Major General Urueña trained as an aeronautical engineer at the Marco Fidel Suarez Military Aviation Academy in Cali, Colombia and then served in the Air Force until 2011 when he retired as a Major General.
Upon graduation, General Urueña was a helicopter pilot and instructor in Melgar, Tolima for 12 years, and in 1979 served as the pilot of President Belisario Betancur’s helicopter. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1991 after completing advanced training and spent two years in joint logistics planning with Wright Patterson Air Force Base in the United States.
He was promoted to Brigadier General in 2001 after serving as defense attaché in Paris in 1999. In 2005 he was promoted to Major General by President Uribe, thereafter serving as Chief of Air Force Operations of the Colombian Air Force from 2007 to 2008 and military attaché to Russia in 2010.
During his 40-year military career, General Urueña received numerous recognitions. On behalf of the Police Department of Antioquia, a division of the Air Force, then-Mayor of Medellin Sergio Fajardo presented the general with a decoration for his eight years of exemplary service as base commander of Air Force 5 in Rionegro, Antioquia, providing security to the city. He received the Gold Medal of the Department of Antioquia, awarded by the department’s then-governor and later president of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe Velez, a service medal from General Commander of the Armed Forces of Colombia Luis Eduardo Roca and the Torre de Castilla Medal of Honor in 2006. Major General Jose Urueña currently provides consultation services on security matters to companies and individuals in the private sector.