HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM T. COOLEY

PRINT | E-MAIL

Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley is the Commander, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is responsible for managing a $2.5 billion Air Force science and technology program and an additional $2.3 billion in externally funded research and development. He is also responsible for leading a government workforce of approximately 6,000 people in the laboratory's nine component technology directorates and the 711th Human Performance Wing.

General Cooley entered the Air Force in 1988 through the ROTC program after graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in mechanical engineering. He entered active duty in January 1990 after completing a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico, and went on to earn a Doctorate of Philosophy in engineering physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology. 

General Cooley served in a variety of technical management, leadership and staff positions including commanding at the group and wing level. His assignments include Director, GPS Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command; Commander, Phillips Research Site and Materiel Wing Director, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory; System Program Director for operational command and control programs; Program Manager, Air Force Distributed Common Ground System; Defense Sector Program Manager, Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan, Kabul; Program Element Monitor for Military Satellite Communications, and staff officer at the Warrior Preparation Center, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany. Prior to assuming command, he was the Program Executive for Programs and Integration, Missile Defense Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

EDUCATION
1988 Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. 
1990 Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 
1995 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. 
1997 Doctor of Philosophy, Engineering Physics, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2003 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2008 Program Managers Course, Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Va.
2009 Senior Manager Course in National Security, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
2009 Executive Program Managers Course, Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Va.
2011 U.S. Air Force Enterprise Leadership Seminar, University of Virginia, Charlottesville

ASSIGNMENTS
1. January 1990 – June 1993, Project Manager, Space Power Programs, Aerospace Power Division and Electronic Device Engineer, Research Division, Solid State Directorate, Wright Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
2. June 1993 – December 1996, Student, Doctorate of Science Degree in Engineering Physics, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
3. January 1997 – January 2000, Chief, Laser Applications Group and Branch Chief, Semiconductor Laser Branch, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, N.M. 
4. January 2000 – July 2002, Division Chief (Operations Directorate), Deputy Director (Technical Support Directorate) and Staff Officer, Commander's Strategy and Action Group, Warrior Preparation Center, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany
5. August 2002 – June 2003, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
6. June 2003 – August 2006, Program Element Monitor, Military Satellite Communications, and Chief of Staff, Directorate of Space Acquisition, Under Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
7. April 2005 – November 2005, Defense Sector Program Manager, Office of Security Cooperation - Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan 
8. August 2006 – June 2007, Student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
9. June 2007 – June 2008, Director, Air Force Distributed Common Ground System Division, 950th Electronic Systems Group, Hanscom AFB, Mass. 
10. June 2008 – June 2010, Commander, 350th Electronic Systems Group, Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, Mass.
11. July 2010 – June 2013, Commander, Phillips Research Site and Materiel Wing Director, Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
12. June 2013 – July 2015, Director, Global Positioning Systems Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
13. August 2015 – April 2017, Program Executive for Programs and Integration, Missile Defense Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

14. May 2017 – present, Commander, AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. April 2005 – November 2005, Defense Sector Program Manager, Office of Security Cooperation - Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan, as a lieutenant colonel
2. June 2013 – July 2015, Director, Global Positioning Systems Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles AFB, Calif., as a colonel 
3. August 2015 – April 2017, Program Executive for Programs and Integration, Missile Defense Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., as a brigadier general

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters 
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS
2003 Distinguished Graduate and Number two in class, Air Command and Staff College
2014 Co-Author “A Guide for DoD Program Managers” with Brian C. Ruhm and published by Defense Acquisition University Press
2015 Lt .Gen. John W. O'Neill Outstanding System Program Director Award

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 19, 1988
First Lieutenant June 19, 1990
Captain June 19, 1992
Major Oct. 1, 1999
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2004
Colonel Sept. 1, 2007
Brigadier General March 1, 2015
Major General Frocked

(Current as of May 2017)

Engage

Facebook Twitter
#DYK, @USAFCENT's weather #Airmen are not only concerned with terrestrial weather, but also space weather.… https://t.co/oqmuv3INXi
.@ArmedSvcsHockey hosted an annual Las Vegas International Championship & this year's #MVP award went to a… https://t.co/RxXoivPgco
RT @AFSpace: Recalculate no more 🙌 GPS III is launching soon! This one goes out to our 4 BILLION GPS users worldwide. #Kindofabigdeal #GPS
.@HAFB's 421st Fighter Squadron & #aircraft maintenance unit received its first pair of #F35s Dec. 12. They are the… https://t.co/MWXxz3Rr7q
#SantaClaus paid a special visit to McGhee Tyson #Airmen and their families. Santa, Mrs. Claus & their elves arrive… https://t.co/rWF4adfxts
RT @EielsonAirForce: The work of keeping one of the most remote, austere runways in the world open during six months of sub-zero temperatur…
RT @INDOPACOM: Since 1952, @PACAF personnel have volunteered as Santa’s helpers, getting presents to remote Pacific Islands. Instead of com…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: What an honor to congratulate our #USAF team on winning the first-ever inter-service Alpha Warrior competition — a str…
Ready, Aim, Fire! 200 @TeamFairchild #Airmen participated in a Rifle Competition, aiming to earn Excellence in Comp… https://t.co/ftBIgf8stj
The holidays are supposed to be a time of relaxation. In a spilt second that peaceful environment turned on a dime… https://t.co/5F2efmGLV9
#USAF maintainers take care of the B52 bombers, the aircrews fly the aircraft; but who @TeamMinot takes care of the… https://t.co/gxWCuV1rOm
One Chief Master Sgt's mentorship doesn’t end with future #USAF leaders. It extends to the gridiron, where he volun… https://t.co/2MqdoudS76
Chilean air force medical health officers visited @JBSA_Official to gain a better understanding of Critical Care Ai… https://t.co/BvNjAiZ4Ro
RT @FLOTUS: Wonderful to be in Hangar 789 with many service members & their families at @JBLEnews! Our prayers remain with all those servin…
Making an educated choice today may pay dividends tomorrow. If you’re on the fence about opting into… https://t.co/UKk1KHJdJ2
.@AF_Academy cadets, aerospace instructors & industry partners are working to develop the @DeptofDefense’s first la… https://t.co/EDGsCooprz
Space Flag is the premier space exercise in the @DeptofDefense & it's taking place right now! This exercise keeps… https://t.co/Bj4E1bp37Y