military.

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.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1985, Holmes went on to complete a master’s degree in strategic studies at the US Army War College.

Since then, he has earned numerous military honors and has completed several tours of Iraq.

Holmes currently serves as deputy adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard and assistant for reserve affairs for the US Army Chief of Engineers in Washington, DC.

His storied military accomplishments run alongside a 34-year career in architecture. He was president and principal of Hart Freeland Robert Design, one of the oldest architecture firms in Tennessee, before opening his own firm in 2012.

In 2017, Holmes received the Samuel Morgan Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects.

In his new cabinet position, Holmes will supervise Tennessee’s Military Department, which includes the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee State Guard, and the Volunteer Challenge Academy.

Visit to learn more about the College of Architecture and Design.


Brian Canever (865-974-0937,

Amanda F. Johnson (865-974-6401,