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Colonel Michael D Cartney currently serves as the Director of the US Air Force Academy’s Washington DC office.  Colonel Cartney is the Superintendent’s liaison to the White House, Congress, and Pentagon, as well as other DC area organizations. 

Raised in South Dakota, Colonel Cartney graduated from the United State Air Force Academy and was commissioned in June 1981.  His first tour of duty was with the Air Force Data Services Center, in direct support of the Office of Secretary of Defense, Programs Analysis and Evaluation (OSD/PA&E).  A distinguished graduate from Squadron Officer School as a Lieutenant, he subsequently selected to pursue his graduate level studies at Purdue University.  Beginning in 1986, Colonel Cartney served in a number of software development positions ranging from programming to program manager in support of Strategic Air Command and the Intelligence Community.  He was subsequently hand-selected to lead an ASD/C3I project aimed at bringing DoD surveillance and intelligence technology to bear on issues faced by the National Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA).  After attending the international Command and Staff College in Canada, Colonel Cartney served on the Canadian National Defence Headquarters’ Staff, the Joint Staff, USSTRATCOM/USSPACECOM/NORAD Battle Staffs, and NORAD-USSPACECOM J6 staff.  He also career broadened as a Computer Science Instructor at USAFA, Assistant Executive Officer, and Aide-de-camp to the Superintendent. Colonel Cartney served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs’ Director for the Global Command and Control System.  Prior to coming to USAFA/CCL, Colonel Cartney served on USSPACECOM’s, NORAD’s and USSTRATCOM’s Battle Staffs and as Chief, Global C4 Division, overseeing the operational management of $20B+ on-orbit and $7B+ ground satellite communications assets providing lifeline communications to POTUS, SECDEF, and Dept of State, as well as isolated, in transit, and engaged forces world wide. Colonel Cartney directly supported Operations Noble Anvil, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Noble Eagle.  In addition, Colonel Cartney was the DOD Lead for the Global NetOps concept development, led the Transformational Communications Architecture Operations Concept Team, and was the Warfighter community’s member on the Navy’s multi-billion dollar UHF Communications Satellite constellation acquisition.

Colonel Cartney was a National Defense Fellow to the Program on Information Resources Policy, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.  His book, The Art of Balancing Information Sharing and Security, was published by the Harvard Press in 2000. 

Colonel Cartney’s hobbies include rugby, physical fitness, weight lifting, camping and fishing.  He is married to the former Harriett Louise Blankenship of Washington, D.C. and they have two children, Trisha and Byron.



1981    Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, USAFA, Colorado

1984    Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Al

1986    Master of Science in Numerical Analysis for EDP, Purdue University

1994    Canadian Command and Staff College, Toronto, Canada

1999    National Defense Fellowship (SSS), Harvard University




Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Joint Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air and Space Campaign Medal

Joint Meritorious Unit Award with 4 oak leaf clusters

AF Organizational Excellence Award with oak leaf cluster

National Defense Service Medal with Bronze star




Second Lieutenant        27 May 1981

First Lieutenant 27 May 1983

Captain                        27 May 1985

Major                           1 May 1993

Lieutenant Colonel        1 December 1997

Colonel                        1 April 2003


 (Current as of April 2005)



2004-Present               USAFA                  Pentagon, Washington DC

Director, Washington DC Office

Liaison for the Superintendent to Congress, Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and other DC organizations. 

2002-2004                   USSTRATCOM                  Offutt AFB, CO

Chief, Global C4 Division

§         Oversaw day-to-day operational management of global satellite and ground communications systems supporting DOD, POTUS, and other government agencies’ communications.

§         Directly supported Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Noble Eagle. 

2002                            USSTRATCOM                  Offutt AFB, CO

Chief, Satellite Ops Division

§         Oversaw day-to-day operational management of global satellite communications systems supporting Bosnia, Kosovo, Operations Noble Anvil, and Noble Eagle.

2000-2002                   USSPACECOM                  Peterson AFB, CO

Chief, SATCOM OPLAN, Policy, and Procedures Branch

§         Responsible for Global SATCOM operational planning, including GWOT, Kosovo, and Bosnia

1999-2000                   Senior Service School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass

National Defense Fellow, Program on Information Resources Policy

1997-1999                   The Joint Staff                           Pentagon, D.C.

Global Command And Control System (GCCS) Director

§         Responsible to Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) for World-wide GCCS Operations – directly supporting OPERATION DESERT FOX, OPERATION ALLIED FORCE, and OPERATION SUSTAIN HOPE.

§         Responsible for Operational Readiness of over 700 sites, 10000+ workstations, worldwide. 

§         Technical focal point for US Warfighter command and control

§         Advise CJCS and staff on GCCS technology insertion, modernization, and evolution.

1995-1997                   Canadian Ministry of Defence, Ottawa, Canada

Deputy Program Manager for Regional/Sector Air Operations Center (R/SAOC) Modernization

§         On behalf of the Canadian Government, led the day-to-day operations of the 100+ personnel International Program Office.

§         Signing authority for $150M (Canadian).

§         Led international technical assessment during streamlined acquisition.

1994-1995                   Command and Staff College,  Toronto, Canada

International Student

§         One of 8 US Air Force members selected to participate in an international program.

§         120 Students representing 20+ countries, all branches of service. No DG program.

1993-1994                   USAF Academy.           Colorado Springs, CO

Aide-de-camp to the Superintendent

§         Personal Staff Officer (PSO) to Lt Gen Bradley C Hosmer, USAF.

§         Also served as Assistant Executive Officer to the Superintendent.

1992-1993                   USAF Academy.           Colorado Springs, CO

Instructor, Computer Science

§         “Rookie of the Year” Award.

§         Only first year instructor to be given 400 level courses to instruct

1991-1992                   OSD/C3I.                             Washington, D.C.

Special Duty Assignment to Department Of Justice

§         Lead Technical advisor to DOJ, DEA, FBI, and US Marshall Service effort to effectively use innovation and technology in the war on drugs.

§         Handpicked by OSD/C3I.

1987-1991                   Strategic Air Command, Omaha, NE

Chief, Advanced Systems Technology

Provided direct software programming and program development support to SAC/INY and the 544 Intelligence Wing.

1985-1986                   Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Graduate Study, Department of Computer Science

1981-1985                   Air Force Data Services Center, Pentagon, D.C.

Application Development support to OSD/PA&E