Brig. Gen. John R. Edwards is the Director, Nuclear Enterprise Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He leads an organization responsible for the surety, logistics, education, inspection oversight and contingency operations for nuclear weapons, as well as mission assurance of critical infrastructure supporting DTRA’s vast enabling efforts to the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, and international allies and partners.
Brig. Gen. Edwards graduated from the University of Hawaii’s Air Force ROTC program in 1995. He later earned his navigator wings and naval flight officer rating from Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida. He commanded the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, the 479th Flying Training Group at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, and the 96th Bomb Squadron at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. He also served in various key staff positions on the Joint Staff J-8 Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, and U.S. Air Force Headquarters Executive Action Group. Prior to his current assignment, he was the Director of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Executive Action Group.
Brig. Gen. Edwards is a master combat systems officer with more than 2,500 flight hours, including 237 combat hours in Operations Allied Force and Enduring Freedom.
1995 Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, University of Hawaii, Honolulu
2000 Weapons Instructor Course, Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2003 Master of Arts, Organizational Science, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
2007 Master of Military Operational Arts & Sciences, Distinguished Graduate, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Master of Airpower Art & Science, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2013 National Defense Fellow, Stimson Center, Washington, D.C.
2013 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, National Defense University, Norfolk, Va.
2015 Leadership Development Program, Center for Creative Leadership, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2017 Enterprise Perspective Seminar, Washington, D.C.
2020 National and International Security Leadership Seminar, Alexandria, Va.
2020 Innovation and Design Thinking, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston
2021 Diversity and Inclusion for Organizational Excellence, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.
2021 Cyber Operations Executive Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. July 1995–November 1996, Student, Joint Specialized Navigator Training, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
2. December 1996–May 1997, Student, B-52H Formal Training Unit, Barksdale AFB, La.
3. June 1997–December 2000, B-52H Electronic Warfare Officer, Flight Scheduler, Instructor, then Chief of Flight Scheduling, 20th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.
4. January 2001–June 2002, Weapons Officer, Flight Examiner and Assistant Flight Commander, 96th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.
5. July 2002–May 2003, Air Force Intern Program, rotations on the Joint Staff J-3 Operations Directorate and the Air
Staff’s Air and Space Operations Checkmate Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
6. June 2003–September 2003, Action Officer, Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff Executive Action Group, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
7. October 2003–July 2006, Instructor and Flight Commander, 340th Weapons Squadron, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nev.
8. August 2006–June 2007, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. July 2007–June 2008, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. July 2008–July 2010, Branch Chief, then Deputy Division Chief, Strategy and Plans, 9th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Shaw AFB, S.C.
11. August 2010–February 2011, Chief of Safety, 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, La.
12. March 2011–June 2012, Commander, 96th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.
13. July 2012–August 2013, National Defense Visiting Fellow, Stimson Center, Washington, D.C.
14. September 2013–June 2015, Chief of Future Strategic Concepts, then Director Joint Strategic Innovation Group, J-8 Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate, Joint Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
15. July 2015–July 2017, Commander, 479th Flying Training Group, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla.
16. August 2017–May 2019, Commander, 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
17. June 2019–May 2020, Director, Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Executive Action Group, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
18. June 2020–present, Director, Nuclear Enterprise Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. September 2013–June 2015, Chief of Future Strategic Concepts, then Director Joint Strategic Innovation Group, J-8 Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate, Joint Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a lieutenant colonel and colonel
2. June 2020–present, Director, Nuclear Enterprise Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va., as a colonel and brigadier general
Rating: master combat systems officer
Flight hours: more than 2,500, including more than 235 combat hours
Aircraft: B-1, B-52 T-1, T-6, T-37, T-39, T-43
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
2011 Operation Linebacker Trophy for Best B-52 squadron in U.S. Air Force
2018 & 2019 Commander in Chief Installation Excellence Award for Best Base in Air Force Global Strike Command
2019 Aviation Week and Space Technology International Laureate Award for Innovation
2019 Brigadier General Frederick Castle Award for Best Bomb Wing in U.S. Air Force
The Role of U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Assuring South Korea, Nuclear Notes, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2013
David C. Jones, Air Force Magazine, August 2014
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 14, 1995
First Lieutenant May 31, 1997
Captain May 31, 1999
Major November 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2009
Colonel October 1, 2014
Brigadier General August 14, 2020
(Current as of August 2021)