Brig. Gen. Christopher A. Coffelt is the Deputy Director for Nuclear Operations, Global Operations Directorate, United States Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. As the command's principal flag officer for the employment and commitment of nuclear forces, General Coffelt is responsible for the overall USSTRATCOM nuclear mission. He directs the actions and alert status of the Global Operations Center and the Airborne Command Post. As the lead for all USSTRATCOM nuclear matters, General Coffelt reports to the Combatant Commander on the command’s physical security and mission assurance programs and oversees the day-to-day readiness of the nation’s strategic deterrent forces: bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and ballistic missile submarines.
General Coffelt received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Colorado in 1989 and entered the active duty Air Force in 1990. He is a career space and missile operations officer and has served in a variety of operations, staff and command assignments, including commanding a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile squadron and wing.
His operational experience includes combat mission ready certification and nuclear alert operations in the Peacekeeper and Minuteman III ICBM weapon systems and spacecraft command and control for communication and missile warning satellites, Inertial Upper Stage booster spacecraft and Space Shuttle support operations. His headquarters staff assignments include duties on the Secretary of Defense's Bosnia Task Force, the Air Staff, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and U.S. Strategic Command. Prior to his current assignment, General Coffelt commanded the Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education and served as the 36th Commandant of the Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
1989 Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
1996 Squadron Officer School, distinguished graduate, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1998 Master of Arts in Organizational Management, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
2004 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, distinguished graduate, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 Master of Airpower Art and Science, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 Air War College, by correspondence
2008 Senior U.S. Air Force Fellow, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
2010 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
2011 U.S. Air Force Enterprise Leadership Program, Darden School of Business, Charlottesville, Va.
2013 National and International Security Leadership Seminar, Washington, D.C.
1. October 1990 - February 1991, Student, Undergraduate Space Training, Lowry AFB, Colo.
2. February 1991 - September 1992, Chief, Space Test Software Engineering Branch and Air Force Test Director, Launch and Vehicle (space shuttle/IUS operations) Directorate, Consolidated Space Test Center, Onizuka AFB, Calif.
3. October 1992 - July 1994, Spacecraft Launch Commander, Mission Commander, Squadron Executive Officer, 5th Space Operations Squadron, Onizuka AFB, Calif.
4. July 1994 - November 1994, Student, Undergraduate Missile Training, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
5. November 1994 - July 1996, Peacekeeper ICBM Missile Combat Crew and Deputy Flight Commander, 400th Missile Squadron and Executive Officer, 90th Operations Group, F. E. Warren AFB, Wyo.
6. July 1996 - May 1998, Air Force Intern with duty as Political-Military Officer on Bosnia Task Force, Office of the Secretary of Defense, PDUSD (Policy), and Action Officer in Air Force History Support Office, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
7. May 1998 - August 1998, Student, ICBM requalification training, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
8. September 1998 - June 2001, Minuteman III ICBM Missile Combat Crew Member and Senior Flight Commander/Instructor, 12th Missile Squadron, then Commander, Current Operations Flight (Chief of Wing Combat Crew Training), 341st Operations Support Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
9. July 2001 - July 2003, Space and Missile Force Programmer, Space Superiority Division of the Directorate of Programs, then Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
10. August 2003 - June 2004, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
11. July 2004 - June 2005, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
12. July 2005 - June 2007, Commander, 321st Missile Squadron, F. E. Warren AFB, Wyo.
13. July 2007 - July 2008, Senior U.S. Air Force Fellow, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
14. July 2008 - August 2010, Chief, Nuclear Surety Inspections Branch and Chief Inspector, Defense Nuclear Surety Inspection Team, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
15. August 2010 – June 2011, Vice Commander, 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, N.D.
16. June 2011 – May 2013, Commander, 90th Missile Wing, F. E. Warren AFB, Wyo.
17. June 2013 – June 2015, Deputy Director for Current Operations (J3O), Global Operations Directorate, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
18. June 2015 – June 2017, Commander, Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education, and 36th Commandant, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
19. June 2017 – present, Deputy Director for Nuclear Operations (J3N), Global Operations Directorate, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2008 - August 2010, Chief, Nuclear Surety Inspections Branch and Chief Inspector, Defense Nuclear Surety Inspection Team, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Kirtland AFB, N.M., as a colonel
2. June 2013 – June 2015, Deputy Director for Current Operations (J3O), Global Operations Directorate, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb., as a colonel and brigadier general
3. June 2017 – present, Deputy Director for Nuclear Operations (J3N), Global Operations Directorate, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb., as a brigadier general
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with 'N' device and four oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 19, 1990
First Lieutenant May 19, 1992
Captain May 19, 1994
Major May 1, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel May 1, 2005
Colonel Oct. 1, 2008
Brigadier General Sept. 2, 2014
(Current as of September 2018)