An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Lieutenant General KIRK S. PIERCE

Lt. Gen. Kirk S. Pierce is the Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region; Commander, U.S. Air Forces Northern; Commander, U.S. Air Forces Space; and Commander, 1st Air Force, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. As the Combined/Joint Force Air Component Commander, he is responsible for planning and conducting air defense and air sovereignty operations in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; supporting the deployment, sustainment and redeployment of U.S. Air Forces in support of U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Space Command; providing Defense Support to Civil Authorities; executing theater security cooperation with partner nations; and planning and executing contingency support operations for National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) human space flight programs. He ensures Civil Air Patrol is organized, trained, and equipped to fulfill Air Force assigned missions; the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center executes inland search and rescue coordination; the Air Force National Security Emergency Preparedness deploys and sustains Air Force Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers; and Detachment 3 (Patrick Space Force Base, Florida) effectively trains Department of Defense personnel for the rescue, recovery, retrieval and worldwide support of NASA’s human space flight programs.

Lt. Gen. Pierce was commissioned in May 1988 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Notre Dame. He has commanded at the squadron, group and wing level, and served and commanded in various operational assignments in support of operations Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn and Enduring Freedom. Prior to his current assignment, Lt. Gen. Pierce served as the Deputy Director, Air National Guard, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia.

EDUCATION
1988 Bachelor of Science, Aerospace Engineering, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind.
1995 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Ala.
2003 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
2007 Master of Science, National Security Strategy, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2012 National Security Leadership Course, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.
2014 Seminar XXI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies, Cambridge, Mass.
2016 Senior Executives in National and International Security, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2018 Combined Force Air Component Commanders Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2018 General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2019 Joint Flag Officer Warfighter Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

ASSIGNMENTS
1. April 1989–May 1990, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.
2. May 1990–August 1990, Student, Pilot Instructor Training, Randolph AFB, Texas
3. September 1990–December 1992, T-38 Instructor Pilot and Assistant Flight Commander, 99th Flying Training Squadron, Williams AFB, Ariz.
4. December 1992–February 1995, Flight Commander, T-38 Instructor Pilot, 50th Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, Miss.
5. March 1995–January 1996, Student, F-16 Initial Qualification Training, 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
6. January 1996–April 1998, Chief of Scheduling, Chief of Training, F-16 Instructor Pilot and Mission Commander, 79th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
7. May 1998–May 1999, Flight Commander, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Mission Commander, and Standardization and Evaluation Flight Examiner, 80th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea
8. May 1999–June 2001, Flight Commander, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Mission Commander, and Standardization and Evaluation Flight Examiner, 138th Fighter Squadron, Hancock Field, N.Y.
9. June 2001–August 2006, Director of Operations, Chief of Current Operations, Operations Group Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, Flight Commander, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Mission Commander, and Standardization and Evaluation Flight Examiner, 121st Fighter Squadron, Andrews AFB, Md.
10. August 2006–June 2007, Student, National War College, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
11. June 2007–June 2010, Commander, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Mission Commander, and Standardization and Evaluation Flight Examiner, 121st Fighter Squadron, Andrews AFB, Md.
12. June 2010–October 2011, Commander, 113th Operations Group, Joint Base Andrews, Md. (January 2011–May 2011, Battle Director, Combined Air and Space Operations)
13. October 2011–March 2012, Chief, Strategy and Analysis Division, Strategic Plans & Programs/Studies, Analyses, and Assessments, National Guard Bureau, JB Andrews, Md.
14. March 2012–June 2013, Director of Air, Space, and Cyber Operations, National Guard Bureau, JB Andrews, Md.
15. June 2013–June 2014, Senior Military Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy-Strategy and Force Development, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
16. June 2014–January 2015, Director of Plans and Programs, Strategic Plans & Programs/Studies, Analyses, and Assessments, National Guard Bureau, JB Andrews, Md.
17. January 2015–April 2016, Commander, 173rd Fighter Wing, Kingsley Field, Ore.
18. April 2016–April 2017, Director, Intelligence / Air, Space, & Information Operations/Communications, National Guard Bureau, JB Andrews, Md.
19. April 2017–October 2019, NORAD Deputy Director of Operations, Peterson AFB, Colo.
20. October 2019–July 2020, Deputy Director, Air National Guard, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
21. July 2020–present, Commander, 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern and Air Forces Space) and Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Tyndall AFB, Fla.

SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2010–October 2011, Commander, 113th Operations Group, Joint Base Andrews, Md. (January 2011–May 2011, Battle Director, Combined Air and Space Operations), as a colonel
2. June 2013–June 2014, Senior Military Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy-Strategy and Force Development, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a colonel
3. April 2017–October 2019, NORAD Deputy Director of Operations, Peterson AFB, Colo., as a brigadier general and major general

FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating:  command pilot
Flight hours:  more than 4,800
Aircraft flown:  T-38, AT-38, F16C/D, F-15C/D and C-182T (CAP-USAF)

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Purple Heart
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with silver oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air and Space Commendation Medal with “V” device and three oak leaf clusters
Combat Action Medal

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 14, 1988
First Lieutenant Oct. 29, 1990
Captain Oct. 29, 1992
Major Nov. 19, 1999
Lieutenant Colonel Jan. 20, 2005
Colonel June 16, 2010
Brigadier General April 3, 2016
Major General Jan. 15, 2019
Lieutenant General July 29, 2020

(Current as of August 2022)