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Col Ricky L. Mills is the Commandant, Squadron Officer School, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Every year, the School educates over 4,200 USAF captains, civilians, and international officers to think, communicate, cooperate, and lead in the joint environment. The school's team of military and civilian faculty develop and teach the Professional Military Education curriculum that begins a student’s preparation to serve as senior Air Force leaders in the future.
Colonel Mills grew up in an Air Force family and entered the Air Force in 1995 as a graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Texas A&M University. He is a career intelligence officer with extensive operational and combat experience. He also served on various staff assignments at the major command and combatant command levels. He deployed in support of Operation Joint Forge as the Stabilization Force CJ2 Collection Manager in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. As the initial cadre Information Integration Officer on the RC-135V/W RIVET JOINT, Colonel Mills flew over 750 combat hours over the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq. He later served in the Combined Air Operations Center as the Senior Intelligence Duty Officer directing ISR sorties in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
As the first director of operations of a data masked squadron, Colonel Mills directed the deployment, employment, and sustainment of low density, high demand ISR operators and technology in support of worldwide joint special operations task forces. He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a mission commander for a joint operations task force responsible for identifying and locating high value individuals for direct action. Colonel Mills subsequently commanded a squadron conducting airborne ISR missions aboard three variants of the RC-135 in the United States Pacific Command and Central Command theaters of operation.
Colonel Mills has 1,497 combat hours including over 200 combat sorties on various conventional and special operations aircraft to include the RC-135, P-3, RC-12, U-28, C-208, RC-26, and DHC-7.
1994 Bachelor of Business Administration in Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 1995 Distinguished Graduate, Intelligence Officer Course, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
2000 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2003 Master of Arts in Organizational Management, George Washington University, Washington D.C. 2007 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2009 Air War College, by correspondence
2013 Master of Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
2017 Executive Leadership Seminar, University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill, N.C.
1. June 1995 - March 1996, Student, Intelligence Officer Training, 315th Training Squadron, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
2. March 1996 - February 1998, Watch Officer, 301st Intelligence Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
3. April 1998 - April 1999, Chief of Intelligence, 35th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
4. April 1999 - April 2001, Executive Officer to Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, Naples, Italy
5. June 2001 - June 2002, Chief, Theater Missile Operations, 607th Combat Operations Squadron, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
6. June 2002 - June 2003, Air Force Intern, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C.
7. September 2003 - September 2005, Assistant Director of Operations, 488th Intelligence Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, England
8. October 2005 - August 2007, Chief, Airborne ISR Operations Branch, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
9. August 2007 - June 2009, Director of Operations, Data Masked
10. June 2009 - July 2011, Commander, 390th Intelligence Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan
11. August 2011 - June 2012, Executive Officer to Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C.
12. July 2012 - June 2013, Student, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
13. July 2013 - June 2015, Deputy Chief, Strategy Division and Chief, Strategy Division, U.S. Pacific Command Joint Intelligence Operations Center, Camp Smith, Hawaii
14. June 2015 – July 2017, Commander, 707th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, Fort Meade, Md.
15. July 2017 – August 2019, Commander, 17th Training Wing, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
16. August 2019 – Present, Commandant, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters Air Force Commendation Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze star
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 12, 1995
First Lieutenant March 14, 1997
Captain March 14, 1999
Major June 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2009
Colonel Oct. 1, 2014
(Current as of August 2019)