Major General Arnold Fields retired from the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) January, 2004 after over 34 years of active military service. At the time of his retirement, he was serving as the Deputy Commander of USMC Forces in Europe supporting U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. While in this capacity, he also served as the principal USMC representative to the Republic of Georgia in support of a U.S. government program to train and equip Georgia’s security forces. Previous assignments included Director of the USMC Headquarters Staff at the Pentagon; Commanding General of all USMC Bases in Hawaii; Commander, U.S. Central Command’s Forward Headquarters in the Middle East, with dual responsibilities as U.S. Central Command’s Inspector General; Commanding Officer of Camp Fuji Japan, which is a combat training facility used in partnership with the Government of Japan and the Japanese Defense Force; Commander, USMC Central Data Processing and Disbursing Support Activity, Kansas City, Missouri; and Commander of all Marine Embassy Security Guards providing security at all U.S. embassies and consulates in 17 North Africa and Middle East countries.
General Fields commanded a motorized infantry battalion and participated in combat operations during the 1991 Gulf War in support of peace and security in the Persian Gulf. He was selected to brigadier general in 1995 while serving at the Pentagon on the Joint Staff as Chief, Evaluation and Analysis Division of the Plans and Interoperability Directorate. In June 2008, The President of the United States appointed General Fields to create and head the office of Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a new congressionally mandated government oversight agency. While in this capacity, he provided oversight of all U.S. funds appropriated for Afghanistan’s reconstruction, which had risen to over $56 billion when he departed SIGAR in February, 2011. Leading an agency of top level auditors and criminal investigators, he published over 35 fully scoped audits, initiated over 90 criminal or civil investigations, and made over 90 recommendations to the U.S. Congress that would help improve the accountability of funds appropriated for Afghanistan’s reconstruction. His audit and investigation work uncovered over $180 million in waste, fraud, and abuse of U.S. appropriated funds and resulted in several arrests and prosecutions.
He is appointed to several boards including the Board of Visitors at Marine Corps University, the Board of Directors of two wounded warrior foundations, the FFA (Future Farmers of America) Foundation Board of Trustees, and the National Academy of Sciences Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment (BICE). General Fields is a Fellow of the congressionally charted National Academy of Public Administration. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Education from South Carolina State University and a Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University. General Fields is a graduate of the Army War College and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He attended several seminars at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, in dialogue with leaders of Post Soviet Russia and the newly independent Black Sea nations. He is a frequent speaker at national and international government and private sector business forums, including the Afghanistan-American Chamber of Commerce and Carnegie Mellon University in Australia, on national security, governance and development challenges. His personal military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal; Bronze Star Medal; and the Meritorious Service Medal. His civilian awards include the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award for his service with the State Department in Iraq and the South Carolina Order of the Palmetto, the State’s highest honor awarded by the governor.