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Brigadier General Thomas S. Cauthen

Chief of Staff, Air
Military

Brig. Gen. Thomas S. Cauthen serves as the Chief of Staff, Tennessee Air National Guard. As Chief of Staff, General Cauthen is responsible for the implementation of the Tennessee Air National Guard strategic vision and the leadership of Joint Force Headquarters air staff. General Cauthen provides strategic counsel and management for the entire Tennessee Air National Guard, comprising over 3,400 Airmen located at three Wings and two Geographically Separated Units across the state.

General Cauthen commissioned in 1984 through the Air National Guard Academy of Military Science. He flew combat support aerial refueling missions for Desert Shield, Southern Watch, Joint Forge, Allied Force, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Additionally, General Cauthen has deployed to Incirlik, Turkey as the 385th Air Expeditionary Forces Operations Officer supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, to Istres, France as the Operations Officer for Joint Forge, and to Mildenhall, England as the 171st Air Expeditionary Wing Operations Group Commander supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

From August to November 2000, General Cauthen was an initial cadre Instructor Pilot for the 134th Air Refueling Wing conversion to Pacer Crag (Block 30). He also served in a variety of positions within the 134th. He was the Operations Support Flight Commander before becoming the 151st Air Refueling Squadron Commander in June 2001.

In October 2003, General Cauthen moved to Maintenance as the Maintenance Squadron Commander and was promoted to the Maintenance Group Commander in January 2004. He assumed the position of Vice Commander in August of 2006.

In June 2011, General Cauthen was selected as Wing Commander of the 134th Air Refueling Wing where he led the largest unit in the Tennessee Air National Guard. General Cauthen was selected as Director of Staff for the Tennessee Air National Guard in September 2018 and served in that capacity until July 2019.

 

EDUCATION

1984 Bachelor of Science degree in pre-engineering from Carson Newman College, Jefferson City, Tennessee

1988 Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

1995 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence

1999 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2003 Air War College, by correspondence

 

ASSIGNMENTS:

1. March 1985 - February 1986, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Reese AFB, Texas

2. February 1986 - June 1986, Student, KC-135A Copilot Combat Crew Training, Castle AFB, California

3. September 1986 - June 1990, KC-135E Copilot, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tennessee

4. June 1990 - March 1993, KC-135E Aircraft Commander, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tennessee

5. March 1993 - October 1998, KC-135 Instructor Pilot, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tennessee

6. November 1998 - June 2001, Operations Support Flight Commander, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tennessee

7. June 2001 - October 2003, 151st Air Refueling Squadron Commander, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tennessee

8. October 2003 - January 2004, Maintenance Squadron Commander, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tennessee

9. January 2004 - August 2006, Maintenance Group Commander, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tennessee

10. August 2006 - June 2011, Vice Commander, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tennessee

11. July 2011 – September 2018, Commander, 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB, Tennessee

12. September 2018 – July 2019, Director of Staff, Tennessee Air National Guard, Joint Force Headquarters, Tennessee

13. July 2019 - Present, Chief of Staff, Tennessee Air National Guard, Joint Force Headquarters, Tennessee

 

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Rating: Command Pilot

Flight Hours: More than 5800

Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38, KC-135A, KC-135E, and KC-135R

 

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS

Legion of Merit

Meritorious Service Medal (with four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster and three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)

Combat Readiness Medal (with two silver and two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)

National Defense Service Medal (with Bronze Star)

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal (with two Bronze Stars)

Kosovo Campaign Medal (with Bronze Star)

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Armed Forces Service Medal

Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal (with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)

Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon

Air Force Longevity Service Award (with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)

Armed Forces Reserve Medal with silver hour glass)

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

Air Force Training Ribbon

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

 

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION

Second Lieutenant December 6, 1984

First Lieutenant December 15, 1986

Captain January 7, 1989

Major June 21, 1995

Lieutenant Colonel June 24, 1999

Colonel July 22, 2004

Brigadier General August 9, 2019

 

(Current as of August 2019)