Maj. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind is the Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. As principal adviser and assistant to the commander, he is responsible for managing the command’s warfighting initiatives, battle rhythm and providing guidance to the command’s 2,500 person staff. Additionally, he supervises all matters pertaining to manpower and personnel, financial management, programming and budgeting, security, protocol and administration. He also acts as the Air Force Element Commander.
Maj. Gen. Bauernfeind earned his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991. Earning his wings in 1992, he has flown more than 3,500 hours in the MC-130E Combat Talon I, MC-130H Combat Talon II and MQ-9 Reaper aircraft. Maj. Gen. Bauernfeind has commanded special operations forces in both garrison and combat at the squadron, group and wing levels.
Prior to his current assignment, Maj. Gen. Bauernfeind served as the Commanding General, Special Operations Command Korea.
1991 Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
1997 Squadron Officer School, Distinguished Graduate, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2000 Master of Business Administration, Auburn University, Ala.
2004 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Distinguished Graduate, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 Master of Airpower Art and Science, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2009 Military Fellow, RAND Corporation Senior Developmental Education, Santa Monica, Calif.
2010 Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
2010 Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, N.C.
2013 Combined Forces Special Operation Component Commander Course, MacDill AFB, Fla.
2016 Air Force Senior Leader Orientation Course, Andrews AFB, Md.
2016 CAPSTONE, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2018 Advanced Senior Leader Development Seminar, Va.
2020 Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. July 1991–August 1992, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Distinguished Graduate, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
2. September 1992–July 1993, C-130/MC-130E Mission Qualification, Little Rock AFB, Ark., and Hurlburt Field, Fla.
3. July 1993–January 1997, MC-130E Aircraft Commander and MC-130H Instructor Pilot, 1st Special Operations Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan
4. January 1997–January 1998, MC-130H Instructor Pilot, 550th Special Operations Squadron, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
5. January–August 1998, Student F-15 Pilot, 2nd Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
6. August 1998–September 2001, MC-130H Instructor Pilot, Standards/Evaluations Pilot and Assistant Director of Operations, 15th Special Operations Squadron and Wing Executive Officer, 16th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
7. September 2001–June 2003, Chief, Special Operations Forces and Combat Search and Rescue Branch, Global Mobility and Special Operations Capability Requirements Division, Directorate of Operational Capability Requirements, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
8. July 2003–July 2004, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. July 2004–June 2005, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. June–October 2005, Chief Special Warfare Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force Doctrine Center, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
11. November 2005–January 2006, MC-130H Requalification Training, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
12. January 2006–May 2008, Operations Officer and Commander, 15th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
13. June 2008–June 2009, Military Fellow, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif.
14. June 2009–June 2011, Director of Staff and Special Assistant to the Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va.
15. June 2011–June 2013, Commander, 1st Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
16. July 2013–February 2015, Commander, 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon AFB, N.M.
17. May 2015–April 2016, Deputy Commanding General – Operations, NATO Special Operations Component Command and Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan
18. April 2016 – June 2019, Commanding General, Special Operations Command Korea, South Korea
19. July 2019–present, Chief of Staff, United States Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Fla.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. August–December 2006, Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Detachment, Afghanistan, as a lieutenant colonel
2. May–September 2007, Deputy Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component, Iraq and Afghanistan, as a lieutenant colonel
3. June 2009–June 2011, Director of Staff and Special Assistant to the Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., as a lieutenant colonel and a colonel
4. May 2012–January 2013, Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component, Afghanistan, as a colonel
5. May 2015–April 2016, Deputy Commanding General – Operations, NATO Special Operations Component Command/Special Operations Joint Task Force, Kabul, Afghanistan, as a colonel and a brigadier general
6. April 2016–June 2019, Commanding General, Special Operations Command Korea, South Korea, as a brigadier general and a major general
7. July 2019–present, Chief of Staff, United States Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Fla., as a major general
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: more than 3,500
Aircraft Flown: MC-130H, MC-130E, MC-130J, C-130E, AC-130H/U, CV-22, U-28, C-146, PC-12, UH-1N and MQ-9
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1991
First Lieutenant May 29, 1993
Captain May 29, 1995
Major March 1, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2006
Colonel Oct. 1, 2009
Brigadier General Aug. 2, 2015
Major General Aug. 1, 2018
(Current as of June 2020)