Colonel Michael T. Rawls

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Colonel Michael T. Rawls is the Commander, 435th Air Ground Operations Wing (EUCOM) and the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing (AFRICOM), Ramstein Air Base, Germany.  These specialized wings provide battlefield and expeditionary Airmen to combatant commanders and are capable of responding to humanitarian and contingency operations throughout the world.  The two wings are comprised of 5 groups, 23 squadrons and more than 2,300 personnel across 15 installations in Germany, Italy and Africa.  Specific areas of expertise include tactical air control-party, battlefield weather, air base opening and operations, command and control, aerial port, aircraft maintenance, security, theater-wide communications, personnel recovery, tactical airlift, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.


A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Colonel Rawls entered the Air Force in 1992 as a distinguished graduate from the University of Kentucky, receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering.   Colonel Rawls holds Master’s degrees in Organizational Management from The George Washington University, Military Operational Art from Air University, and Strategic Leadership from the United States Army War College, where he was also a Distinguished Graduate.  Colonel Rawls is also a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School.  Colonel Rawls has served in staff positions as the Junior Military Aide to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Chief Air Planner, United States Military Delegation to the NATO Military Committee, Brussels Belgium and most recently as F-35 Joint Capabilities Office 3F Capabilities Manager.  He has been a Squadron Commander, Operations Officer, Wing Chief of Safety, Vice-Wing Commander and is a four time member of the US Military Pentathlon Team.  As an operational pilot Colonel Rawls flew the A-10A/C and F-15C with combat mission in Iraq supporting Operation Southern Watch.  As a Test Pilot, Colonel Rawls had assignments in the A-10C, F-15C and F-16 conducting joint weapons development.

Colonel Rawls is a command pilot and has accumulated more than 2,100 hours in 30 different aircraft.  He is married to Scotta (Baker) Rawls of Wichita Falls, TX, and they have two children:  Keegan,18 and Karson, 16.

EDUCATION:
1992 Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
1998 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2000 Master’s Degree in Organizational Management, The George Washington University, Washington DC
2002 USAF Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, CA
2005 Master’s Degree in Military Operational Art and Science, Maxwell AFB, AL
2015 Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership, US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

ASSIGNMENTS:
  1. August 1993 – September 1994,  Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, TX

  2. February 1995 – April 1995,  Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Columbus AFB, MS

  3. October 1994 – May 1995,  Student, A-10 Training Unit, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

  4. June 1995 – May 1996,  A-10 Fighter Pilot, 55th FS, Shaw AFB, SC

  5. June 1996 – August 1997,  A-10 Fighter Pilot, Life Support Officer, 25th FS, Osan AB, Korea

  6. September 1997 – June 1998,  T-38 Instructor Pilot, Sheppard AFB, TX

  7. July 1998 – May 2000, Air Force  Intern (Pentagon)/ Student, George Washington University, Washington DC

  8. June 2000 – November 2000,  Student, F-15 Fighter Training, Tyndall AFB, FL

  9. December 2000 – June 2002,  Fighter Pilot, Chief of Scheduling, 60th FS, Eglin AFB, FL

  10. July 2002 – June 2003,  Student, USAF Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, CA

  11. July 2003 – June 2005,  F-15/A-10 Test Pilot/ADO, 40th FTS, Eglin AFB, FL

  12. June 2005 – June 2006,  Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL

  13. June 2006 – June 2008,  Operations Officer, 586th Flight Test Sqdn, Holloman AFB, NM

  14. June 2008 – June 2009,  Chief of Safety, Data Masked

  15. June 2009 – June 2011,  Squadron Commander, Data Masked

  16. June 2011 – June 2013,  Chief Air Plans, Joint Staff, US Military Delegation to NATO, Brussels, BE

  17. June 2013 – June 2014, Vice-Wing Commander, 355th Fighter Wing, D-M AFB, Ariz.

  18. June 2014 – June 2015, Student, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

  19. June 2015 – June 2016, F-35 3F Capabilities Manager, Joint Program Office, Arlington, VA

  20. June 2016 – June 2017, Senior USAF Service Representative to the F-35 Joint Program Office, Arlington, VA

  21. July 2017 – Present, Commander, 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and 435th Air Expeditionary Wing, Ramstein AB, Germany

JOINT DUTY ASSIGNMENTS:
  1. July 2011 – July 2013, Chief Air Plans, Joint Staff, US Military Delegation to NATO, Brussels, BE 

FLIGHT INFORMATION:
Rating:  Command Pilot
Flight Hours:  2,100
Aircraft Flown:  A-10A-C, F-15A-D, F-16, T-38, C-12 and more than 25 other aircraft

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal
Air Force Aerial Achievement Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Unit Award
AF Outstanding Unit Award
AF Organizational Excellence Award
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS:
Distinguished Graduate AFROTC Detachment 290, University of Kentucky
Distinguished Graduate/Top Gun A-10 FTU, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
Distinguished Graduate Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
Distinguished Graduate United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Jaycee’s Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award, 1996
US Military Pentathlon Rookie of the Year, 1996
Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award, 46 OG, Eglin AFB, FL 2004
Test Team of the Year Chief Pilot,  46TW, Eglin AFB, FL 2004 and 2006
Lt Gen Bobby Bond Award, Air Armament Center, Eglin AFB, FL, 2008

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION: 
Second Lieutenant, Commissioned 09 May 92
First Lieutenant, 03 Nov 94
Captain, 03 Nov 96
Major, 01 May 03
Lieutenant Colonel, 01 May 08
Colonel, 25 May 13

 
(Current as of July 2017)