John E. Hyten

Summary

John E. Hyten
Gen John E. Hyten (5).jpg
Official portrait, 2021
Birth nameJohn Earl Hyten
Born (1959-07-18) July 18, 1959 (age 62)
Torrance, California, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force
Years of service1981–2021
RankGeneral
Commands heldVice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
United States Strategic Command
Air Force Space Command
50th Space Wing
595th Space Group
6th Space Operations Squadron
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
Iraq War
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Alma materHarvard University (BS)
Auburn University at Montgomery (MBA)
Spouse(s)Laura Hyten
SignatureJohn E. Hyten signature.png

John Earl Hyten (born July 18, 1959) is a retired United States Air Force general who served as the 11th vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2019 to 2021. A career space operations and acquisitions officer, he commanded the United States Strategic Command from 2016 to 2019 and the Air Force Space Command from 2014 to 2016.

Early life and education

John Earl Hyten was born on July 18, 1959, in Torrance, California as the eldest of Sherwyn and Barbara Hyten's three children.[1] In 1965, his family moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where his father worked on the Saturn V rocket. He grew up in Huntsville at the height of the Space Race, attending Chaffee Elementary School and Grissom High School, two of the three schools named after the Apollo 1 astronauts who died during a launch rehearsal test.[2][3] In 1977, he graduated from Grissom High School. He wanted to become an astronaut, but because of his poor eyesight, decided to pursue engineering "to get in the space business."[4]

Hyten got accepted into Harvard University, but unable to pay for it, he accepted an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship that required him to serve in the United States Air Force for four years. He graduated from Harvard in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in engineering and applied sciences. After graduating, he commissioned into the Air Force as a second lieutenant, intending to serve only for four years and get out in 1985 to work in the space industry.[5][4]

In 1985, Hyten received a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University at Montgomery. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1985 as a distinguished graduate. From 1993 to 1994, he studied at the Air Command and Staff College in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. In 1999, he became a national defense fellow of the University of Illinois. In 2011, he returned to Harvard, taking their Senior Managers in Government Course.[5]

Military career

Hyten was commissioned into the United States Air Force on August 23, 1981, as a second lieutenant. His career includes assignments in a variety of space acquisition and operations positions. He served in senior engineering positions on both Air Force and Army anti-satellite weapon system programs.[5] He initially wanted to serve for four years but decided to stay after getting the opportunity to work in the space and missile defense program.[2][4]

Hyten's staff assignments include tours with the Air Force Secretariat, the Air Staff, the Joint Staff and the Commander's Action Group at Headquarters Air Force Space Command as Director. He served as mission director in Cheyenne Mountain and was the last active-duty commander of the 6th Space Operations Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. In 2006, he deployed to Southwest Asia as Director of Space Forces for operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Hyten commanded the 595th Space Group and the 50th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. Prior to assuming command of Air Force Space Command, he served as the Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command.

On March 15, 2013, it was announced that Hyten had been nominated to be Commander, Fourteenth Air Force and Joint Functional Component Command for Space, U.S. Strategic Command. This would have had him exchanging jobs with the incumbent Lieutenant General Susan J. Helms.[6] However, Helms' nomination was put on hold by Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill resulting in the withdrawal of the nomination and leading to the retirement of Helms.[7][8] On April 9, 2014, Hyten was confirmed by the Senate for promotion to the rank of General and appointment as Commander, Air Force Space Command.[9] Before assuming command of the United States Strategic Command on November 3, 2016, Hyten commanded Air Force Space Command.[5][1]

United States Strategic Command

Hyten, commander of the United States Strategic Command, poses for a photo with Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan on April 19, 2018.

Hyten was nominated for reassignment to head the United States Strategic Command on September 8, 2016. This nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 28, 2016 after a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Armed Services on September 20.[10][11] The change of command ceremony occurred on November 3.[12]

In November 2017, Hyten stated that if he determines Donald Trump's order for a nuclear strike to be illegal, then "I'm going to say: 'Mr President, that's illegal.' And guess what he's going to do? He's going to say, 'What would be legal?' And we'll come up with options, of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that's the way it works."[13]

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Hyten is sworn in as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on November 18, 2019.

In April 2019, Hyten was nominated to be Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[14] The U.S. Senate confirmed him on September 26, 2019, by a vote of 75–22.[15][16][17][18][19] He assumed duties as the Vice Chairman on November 21, 2019, making him the second highest-ranking military officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. From February 2, 2019, Hyten also served as the senior designated official of the Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cross Functional Team.[20]

Hyten has stated that he hopes to reduce overclassification in the Department of Defense.[21]

It was announced that by the year of 2021 Hyten is expected to retire and would not seek a second-term as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[22][23] With the absence of a selected nominee to succeed Hyten, Department of Defense officials stated in October 2021 that Hyten would delegate his duties to senior officials on the Joint Staff if a nominee was not confirmed by his retirement date in November.[24] U.S. Navy Adm. Christopher Grady succeeded Hyten as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff upon the confirmation of his nomination to the post by the U.S. Senate on December 16, 2021.[25]

Hyten retired from active duty on November 19, 2021.[26]

Sexual misconduct allegation

General Hyten testifies at his Senate nomination hearing to be vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 30, 2019.

In July 2019, an unnamed senior military officer spoke to the Associated Press accusing the general of sexual misconduct in 2017 while she was one of his aides. The officer claimed the unwanted touching and kissing happened during the 2017 Reagan National Defense Forum in California and several times during the year while working as his aide. The officer told the Associated Press: "My life was ruined by this".[27]

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations opened an investigation, which included interviews with fifty-three witnesses and a review of tens of thousands of emails. The investigation found no evidence or information to substantiate the allegations. The court martial convening authority, General Mike Holmes, declined to take any action given the lack of supporting evidence concerning the allegations.[28]

The accuser identified herself as Colonel Kathryn A. Spletstoser, former Director, Commander's Action Group, United States Strategic Command, on July 26, 2019.[29]

On July 30, Hyten appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his confirmation hearing for Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, following five closed-door sessions. No members of the committee supported the accusations in the public hearing, with Senator Martha McSally stating that "sexual assault happens in the military. It just didn't happen in this case" and that "the full truth was revealed in this process... General Hyten is innocent of these charges."[30]

Personal life

Hyten is married to Laura Hyten.[29]

Assignments

Begin End Assignment Duty Station
November 1981 December 1985 Configuration Management Officer and Chief, Configuration Management Division, Automated Systems Program Office Gunter AFB, Ala.
December 1985 July 1989 Chief Software Development Branch and Chief, Engineering and Acquisition Division, Space Defense Programs Office Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
August 1989 July 1990 Special Adviser to the U.S. Army, Kinetic Energy Anti-Satellite Program Office, U.S. Army Strategic Defense Command Huntsville, Ala.
July 1990 August 1991 Deputy for Engineering, Strategic Defense Initiatives Program Office Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
August 1991 May 1992 Executive Speechwriter and Systems Analyst, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
May 1992 July 1993 Program Element Monitor, Advanced Technology Programs, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
July 1993 June 1994 Student, Air Command and Staff College Maxwell AFB, Ala.
July 1994 June 1996 Mission Director, Space Operations Officer and Chief, Command Center Training, U.S. Space Command Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colo.
August 1996 August 1998 Commander, 6th Space Operations Squadron Offutt AFB, Neb.
August 1998 June 1999 National Defense Fellow University of Illinois, Champaign
June 1999 June 2001 Operations Officer, and Chief, Space Branch, Defense and Space Operations Division, Deputy Director for Operations (Current Readiness and Capabilities), J3, Joint Staff The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
June 2001 June 2003 Chief, Space Control Division, Directorate for Space Operations and Integration, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
June 2003 July 2004 Director, Commander's Action Group, Air Force Space Command Peterson AFB, Colo.
July 2004 April 2005 Commander, 595th Space Group Schriever AFB, Colo.
April 2005 May 2007 Commander, 50th Space Wing Schriever AFB, Colo.
May 2006 October 2006 Director of Space Forces, U.S. Central Command Air Forces Southwest Asia
May 2007 September 2009 Director of Requirements, Air Force Space Command Peterson AFB, Colo.
September 2009 February 2010 Director, Cyber and Space Operations, Directorate of Operations, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
February 2010 August 2010 Director, Space Acquisition, Office of the Under Secretary of the Air Force The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
September 2010 May 2012 Director, Space Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
May 2012 August 2014 Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command Peterson AFB, Colo.
August 2014 October 25, 2016 Commander, Air Force Space Command Peterson AFB, Colo.
November 3, 2016 November 18, 2019 Commander, United States Strategic Command Offutt AFB, Neb.
November 21, 2019 November 19, 2021 Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff The Pentagon, Washington D.C.[12]

Awards and decorations

Other achievements

General Hyten presents a gift to Romanian Minister of National Defense Nicolae Ciucă during a visit to Mihail Kognalniceanu Air Base, January 7, 2020.
  • 1991 Recipient of the William Jump Award for Excellence within the Federal Government
  • 1998 Recipient of a Laurels Award, Aviation Week & Space Technology Magazine
  • 2009 Gen. Jerome F. O'Malley Distinguished Space Leadership Award
  • 2014 Dr. Wernher Von Braun Space Flight Trophy
  • 2014 General Thomas D. White Space Award
  • 2018 Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy

Promotions

Hyten is pinned with the rank of lieutenant general by his wife Laura and General William L. Shelton, the outgoing AFSPC commander on May 18, 2012.
Promotions
Insignia Rank Date
US Air Force O10 shoulderboard rotated.svg General August 15, 2014
US Air Force O9 shoulderboard rotated.svg Lieutenant General May 18, 2012
US Air Force O8 shoulderboard rotated.svg Major General November 10, 2010
US Air Force O7 shoulderboard rotated.svg Brigadier General October 1, 2007
US Air Force O6 shoulderboard rotated.svg Colonel June 1, 2002
US Air Force O5 shoulderboard rotated.svg Lieutenant Colonel January 1, 1997
US Air Force O4 shoulderboard rotated.svg Major May 1, 1993
US Air Force O3 shoulderboard rotated.svg Captain August 23, 1985
US Air Force O2 shoulderboard rotated.svg First Lieutenant August 23, 1983
US Air Force O1 shoulderboard rotated.svg Second Lieutenant August 23, 1981

Writings

  • "Space Mission Force:Developing Space Warfighters of Tomorrow" (PDF). Air Force Space Command. June 29, 2016.
  • With Dr. Robert Uy (Summer 2004). "Moral and Ethical Decisions Regarding Space Warfare" (PDF). Air and Space Power Journal. XVIII (2): 51–60.
  • "A Sea of Peace or a Theater of War: Dealing with the Inevitable Conflict in Space" (PDF). Air and Space Power Journal. XVI (3): 78–92. Fall 2002.

References

  1. ^ a b Kesner, Kenneth (June 21, 2012). "Huntsville native receives third star on Air Force uniform and post with Space Command". Alabama Local News. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Lowery 2020, p. 303.
  3. ^ Roop, Lee (September 26, 2019). "Air Force general with Alabama ties tapped for No. 2 Pentagon job". Alabama Local News. Retrieved January 4, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Hyten, John E. (October 26, 2017). 2017 Dr. Werhner von Braun Memorial Reception Keynote (Speech). Dr. Werhner von Braun Memorial Reception. U.S. Space & Rocket Center: United States Strategic Command. Retrieved April 9, 2019. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ a b c d "General John E. Hyten". United States Air Force. April 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2018. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ "General assignments, nominations announced | Air Force Times | airforcetimes.com". airforcetimes.com. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  7. ^ "Obama Withdraws Helms Nomination | SpaceNews.com". spacenews.com. November 9, 2013. Archived from the original on February 9, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  8. ^ "Helms to retire after stalled job change". lompocrecord.com. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  9. ^ "PN1508 – Nomination of Lt. Gen. John E. Hyten for Air Force, 113th Congress (2013–2014) | Congress.gov | Library of Congress". beta.congress.gov. April 9, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  10. ^ Gould, Joe (September 21, 2016). "STRATCOM Nominee Favors Boosting Cyber Command, Nuke Modernization". Defense News. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  11. ^ "PN1706 — Gen. John E. Hyten — Air Force". United States Congress. September 8, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Admiral hands reins to General at U.S. Strategic Command". WOWT 6 News. November 3, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  13. ^ "US nuclear chief would resist 'illegal' presidential strike order". BBC News. November 19, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  14. ^ Smith, Marcia (April 9, 2019). "Hyten Nominated to be Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs". SpacePolicyOnline.com. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  15. ^ Pawlyk, Oriana (September 26, 2019). "Senate Confirms Air Force Gen. Hyten as Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman". Military.com. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  16. ^ Shane, Leo (September 30, 2019). "Hyten confirmed as new Joint Chiefs vice chairman despite sexual assault accusations". Military Times. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  17. ^ "John Hyten confirmed as Joint Chiefs vice chairman despite sexual assault allegation". POLITICO. September 26, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  18. ^ "Hyten confirmed as Joint Chiefs vice chairman despite sexual assault allegations - U.S." Stripes. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  19. ^ "Air Force Gen. John Hyten confirmed as nation's No. 2 military officer despite aide's sexual misconduct allegations". Fox News. July 30, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  20. ^ Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Cross Functional Team. "Leaders". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  21. ^ Mehta, Aaron (January 29, 2020). "'Unbelievably ridiculous': Four-star general seeks to clean up Pentagon's classification process". Defense News. Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that he hopes to see “significant improvement” this year on loosening classification standards in the infamously overclassified Pentagon.
  22. ^ LaGrone, Sam (November 13, 2020). "Joint Chiefs Vice Chair John Hyten Expected to Retire Next Year; Shortest Tenure in Job Since 2007". USNI News. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  23. ^ Pawlyk, Oriana (November 14, 2020). "Gen. Hyten, Embattled Joint Chiefs Vice Chair, Will Not Seek Second Term". Yahoo! News. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  24. ^ Losey, Stephen (October 22, 2021). "'Uncharted waters:' With no Hyten successor in sight, DoD prepares to delegate vice chair jobs". Defense News. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  25. ^ Shane, Leo III (December 17, 2021). "Grady confirmed as new vice chair for Joint Chiefs". Military Times. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  26. ^ Lamothe, Dan (November 2, 2021). "After unusual delay, White House nominates admiral for Pentagon's No. 2 military job". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  27. ^ Baldor, Lolita C. (July 11, 2019). "AP Exclusive: Officer alleges sexual misconduct by general". Associated Press. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  28. ^ Starr, Barbara; Cohen, Zachary (July 11, 2019). "Air Force clears senior general of sexual misconduct allegations". CNN. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  29. ^ a b Cooper, Helene (July 26, 2019). "'I Have a Moral Responsibility to Come Forward': Colonel Accuses Top Military Nominee of Assault". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  30. ^ Demirjian, Koroun (July 30, 2019). "Two senators split sharply in assessments of general accused of sexual assault". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  31. ^ "Gen Hyten receives French Legion of Honor". United States Strategic Command. July 18, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2022. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

Bibliography

  • Lowery, Nathan S. (2020). The Chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1949-2019 (PDF) (6th ed.). Joint Chiefs of Staff. ISSN 2690-165X.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
???
Director of Space Operations of the United States Air Force
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director for Space Programs of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Michael J. Basla
Vice Commander of the Air Force Space Command
2012‒2014
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commander of the Air Force Space Command
2014–2016
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commander of the United States Strategic Command
2016–2019
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
2019–2021
Succeeded by