Maj. Gen. David B. O’Brien is the Mobilization Assistant to the Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. He is responsible for assisting the Deputy in leading research and development, acquisition, test, production and modernization of Air Force programs worth more than $32 billion annually.
General O'Brien was commissioned in 1981 through the Air Force ROTC upon graduation from the University of New Hampshire. He has served in a wide variety of development, acquisition and operations roles within the Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office. His active-duty career included assignments in requirements development, engineering and program management, as well as serving as a principal contracting officer for computers, communications, directed energy and national security space systems, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and policy. His Reserve leadership responsibilities include network communications, test, maintenance, satellite on-orbit operations, acquisition and space launch. Prior to his current assignment, General O'Brien was the Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, Space and Missiles System Center who also served as the Air Force Program Executive Officer for space systems.
As a civilian, General O’Brien is the president of a firm specializing in strategy, innovation and operational leadership, and an adjunct university professor. Previously, he held global leadership positions at two major Silicon Valley information technology firms, and earlier, at a prime-tier aerospace defense corporation, where he delivered several classified, civil and commercial space programs, including the then-largest private equity, space-based remote sensing system joint venture. He is the recipient of that corporation’s National Contracts Achievement Award, and graduate of their Executive Development program.
1981 Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, University of New Hampshire, Durham
1986 Master of Science, Procurement and Acquisition Management Law, Northrop University, Inglewood, Calif.
1987 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1996 Master of Business Administration, Golden Gate University, San Francisco, Calif.
1997 Systems Dynamics for Senior Managers, Sloan School of Management, MIT, Cambridge, Mass.
1998 Executive Management Institute, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, Calif.
2003 Doctor of Philosophy, Business and Organizational Leadership, Regent University, Virginia Beach, Va.
2005 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2015 Senior Joint Information Operations Applications Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2015 Systems Acquisition Management Course for General/Flag Officers, Fort Belvoir, Va.
2016 Joint Senior Reserve Component Officer Course, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
2017 Advanced Senior Leader Development Program, Warrenton, Va.
2017 LOGTECH, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
2018 China/East Asia & Middle East Seminar, Capitol Hill Club, Washington, D.C.
1. February 1982 - November 1984, Systems Acquisition Contract Manager, Air Force Communications Command, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.
2. November 1984 - August 1987, Acquisition Contracting Officer, Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Special Projects-8 and 9, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
3. August 1987 - October 1987, Student, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
4. October 1987 - March 1988, Acquisition Contracting Officer, Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Special Projects-8 and 9, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
5. March 1988 - March 1990, Deputy for Contracting, Space Technology Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
6. March 1990 -September 1993, Acquisitions Management Officer, Air Force Space Command, Onizuka Air Force Station, Calif.
7. September 1993 - March 1999, Satellite Operations Support Engineer, AFSPC, Onizuka AFS, Calif.
8. March 1999 - March 2003, Network Integration Manager, AFSPC, Onizuka AFS, Calif.
9. March 2003 - March 2006, Deputy Director, Operating Manager, AFSPC, Onizuka AFS, Calif.
10. March 2006 - July 2008, Senior Reservist to the Commander, Launch and Range Systems Wing, AFSPC, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
11. July 2008 - June 2009, Senior Reservist to the Director, Air Force Smart Operations, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
12. June 2009 - October 2009, Senior Reservist to the Director, Transformation Support, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
13. October 2009 - October 2012, Mobilization Assistant to the Director, Defense Contact Management Agency, Fort Lee, Va.
14. October 2012 - April 2015, Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, Space and Missile Systems Center, AFSPC, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
15. April 2015 - present, Mobilization Assistant to the Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. November 1984 - August 1987, Acquisition Contracting Officer, Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Special Projects-8 and 9, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., as a captain
2. October 2009 - October 2012, Mobilization Assistant to the Director, Defense Contact Management Agency, Fort Lee, Va., as a colonel and brigadier general
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with silver oak leaf cluster
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with silver oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon
Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with silver and four oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with silver hourglass and "M" device
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Sept. 13, 1981
First Lieutenant Sept. 13, 1983
Captain Sept. 13, 1985
Major May 24, 1995
Lieutenant Colonel May 24, 2002
Colonel March 31, 2006
Brigadier General Dec. 22, 2010
Major General Jan. 28, 2016
(Current as of May 2019)