Brigadier General CHRISTOPHER T. LAY

Brig. Gen. Christopher Lay is the Mobilization Assistant to Concepts and Strategy, Air Force Futures (A5/7S), Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Virginia. As the MA, Brig. Gen. Lay is responsible for developing future Air Force strategy by conducting net assessments and strategic and comparative analysis to inform concept, capability, and force design. 

Brig. Gen. Lay graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Military History and a minor in Russian. After spending seven years on active duty, he entered the Air Force Reserve in 2003 and has performed duties as an instructor navigator, weapons officer, flight safety officer and deployed mission commander for aerial fire-fighting missions. Brig. Gen. Lay is an Outstanding Graduate of the U.S. Air Force’s Weapons Instructor Course and has commanded at the squadron, group, and wing level. He last deployed as the Commander, 385th Air Expeditionary Group, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, where he commanded over 800 Airmen flying and maintaining Air Mobility Command’s forward-deployed C-130H, C-17, KC-135, and KC-10 operations in U.S. Central Command. Prior to his current Pentagon assignment, Brig. Gen. Lay was the Commander, 934th Airlift Wing, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station, Minnesota, where he was responsible for organizing, training and equipping 1500 combat-ready Airmen and ten C-130H3 aircraft. As the installation host commander, Brig. Gen. Lay was also responsible for the daily operations of the Air Reserve Station and installation’s support of 5000 assigned Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. 

As a reservist, in the civilian sector, Brig. Gen. Lay taught university courses in American History and International Affairs as part of his doctoral candidacy program in U.S. Diplomatic History at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Brig. Gen. Lay holds two graduate degrees in history and strategic studies and is a master navigator with more than 3,000 flight hours. 

1996 Bachelor of Science, History, Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. 
1997 Distinguished Graduate, Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, Randolph Air Force Base, Texa
1998 Distinguished Graduate, C-130 Navigator Qualification Training, Little Rock AFB, Ark. 
2000 Distinguished Graduate, C-130 Instructor School, Little Rock AFB, Ark.  
2001 Flight Safety Officer School, Kirtland AFB, N.M. 
2001 Squadron Officer School, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence  
2004 Top-third Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.  
2006 Master of Arts, History, University of Central Arkansas, Conway 
2006 Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence 
2007 Outstanding Graduate and Academic Award, Weapons Instructor School, Little Rock AFB, Ark. 
2013 Air War College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence 
2015 Master of Arts, Strategic Studies, Carlisle Scholars Program, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.  
2016 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Ft. Lesley McNair, Washington D.C.  
2019 Director of Mobility Forces Course, Air Force Expeditionary Operations School, Hurlburt Field, Fla. 
2019 Safety and Accident Investigation Board President Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.  
2019 Senior Officer Legal Orientation Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 
2022 Middle East and South Asia Regional Course, Alan L. Freed Associates, Washington D.C.  
2023 Senior Leader Orientation Training, Joint Base Andrews, Md. 
2024 NATO Senior Officer Policy Course, Oberammergau, Germany 
Present, Ph.D. candidate, Diplomatic History, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo. 

1. August 1996–December 1997, Student, Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., and Randolph Air Force Base, Texas 
2. December 1997–May 1998, Student, C-130 Navigator, Qualification Training, Little Rock AFB, Ark. 
3. May 1998–June 2001, Wing Tactics Officer and Unit Deployment Monitor, 43rd Operations Support Squadron and 2nd Airlift Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C. 
4. June 2001–May 2003, C-130E Instructor Navigator, Class Commander and Squadron Flight Safety Officer, 62nd Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark. 
5. May 2003–June 2012, Weapons Officer, Flight Commander, and Mission Commander, 731st Airlift Squadron and 302nd Operations Support Squadron, Peterson AFB, Colo. 
6. June 2012–June 2014, Commander, 302nd Operations Support Squadron, Peterson AFB, Colo. 
7. June 2014–June 2015, Student, Carlisle Scholar Program, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. 
8. June 2015–June 2017, Director, Headquarters Air Force, Executive Secretariat, Pentagon, Arlington, Va. 
9. June 2017–July 2019, Commander, 913th Airlift Group, Little Rock AFB, Ark. 
10. July 2019–December 2019, Commander, 385th Air Expeditionary Group, Al Udeid AB, Qatar 
11. January 2020–September 2022, Commander, 934th Airlift Wing, Minneapolis-St Paul IAP ARS, Minn. 
12. September 2022–present, Mobilization Assistant to Concepts and Strategy, Air Force Futures, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Arlington, Va. 

Rating:  master navigator 
Flight hours:  more than 3,000, including over 300 combat hours  
Aircraft Flown:  C-130E, C-130H2 and C-130H3 

Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster 
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters 
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster 
Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters 
Air and Space Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster  
Air and Space Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster 

1995 Research Internship, Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington, D.C.  
2000 Instructor Navigator of the Year, 21st Air Force 
2002 Language-Area Submersion and Immersion program, St. Petersburg, Russia 
2017-2020 U.S. representative, Defense and Security Issues Committee, Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers, NATO 

Co-author, From Cooperation to Competition - The Future of U.S.-Russian Relations, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, May 2015  

Co-author, Project 1704: A U.S. Army War College Analysis of Russian Strategy in Eastern Europe, an Appropriate U.S. Response, and the Implications for U.S. Landpower, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, March 2015