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Col. Thomas W. O'Connor, Jr.

Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker

Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker

Col. Tom O’Connor graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1994 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Aviation branch.

His operational assignments include 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado; 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; 25th Aviation Brigade, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii; 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Campbell, where he served in leadership and staff positions from platoon leader to brigade operations officer. He also served as the commander of the 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, Wheeler Army Airfield. He most recently served as the Commander of the 1st Armored Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Bliss, Texas. O’Connor assumed duties as the Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, in July 2017.

O’Connor’s assignments outside of the operational force include service as a company trainer, the aviation battalion S3 trainer, and as an assistant maneuver brigade S3 trainer at the National Training Center. He also served as the Deputy Director of DAMO-AV, G-3/5/7 on the Department of the Army’s Staff at the Pentagon.

O’Connor’s combat experience includes service as an executive officer of a battalion task force deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2005-2006); as an operations officer of a battalion task force and then of an aviation brigade deployed to Regional Command-East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (2007-2008). He also served as the commander of a battalion task force deployed to Regional Command-South as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (2012-2013).

O’Connor earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management, a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Eisenhower School.

His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with Valor, Air Medal (2), Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Unit Award (2), Combat Action Badge, Master Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and the Army Staff Badge.

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