Joseph Raffiani Jr., born 27 July 1939 in Patterson, New Jersey, graduated from Rutgers University in 1961 and was commissioned through ROTC. Detailed to Armor for two years, he served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, and battalion maintenance officer in Germany. His first assignment as an Ordnance officer, in 1963, was as supply officer and then liaison officer in the 126th Maintenance Battalion in Germany.
In 1964 Raffiani returned to the United States to serve as a Mechanical Engineer at the US Army Aeronautical Depot in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he developed concepts for the floating repair depot USS Corpus Christi Bay. In 1965 he commanded the only Ballistic and Technical Services detachment in Vietnam and in 1966 took command of the 94th Maintenance Company in Vietnam. Returning to the United States in 1967, he was Chief of Doctrine at the Ordnance Center and Schools at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, integrating new logistics support concepts into the curriculum.
From 1970 to 1972, he earned an MBA in Operations Research and Analysis from Tulane University. He then served as Chief, Mission Relations, United States Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia. From 1973 to 1976 Raffiani served as Branch Chief, Applications Branch, Simulation Division, US Army Logistics Center at Fort Lee, Virginia, where he expanded the use of computer logistics simulations. In 1977, he took command of the 801st Maintenance Battalion in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. From 1979 to 1980 he served as the division's Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4 (Logistics).
Raffiani next served, from 1981 to 1983, as Chief of the Logistics Management Division in the Office of the Program Manager, M1 Abrams Tank. He then became Project Manager for the M1A1 Abrams Tank from 1983 to 1987. He was selected to command a Division Support Command, but this assignment was deferred during this critical stage of the M1A1's production and fielding. Before he could assume command he was promoted to brigadier general.
Raffiani then took command of the Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. ARDEC was the Army's largest research and development organization, with 6,000 personnel and an annual budget of 1.7 billion dollars. He next served, from 1989 to 1990, as Deputy Commanding General for Procurement and Readiness at the US Army Tank - Automotive Command (TACOM) at Warren, Michigan, managing a host of programs involving major combat systems.
From 1990-1992, Raffiani served as Assistant Deputy for Program Assessment and International Cooperation in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development, and Acquisition. In his final assignment, from 1992 to 1994, he commanded TACOM. He established the National Automotive Center, a collaborative effort between the Army and the US automotive industry, developed close working relations with program managers, and oversaw the absorption of ARDEC into TACOM to create the US Army Tank Automotive and Armament Command. Maj. Gen. Joseph Raffiani retired in 1994 after 33 years of dedicated service.