COLONEL ALEX R. GANSTER

Colonel Alex R. Ganster assumed the duties of Commandant, International Officer School and Director, Air University International Affairs in 2020. 

Colonel Alex R. Ganster entered the Air Force as a distinguished graduate in 1994, after earning a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Valdosta State University.  Colonel Ganster has commanded at the squadron and group levels.  Additionally, the colonel has served in staff positions at U.S. Southern Command, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, and Headquarters U.S. Forces Korea.  Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Ganster was the United States Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to the country of Ecuador.  Colonel Ganster has extensive combat deployed experience in support of Operations DECISIVE ENDEAVOR, SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM.  

EDUCATION
1993  Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia
1994  Master’s degree in Public Administration, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia
1999  Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2001  Master’s degree in Strategic Intelligence, Joint Military Intelligence College, Washington, District of Columbia
2004  Air Command and Staff College Course by correspondence
2008  Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
2011  Air War College Course by correspondence
2015  Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2015  Master’s degree in Strategic Studies, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

ASSIGNMENTS
 1.   September 1994 - March 1995, Special Projects Officer, Headquarters Air Force Reserves, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
 2.   March 1995 - December 1995, student, 315 Training Squadron, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas
 3.   December 1995 - September 1997, Deputy Chief of Intelligence, 19 Air Refueling Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
 4.   September 1997 - June 2000, Ops Officer and Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Florida
 5.   June 2000 - June 2001, Student, Joint Military Intelligence College, Joint Military Intelligence College, Washington District of Columbia
 6.   June 2001 - April 2002, Flight Commander, Analysis and Reporting Flight, 316 Training Squadron, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas
 7.   April 2002 - May 2004, Flight Commander, Cryptologic Linguist Training Flight, 316 Training Squadron, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas
 8.   May 2004 - June 2005, Chief, Intelligence Systems Branch, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida
 9.   June 2005 - June 2007, Commander, Data Masked Unit
10.  June 2007 - July 2008, student, Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
11.  July 2008 - July 2010, Chief, Intelligence Operations Branch, Headquarters U.S. Forces Korea, Seoul, South Korea
12.  July 2010 - July 2012, Commander, 488th Intelligence Squadron, Royal Air Force, Mildenhall, United Kingdom
13.  July 2012 - June 2014, Deputy Commander, 55th Operations Group, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
14.  June 2014 - June 2015, student, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
15.  June 2015 - July 2016, Director of Intelligence, LeMay Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
16.  July 2016 - July 2018, Commander, 17th Training Group, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas
17.  July 2018 – January 2019, Director of Staff, 17th Training Wing, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas
18.  January 2019 – May 2019, student, Joint Military Attaché School, Washington District of Columbia
19.  June 2019 – June 2020, United States Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to Ecuador
20.  June 2020 – present, Commandant, International Officer School and Director, Air University International Affairs 

AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC)
Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC)
Joint Service Commendation Medal (2 OLC)
Air Force Commendation Medal (2 OLC)
Army Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2 OLC) with “V” device
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (1 OLC)
National Defense Service Medal (1 Bronze Star)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1 Bronze Star)
Afghanistan Campaign Medal (2 OLC)
Iraq Campaign Medal (1 OLC)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal (1 Bronze Star)
Armed Forces Humanitarian Service Medal (2 OLC)
Air and Space Campaign Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal (3 OLC)
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border (1 OLC)
Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon (4 OLC)
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
NATO Medal

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant,  June 12, 1994
First Lieutenant, September 11, 1996
Captain, September 11, 1998
Major, March 5, 2004
Lieutenant Colonel, January 1, 2010
Colonel, March 1, 2016

(Current as of March 2022)