Major General (Select) Anthony J. Cotton is the Deputy Director, National Reconnaissance Office (DDNRO), Chantilly, Virginia. His responsibilities include assisting the Director and Principal Deputy Director in managing the strategic and tactical operations of the NRO. Also, as the Commander, Air Force Element, he manages all Air Force personnel and resources assigned to the NRO and serves as the senior adviser to the DNRO on all military matters. Prior to his current assignment, he was the Commander, 45th Space Wing and Director, Eastern Range, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.
General Cotton entered the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps Program in 1986. He began his career as a missile officer and has held a variety of operational space and headquarters staff assignments. He has commanded at the squadron, group, and wing levels, including commanding the Space Operations Group at Aerospace Data Facility East, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and the 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. He has also served as a Wing Vice Commander; Deputy Director of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Executive Action Group; and as Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.
Among the many awards and decorations received by General Cotton during his Air Force career are the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal. He is also the recipient of the NRO Medal of Superior Service.
General Cotton is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, and holds a Master of Science degree in administration from Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.
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