|BRIGADIER GENERAL ANTHONY J. COTTON|
Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Cotton is the Commander, 45th Space Wing, and Director, Eastern Range, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. He is responsible for the processing and launching of U.S. government and commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. He is also the final approval authority for all launches on the Eastern Range, a 15-million-square-mile area that supports an average of 15 launches per year aboard Delta, Atlas, Falcon, Navy and emerging launch vehicles. In addition, he manages wing launch and range infrastructure supporting NASA, commercial and missile test missions.
General Cotton entered the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1986. He started his career as a missile officer and has assumed various positions. He previously commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels. He also served as a command inspector while assigned to 20th Air Force and as an Executive Officer to the Commander, 14th Air Force. As Commander, 3rd Space Launch Squadron, he was responsible for the launch operations of Atlas II AS medium and Titan-IVB heavy launch vehicles. The general also served as a Wing Vice Commander, Deputy Operations Group Commander and as the Deputy Director, Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Executive Action Group, and Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. He was the Commander of the Space Operations Group, as well as the Deputy Site Commander of a 3,000-plus-person satellite ground station responsible for the day-to-day and long-term mission success of several multi-billion-dollar national space programs.
Prior to his current assignment, General Cotton served as the Commander, 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., responsible for the operation, maintenance and security of the intercontinental ballistic missile force in central Montana. The wing provides deterrence for the nation by operating a force of 4,000 personnel and 150 Minuteman III ICBMs located throughout a 13,800-square-mile complex.
1986 - Bachelor of Science degree in political science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C
1991 - Master of Science degree in administration, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
1992 - Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2001 - Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in residence
2005 - U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., in residence
2006 - Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Kenan-Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.
2007 - Phase II PME, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
2009 - Senior Managers Course on National Security, National Security Studies Program, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
2012 - Capstone General and Flag Officer Course in Joint and Combined Studies, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
1. October 1986 - July 1991, Missile Combat Crew Commander; Standardization/Evaluation Missile Combat Crew Commander; Chief, Standardization/Evaluation Operations/Procedures Branch; and Wing Executive Officer, 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, N.D.
2. July 1991 - April 1994, Command Operations Evaluator 3901st Missile Evaluation Squadron; and Chief of Protocol, 20th Air Force, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
3. April 1994 - April 1997, Space Surveillance Crew Commander, Flight Commander, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colo.
4. April 1997 - January 1999, Chief, Space Surveillance Optical Section; Space Surveillance Program Element Monitor; and Executive Officer to the Director of Operations, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
5. January 1999 - June 2000, Executive Officer to the Commander, 14th Air Force, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
6. June 2000 - June 2001, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
7. June 2001 - March 2004, Operations Officer, 45th Range Squadron; Commander, 3rd Space Launch Squadron; and Deputy Commander, 45th Operations Group, Patrick AFB, Fla.
8. March 2004 - June 2005, Student, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
9. June 2005 - March 2008, Deputy Director, Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Executive Action Group; Director, Preparation and Planning; and Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
10. April 2008 - July 2009, Commander, Space Operations Group, Aerospace Data Facility-East, Fort Belvoir, Va.
11. July 2009 - May 2010, Vice Commander, 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
12. May 2010 - August 2011, Commander, 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
13. August 2011 - present, Commander, 45th Space Wing, and Director, Eastern Range, Patrick AFB, Fla.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. March 2006 - June 2007, Director, Preparation and Planning; and Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as a colonel
2. June 2007 - April 2008, Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as a colonel
3. April 2008 - July 2009, Commander, Space Operations Group, Aerospace Data Facility-East, Fort Belvoir, Va. (National Reconnaissance Office), as a colonel
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with one device
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
National Reconnaissance Office Medal of Superior Service
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 7, 1986
First Lieutenant June 7, 1988
Captain June 7, 1990
Major March 1, 1998
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2002
Colonel Dec. 1, 2006
Brigadier General Nov.10, 2011
(Current as of March 2013)