David D. Thompson

Summary

David Dean Thompson[1] (born February 18, 1963)[2] is a United States Space Force general currently serving as the service's first vice chief of space operations. He previously served as the vice commander of the United States Space Force, a position he retained from the Air Force Space Command when it was established as a separate service branch, from April 2, 2018, to September 30, 2020.[3][4][5][6] He assumed his current assignment on October 2, 2020.[7]

David D. Thompson
Gen David D. Thompson (2).jpg
Official portrait, 2021
Nickname(s)DT
Born (1963-02-18) February 18, 1963 (age 59)
Ambridge, Pennsylvania, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
Branch
Years of service
1985–2020 (Air Force)
  • 2020–present (Space Force)
RankGeneral
Commands held
Awards
SignatureDavid D. Thompson signature.svg

Early life and educationEdit

Born and raised in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, Thompson graduated in Ambridge Area High School in 1981.[8] He got his Bachelor of Science, majoring in astronautical engineering, from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado and graduated in 1985. In 1989, he received his graduate degree of Master of Science in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is also an Olmsted Scholar, graduate of the Senior Acquisition Course and a Level III-Certified Program Manager.[9]

Military careerEdit

 
USAFA yearbook photo of Thompson
 
General Raymond promoting Thompson to general of the U.S. Space Force, October 1.

Thompson received his commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force from the United States Air Force Academy in 1985. He is a career space officer with assignments in operations, research and development, acquisition, and academia.[10] He has commanded operational space units at the squadron, group, and wing levels.

A month after his commissioning, he was assigned in July 1985 to the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, California. For three years after getting his graduate degree, he was an instructor on astronautics in the U.S. Air Force Academy, assigned as the executive officer of the Department of Astronautics of the academy. From 1995 to 1998, he served at Space and Missile Systems Center as a program manager.

From July 2015 to July 2017, he served as the Air Force Space Command's then-two-star vice commander. That position was then renamed as AFSPC deputy commander in 2017 with Thompson serving as the special assistant to the AFSPC commander. In 2018, the AFSPC planned to revive the vice commander position, turning it into a position for a three-star general after Congress nixed plans on creating a deputy chief of staff for space operations position.[11] On April 4, 2018, he then resumed his previous position as AFSPC vice commander, promoted to lieutenant general.[12]

With the redesignation of the AFSPC as the newly created United States Space Force on December 20, 2019, Thompson retained his position as vice commander of the Space Force. In August 2020, he was nominated for transfer to the Space Force at his current rank of lieutenant general.[13] He was also nominated for appointment to the rank of general[14] and assignment as the first vice chief of space operations.[15] He was confirmed by the Senate on September 30, 2020,[14] and assumed rank following day.[16] Thompson assumed office on October 2.[7]

In October 2020, Thompson tested positive for COVID-19 after a family member who he was in contact with tested positive.[17] He was asymptomatic and returned to work on November 9, 2020, after an 11-day quarantine.[18]

Awards and decorationsEdit

  Command Space Operations Badge
 
Basic Parachutist Badge
 
Air Force Master Acquisition and Financial Management Badge[3]
 
Basic Missile Maintenance Badge
 
Space Staff Badge
  Air Force Distinguished Service Medal[19]
 
 
Defense Superior Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster
  Legion of Merit
  Bronze Star Medal
  Defense Meritorious Service Medal
 
 
 
Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
  Air Force Commendation Medal
 
 
 
Air Force Achievement Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
 
 
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award with one bronze oak leaf cluster
 
 
 
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two bronze oak leaf clusters
  Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
  National Reconnaissance Office Distinguished Service Medal (Gold Medal)[3]
 
 
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon
 
 
 
 
 
Air Force Longevity Service Award with one silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters
  Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
  Air Force Training Ribbon

Dates of promotionEdit

Rank Date[3]
  Second lieutenant May 29, 1985
  First lieutenant May 29, 1987
  Captain May 29, 1989
  Major August 1, 1996
  Lieutenant colonel May 1, 2000
  Colonel August 1, 2004
  Brigadier general June 18, 2010
  Major general October 10, 2013
  Lieutenant general April 4, 2018
  General October 1, 2020

WritingsEdit

  • With Gregory Gagnon and Christopher W. McLeod (Summer 2018). "Space as a War-fighting Domain" (PDF). Air and Space Power Journal. 32 (2): 4–8.
  • The Need for a Dedicated Space Vehicle for Defensive Counterspace Operations (PDF) (M.S.). Air Command and Staff College. April 1998. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 12, 2021.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Polaris (PDF). Vol. XXVII. Colorado Springs, Colorado: United States Air Force Academy. 1985. p. 84. Retrieved February 21, 2019.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ "Persons born on 18 February 1963, DAVID ALAN TROXEL to DENO S. MONTEIRO". sortedbybirthdate.com.
  3. ^ a b c d "General David D. Thompson". United States Space Force. October 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2021.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ Pope, Charles (January 5, 2020). "Officials provide details on building the Space Force, its structure, and operating imperatives". US Space Force. Washington DC. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  5. ^ Erwin, Sanra (August 8, 2020). "With Thompson's nomination, U.S. Space Force leadership takes shape". SpaceNews. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  6. ^ "General Officer Announcement". United States Department of Defense. August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2020.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ a b Kirby, Lynn (October 4, 2020). "First-ever Vice CSO joins U.S. Space Force". SpaceForce.mil. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  8. ^ Prose, J.D. (June 15, 2019). "Air Force Lt. Gen. David Thompson, an Ambridge native, tours RMU simulation center". Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  9. ^ Article title[bare URL PDF]
  10. ^ Schurr, Marjorie A. (June 18, 2019). "Steel foundation: Locally-born general comes home to tell AF story". Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  11. ^ Erwin, Sandra (January 17, 2018). "Air Force to create three-star 'vice commander' post to manage space activities". SpaceNews. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  12. ^ "Air Force establishes Pentagon-based AFSPC vice commander position". af.mil. Retrieved May 22, 2020.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  13. ^ "PN2164 — Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson — Space Force". congress.gov. August 6, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  14. ^ a b "PN2163 — Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson — Space Force". congress.gov. August 6, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  15. ^ "General Officer Announcement". defense.gov. August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  16. ^ "General David D. Thompson Bio". SpaceForce.mil. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020.
  17. ^ Bote, Joshua (October 29, 2020). "Space Force's second-in-command Gen. David D. Thompson tests positive for COVID-19". USA Today. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  18. ^ Cohen, Rachel (August 14, 2021). "Here's what the Space Force's No. 2 officer learned from having COVID-19". Air Force Times. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  19. ^ "USSF, University of Colorado announce partnership". United States Space Force.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by Commander of the Aerospace Data Facility-Colorado
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Preceded by
James K. McLaughlin
Vice Commander of the Air Force Warfare Center
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director of Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations of the Air Force Space Command
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Preceded by
James K. McLaughlin
Deputy Director for Global Operations of the United States Strategic Command
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director for Plans and Policy of the United States Strategic Command
2014–2015
Preceded by Vice Commander of the Air Force Space Command
2015–2017
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Bruce H. McClintock
Special Assistant to the Commander of the Air Force Space Command
2017–2018
Succeeded by
Position abolished
New office Vice Commander of the Air Force Space Command, later United States Space Force
2018–2020
Position renamed
New office Vice Chief of Space Operations
2020–present
Incumbent