Master Sergeant Joe C. Alderman was born Bartley, West Virginia and entered the U.S. Army in June 1958, serving as a scout in the first Airborne Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Team in Germany from 1959 until 1961. Master Sergeant Alderman joined the Special Forces in 1962. He completed engineer training and deployed to Okinawa to serve in the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne).
Master Sergeant Alderman's combat experiences included serving in Vietnam ten consecutive years from 1963-1972 as a member of Special Forces detachments as light weapons NCO, heavy weapons NCO, engineer sergeant, intelligence sergeant, Project Delta, and MACV SOG as a reconnaissance team leader and advisor. While serving in Project Delta in 1966, he helped to establish MACV Recondo School by writing lesson plans and serving as an instructor between combat operations. He wrote a training manual for the Vietnamese Delta Reconnaissance Unit. He served as Recon team leader Blackjack A-504 Waterborne Operations.
Master Sergeant Alderman was selected as original cadre for the 1st Ranger Battalion in January 1974 and served in various leadership and staff positions until August 1976. He then served in Germany in the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) until 1979. He was selected by the Ranger Department to be the first noncommissioned officer guest speaker in 1980.
Master Sergeant Alderman retired from the Army in November 1980 after serving as the First Sergeant of Headquarters and Headquarters Company of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
Through out his service, MSG Alderman was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Soldier's Medal, six Bronze Stars (four with V Device), Meritorious Service Medal, five Air Medals (two with V Device), three Purple Hearts, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and six Army Commendation Medals (two with V Device).
Master Sergeant Alderman's distinguished career is an inspiration to all with whom he served. He truly exemplifies the motto "Rangers Lead the Way."