Lt. Gen. James M. Kowalski is the Deputy Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. USSTRATCOM is tasked with strategic deterrence and nuclear, space and cyberspace operations.
General Kowalski entered active duty in 1980 through the ROTC program at the University of Cincinnati. He has held a variety of operational commands, including a bomb squadron, operations group, bomb wing, expeditionary wing, air control wing, and Air Force Major Command.
His contingency and wartime experience includes command of the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia where he led a combined wing of B-1Bs, E-3s and KC-135s for operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch. His previous staff assignments include Headquarters Air Combat Command, Headquarters U.S. Air Force and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command.
1979 Bachelor of Business Administration degree, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
1984 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1985 Master's degree in management, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant
1993 Master's degree in national security and strategic studies, College of Naval Command and Staff, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
1997 Secretary of Defense Fellows Program with duty at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, St. Louis, Mo.
2002 Joint Aerospace Operations Senior Staff Course, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
2004 Senior Leader Course, Center for Creative Leadership, San Diego, Calif.
2006 Combined Force Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Senior Information Warfare Applications Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Leadership Seminar, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C
2008 Seminar XXI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
2010 Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 Pinnacle, Norfolk, Va.
2012 Leadership at the Peak, Center for Creative Leadership, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1. April 1980 - April 1981, student, undergraduate pilot training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
2. May 1981 - October 1982, B-52D pilot, 2nd Bombardment Squadron, March AFB, Calif.
3. November 1982 - September 1986, aircraft commander, instructor pilot and wing tactics officer, 524th Bombardment Squadron, Wurtsmith AFB, Mich.
4. October 1986 - October 1987, Air Staff Training Program, the Pentagon, Washington D.C.
5. October 1987 - November 1989, B-1B instructor pilot and Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 384th Bombardment Wing, McConnell AFB, Kan.
6. November 1989 - August 1992, B-1B instructor pilot and Chief of Wing Standardization and Evaluation, 96th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas
7. August 1992 - June 1993, student, College of Naval Command and Staff, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
8. June 1993 - June 1994, Chief, Long-Range Attack Planning and Programming, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
9. July 1994 - August 1996, Commander, 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
10. August 1996 - June 1997, Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellow, McDonnell-Douglas Aerospace, St. Louis, Mo.
11. June 1997 - April 1999, Chief, Forces Assignment Branch, Directorate of Force Structure (J8), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
12. May 1999 - December 2000, Commander, 2nd Operations Group, Barksdale AFB, La.
13. December 2000 - April 2002, Assistant Director of Aerospace Operations, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
14. April 2002 - March 2004, Commander, 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB, S.D. (January 2003 - May 2003, Commander, 405th Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia)
15. March 2004 - October 2005, Deputy Director, Operational Plans and Joint Matters, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
16. November 2005 - May 2007, Commander, 552nd Air Control Wing, Tinker AFB, Okla.
17. May 2007 - January 2009, Deputy Director for Global Operations (J39), Operations Directorate, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
18. January 2009 - August 2009, Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command (Provisional), Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.
19. August 2009 - January 2011, Vice Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale, AFB, La.
20. January 2011 - October 2013, Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale AFB, La.
21. October 2013 - present, Deputy Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 1997 - April 1999, Chief, Forces Assignment Branch, Directorate of Force Structure (J8), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as a lieutenant colonel
2. June 2007 - January 2009, Deputy Director for Global Operations (J39), Operations Directorate, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as a brigadier general
3. October 2013 - present, Deputy Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, as a lieutenant general
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 4,600, including 127 combat hours
Aircraft flown: B-52D/G/H, B-1B, E-3, T-38 and T-37
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal (Air Force)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Best Crew in 8th Air Force
Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School
Distinguished Graduate, College of Naval Command and Staff
Order of the Sword, Air Force Global Strike Command
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Jun. 9, 1979
First Lieutenant Mar. 14, 1981
Captain Mar. 14, 1983
Major Jan. 1, 1990
Lieutenant Colonel Mar. 1, 1994
Colonel May 1, 1999
Brigadier General Nov. 1, 2005
Major General May 7, 2009
Lieutenant General Jan. 6, 2011
(Current as of July 2015)