Brig. Gen. Robert S. Spalding III assumed the duties of Special Assistant to the U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff in February 2018.
General Spalding received his commission through Fresno State University's ROTC program in 1991. He earned his doctorate in economics and mathematics from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 2007. The general attended undergraduate pilot training in 1993, and was subsequently assigned as a B-52 Stratofortress co-pilot in the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. He subsequently transitioned to the B-2 Spirit at Whiteman AFB, Missouri. In 2001, he was selected as one of three Air Force Olmsted Scholars, and was a distinguished graduate of Mandarin Chinese language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. Afterward, the general attended Tongji University in Shanghai as a graduate research student. He then returned to Whiteman AFB as a B-2 evaluator pilot and assistant director of operations for the 393rd Bomb Squadron. The general was then assigned to the Office of Secretary of Defense’s Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office as the military assistant for the deputy assistant secretary of defense. During the Iraq surge in 2007, General Spalding deployed to Baghdad and directed the Personal Security Coordination Center. After a stint at the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, he was reassigned to the B-2 at Whiteman AFB.
While at Whiteman AFB, he was the chief of safety, operations group commander and vice wing commander. He was then selected as a Military Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York. General Spalding then served as the chief China strategist for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, Washington D.C. His next assignment led him back to China as the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attache to China in Bejing, China. Prior to his current assignment he served at the White House as the Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council, Washington D.C.
1987 Bachelor of Science, Agricultural Business, Fresno State University, Fresno, Calif.
1993 Master of Science, Agricultural Business, Fresno State University, Fresno, Calif.
1998 Marine Corps University Amphibious Warfare Course, Quantico, Va., by correspondence
1999 Squadron Officer School, Distinguished Graduate, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2001 Defense Language Institute Chinese-Mandarin Course, Distinguished Graduate, Monterey, Calif.
2003 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2006 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2007 Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
2007 Doctorate in economics and mathematics, University of Missouri, Kansas City
2008 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Masters of Science, Strategic Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Graduate certificate, Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy and Proliferation, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright - Patterson AFB, Ohio
1. March 1992 - August 1993, Officer in Charge, Strategic Plans, 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
2. August 1993 - September 1994, Student Pilot, 87th Flying Training Squadron, Laughlin AFB, Texas
3. November 1994 - May 1995, B-52 Upgrade Training, 11th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.
4. June 1995 - May 1998, B-52 Pilot and Aircraft Commander, 23rd BS, Minot AFB, N.D.
5. May 1998 - May 2001, T-38 and B-2 Pilot, Wing Life Support Officer, Conventional Strike Officer, and Chief of Training, 325th BS, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
6. June 2001 - June 2002, Chinese-Mandarin Student, Defense Language Institute, Monterey, Calif.
7. July 2002 - April 2004, Olmsted Scholar, Tongji University, Shanghai, PRC
8. April 2004 - June 2006, B-2 Instructor/Evaluator Pilot and Assistant Director of Operations, 393rd BS, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
9. June 2006 - July 2007, Military Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Affairs Office, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
10. August 2007 - January 2008, Director, Personal Security Coordination Center, Baghdad
11. January 2008 - June 2008, Deputy Director Strategic Plans and Initiatives Directorate, Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Affairs Office, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
12. July 2008 - June 2009, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
13. June 2009 - June 2010, Chief of Safety, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
14. June 2010 - March 2011, Deputy Commander, 509th Operations Group, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
15. March 2011 - April 2012, Commander, 509th OG, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
16. April 2012 - June 2013, Vice Commander 509th BW, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
17. July 2013 - June 2014, Military Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, New York
18. June 2014 - July 2016, Chief, China, Mongolia, Taiwan Division, Joint Staff, J-5, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
19. December 2016 - May 2017, U.S. Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to China, Beijing
20. May 2017 - January 2018, Senior Director for Strategic Planning, National Security Council, White House, Washington D.C.
21. February 2018 - present, Special Assistant to the Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,300
Aircraft flown: B-2, B-52, T-38 and T-37
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
“A Micromovement Model with Bayes Estimation via Filtering: Application to Measuring Trading Noises and Trading Cost (co-author),” Nonlinear Analysis: Theory, Methods and Applications, 2006
“Businessmen’s Risk Perception in China following the 1999 Chinese Embassy bombing and the 2001 EP-3 Incident,” doctoral dissertation, Proquest Dissertations, 2007
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Oct. 16, 1991
First Lieutenant Oct. 16, 1993
Captain Oct. 16, 1995
Major Aug. 1, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2006
Colonel Aug. 1, 2011
Brigadier General Nov. 2, 2016
(Current as of September 2018)