Brig. Gen. Michael T. Rawls is the Commander, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. Brig. Gen. Rawls reports directly to the Air Force Chief of Staff regarding the test and evaluation of more than 98 major acquisition programs valued at more than $1 trillion, which are being assessed at 17 different locations, and he directs the activities of more than 750 military, civilian and contractor personnel. As a key leader of the test and evaluation community, Brig. Gen. Rawls coordinates directly with the offices of the Secretary of Defense and Department of the Air Force while executing realistic, objective and impartial operational testing and evaluation of Air Force, Space Force, coalition, and joint warfighting capabilities.
Brig. Gen. Rawls entered the Air Force in 1992 as a distinguished graduate of the University of Kentucky, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He holds master’s degrees from The George Washington University, Air University, U.S. Army War College and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Brig. Gen. Rawls has served in staff positions as the Junior Military Aide to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Chief Air Planner, United States Military Delegation to the NATO Military Committee, Brussels, Belgium and Senior Service Lead for F-35 development, Arlington, Virginia. He has been a Squadron Commander, Vice Wing Commander, 435th Air Expeditionary Wing and 435th Air Ground Operations Wing Commander and is a four-time member of the U.S. Military Pentathlon Team. As an operational pilot, Brig Gen Rawls flew the A-10A/C and F-15C with combat mission in Iraq and is currently flying F-35A as a 5th gen aggressor pilot. As a Test Pilot, he had assignments in the A-10C, F-15C, F-16 and numerous classified platforms conducting advanced weapons development. Prior to his current assignment, Brig. Gen. Rawls served as the Commandant, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
Brig. Gen. Rawls is a command pilot and has accumulated more than 2,100 hours in 30 different aircraft.
1992 Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington
1998 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2000 Master of Arts, Organizational Management, The George Washington University, Washington D.C.
2002 U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, Calif.
2005 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2015 Master of Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
2018 Executive Leadership Seminar, Kegan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
1. August 1993–September 1994, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
2. February 1995–April 1995, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Columbus AFB, Miss.
3. October 1994–May 1995, Student, A-10 Training Unit, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
4. June 1995–May 1996, A-10 Fighter Pilot, 55th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
5. June 1996–August 1997, A-10 Fighter Pilot, Life Support Officer, 25th FS, Osan Air Base, South Korea
6. September 1997–June 1998, T-38 Instructor Pilot, Sheppard AFB, Texas
7. July 1998–May 2000, Air Force Intern (the Pentagon)/Student, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
8. June 2000–November 2000, Student, F-15 Fighter Training, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
9. December 2000–June 2002, Fighter Pilot, Chief of Scheduling, 60th FS, Eglin AFB, Fla.
10. July 2002–June 2003, Student, U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, Calif.
11. July 2003–June 2005, F-15/A-10 Test Pilot/ADO, 40th Flight Test Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.
12. June 2005–June 2006, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
13. June 2006–June 2008, Operations Officer, 586th Flight Test Squadron, Holloman AFB, N.M.
14. June 2008–June 2009, Chief of Safety, Data Masked
15. June 2009–June 2011, Squadron Commander, Data Masked
16. June 2011–June 2013, Chief Air Plans, Joint Staff, U.S. Military Delegation to NATO, Brussels, Belgium
17. June 2013–June 2014, Vice Wing Commander, 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
18. June 2014–June 2015, Student, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
19. June 2015–June 2016, F-35 3F Capabilities Manager, Joint Program Office, Arlington, Va.
20. June 2016–June 2017, Senior U.S. Air Force Service Representative to the F-35 Joint Program Office, Arlington, Va.
21. July 2017–July 2019, Commander, 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and 435th Air Expeditionary Wing, Ramstein AB, Germany
22. August 2019–July 2020, Deputy Commander NATO Mission Iraq, Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, Iraq
23. July 2020–July 2022, Commandant, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
24. July 2022–present, Commander, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2011–July 2013, Chief Air Plans, Joint Staff, U.S. Military Delegation to NATO, Brussels, Belgium, as a lieutenant colonel
2. August 2019–July 2020, Deputy Commander NATO Mission Iraq, Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, Iraq, as a brigadier general
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: more than 2,100
Aircraft Flown: F-35A, A-10A-C, F-15A-D, F-16, T-38, C-12 and more than 25 other aircraft
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Aerial Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
NATO Non-Article 5 Iraq Medal
Distinguished Graduate AFROTC Detachment 290, University of Kentucky
Distinguished Graduate/Top Gun A-10 FTU, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
Distinguished Graduate Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
Distinguished Graduate United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
Jaycee’s Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award, 1996
U.S. Military Pentathlon Rookie of the Year, 1996
Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award, 46th Operations Group, Eglin AFB, Fla., 2004
Test Team of the Year Chief Pilot, 46th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla. 2004 and 2006
(Current as of December 2022)