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First Name: William

Last Name: Shelton

Birthplace: Tulsa, OK, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Lee

Date of Birth: 25 February 1954

Rank: General

Years Served: 1976 - present
William Lee Shelton

Graduate, U.S. Air Force Academy, Class of 1976


William Lee Shelton

General, U.S. Air Force

William Lee Shelton was born on 25 February 1954 in Tulsa, OK.

William Shelton graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science in Astronautical Engineering. Upon graduation, Shelton was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 2 June 1976. His first assignment was as a Launch Facilities Manager, Launch Director and Technical Assistant to the Commander from August 1976 - May 1979 at the Space and Missile Test Center, Vandenberg AFB, CA. While at Vandenberg, he was promoted to First Lieutenant on 2 June 1978. Following his first assignment, Shelton reported to the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. He graduated with a Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering in December 1980.

After graduation, Shelton was assigned to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, where he worked as a Space Shuttle Flight Controller until July 1985. While in Texas, he was promoted to the rank of Captain on 2 June 1980 and to the rank of Major on 1 May 1985. In July 1985, Shelton moved on to the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA. Following staff college, he was assigned to work for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at Air Force Space Command at Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, CO. In August 1988 he moved to Washington, DC, to work for the Secretary of the Air Force in the Office of Space Plans and Policy. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 March 1990, he took command of the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Falcon AFB in Colorado in August.

After his first command tour, Shelton served as Executive Officer to the Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command for a year beginning in June 1992. He assumed command of the 50th Operations Group at Falcon AFB from June 1993 to July 1994; he was promoted to Colonel on 1 February 1994. Following his second command tour, Shelton returned to school at the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC. There he earned a Master of Science in National Security Strategy, graduating in May 1995.

Shelton next served as the Deputy Program Manager and Executive Assistant for the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program Office which fell under the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs in Washington, DC. In 1996, he attended the Program for Senior Officials in National Security at Syracuse University and Johns Hopkins University. In September 1997, he assumed command of the 90th Space Wing at Francis E. Warren AFB in Wyoming. From September 1999 to July 2000, he was again in Washington, DC, this time as the Chief of the Space Superiority Division in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs. He followed this assignment by serving from July 2000 to November 2000 as Director of Manpower and Organization in the same office.

Senior Commands

In November 2000, Shelton became Director of Requirements at Headquarters, Air Force Space Command, in Colorado Springs. There he was promoted to Brigadier General on 1 January 2001. He stayed at Air Force Space Command until June 2003 holding various positions including Director of Plans and Programs and Director of Air and Space Operations.

Following his tour at Air Force Space Command, he moved on to the U.S. Strategic Command on Offutt AFB in Bellevue, NE. There he served as Director of Capability and Resource Integration and Director of Plans and Policy. He was also promoted to Major General on 1 July 2004.

In May 2005, Shelton assumed Command of the 14th Air Force from Vandenberg AFB, CA. In July 2006, he also assumed Command of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, which is attached to the U.S. Strategic Command.

President George W. Bush nominated Shelton for the appointment to Lieutenant General with continued assignment as the 14 AF/CC and CDR JFCC SPACE. After Senate confirmation, Shelton was promoted to Lieutenant General on 8 January 2008.

In December 2008, Lt. General Shelton was appointed Chief of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.

On 5 January 2011, Shelton was promoted to the four-star rank of General and became Commander, Air Force Space Command.

Medals and Awards

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

Defense Superior Service Medal (2 Awards)

Legion of Merit (2 Awards)

Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 Awards)

Meritorious Service Medal (5 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal

Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2 Awards)

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (5 Awards)

Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (2 Awards)


Command Space Badge

Basic Communications and Information Badge

Parachutist Badge

Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge

Honoree ID: 837   Created by: MHOH




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