Colonel Thomas A. Santoro Jr., USAF, is the Associate Dean of Faculty for Academic Programs, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University, Washington DC. He is responsible for the development and execution of Eisenhower School’s Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase II and Master of Science in National Resource Strategy graduate degree programs. In his previous assignment, he served as the Chief, JPME Division, Joint Force Development Directorate (J7), The Joint Staff, Washington, DC.
Colonel Santoro was born in Philadelphia, Pa. and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Boston University. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Air War College, where he earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies. He was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in June 1988.
Colonel Santoro entered the Air Force as an aircraft maintenance officer at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and was subsequently selected to attend undergraduate pilot training. His career includes a variety of assignments as pilot, instructor pilot, and evaluator pilot in the C-130, as well as a staff tour at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where he served as Deputy Director, Commander’s Action Group. Colonel Santoro was Commander of the 816th Global Mobility Readiness Squadron (GMRS), McGuire Air Force Base, N.J; the first-ever GMRS in the Air Force. He led the unit from initial to full operational capability. The GMRS enables the Contingency Response Group to open air bases for the warfighting commander, bridging the gap between airfield seizure forces and follow-on combat and expeditionary combat support forces. He has also served at Air Command and Staff College both on the faculty and as the College’s Associate Dean for Operations.
Colonel Santoro is a command pilot with over 2,800 flying hours, primarily in the C-130, including over 150 combat hours. He has served as Deputy Commander, 386th Expeditionary Operations Group, 386th Expeditionary Airlift Wing, Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and has also deployed for Operations PROVIDE PROMISE and JOINT ENDEAVOR, as well as other contingency operations. His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and other unit and campaign awards.
He is married with three children.