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The Veterans News Hour, 22/11/2021

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Guest, Colonel Cesar Rodriguez USAF Retired

The Veterans News Hour with David C Cory and Richard Hurley

Guest, Colonel Cesar A. (“Rico”) Rodriguez, Jr. USAF (Retired)

 

Guest, Colonel Cesar A Rodriguez Jr USAF Retired

Guest Name
Colonel Cesar A Rodriguez Jr USAF Retired
Guest Occupation
Retired Air Force fighter pilot. Currently vice president of Global Initiatives for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems
Guest Biography

Colonel Cesar A. Rodriguez, Jr. retired from the USAF on 1 December 2006.  His last assignment was the 355th Mission Support Group Commander, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. 

At present Mr. Rodriguez is vice president of Global Initiatives, International Business Development and Strategy Executive for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2018 sales of $27 billion and 64,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Col Rodriguez entered the Air Force in 1981 as a graduate of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, ROTC program.  Previous to his assignment to the 355th Wing, Colonel Rodriguez was the Deputy Commander for the 366th Operations Group, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. He has served in the capacity of the 48th Fighter Wing Chief of Safety, Executive Officer to the USAFE Commander, Staff Officer, NATO Central Region Air HQ, Policy Branch, Chief Partnership for Peace Air Strategy Development division.  Colonel Rodriguez is a command pilot with more than 3,100 fighter flight hours, 350 of which are in combat operations DESERT STORM and ALLIED FORCE.  In combat operations, Colonel Rodriguez has distinguished himself in aerial combat where he is credited with downing three enemy fighter aircraft, an Iraqi MiG-29, an Iraqi MiG-23 and a Yugoslavian Air Force MiG-29, and commanded the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group, Al Jaber Kuwait during Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom.  

Colonel Rodriguez was born in El Paso, Texas.  He is a graduate of Antilles high school in Ft. Buchanan, Puerto Rico. He is married to the former Trish Gallegos of Alamogordo, New Mexico.  They have two children, Amanda, a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and currently serving as a Captain Air Battle Manager at Tinker AFB and Cesar III, a graduate of University of Arizona, School of Architecture and employed by Gould Evans in San Francisco as a Lead Architect.    

EDUCATION

1981   Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, The Citadel, Charleston, SC

1988   Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL

1992   Master of Public Administration, Troy State University, Shaw AFB, SC

1994   Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL

1995   Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA

1996   NATO Joint Warfare College, Poole, UK

1999   Air Force Safety Board Presidents Course, Kirkland AFB, NM

2002   Naval War College, College of Naval Warfare, Newport, RI

2002   Masters of Arts, National Security and Strategic Studies

 

ASSIGNMENTS

1.  October 1981 – March 1983, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB OK, AT-38 Fighter Lead-In Training, Holloman AFB NM, A-10 RTU, Davis-Montham AFB AZ

2.  June 1983 – October 1988, A-10 Aircraft/Mission Commander, Suwon AB, ROK, Mission Commander, AT-38 B Fighter Lead-In Asst Flt Commander/Instructor Pilot
3.  November 1988 – October 1992, F-15 RTU, Tyndall AFB FL, F-15 Flight Commander, Instructor Pilot, Mission Commander, Eglin AFB FL
4.  November 1993 – May 1994, Evaluator Pilot, Ninth Air Force Stan/Eval, F-15 Chief Air-to-Air Branch, Shaw AFB SC
5.  June 1994 – May 1995, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB AL, Contingency Wartime, Planning Course, Armed Forces Staff College (JCSOS), NAS Norfolk VA
6.  October 1995 – February 1996, Partnership for Peace Plans Officer- HQ ARCENT (NATO), Ramstein AB, GE
7.  March 1996 – August 1997, Executive Officer to the USAFE Commander, Ramstein AB, Germany
8.  October 1997 – May 1999, Chief of Safety 48th Fighter Wing, 493rd Fighter Squadron ADO, RAF Lakenheath, UK
9.  June 1999 – July 2001, Deputy Chief of Flight Safety, HQ ACC, Langley AFB, Virginia
10.  August 2001- June 2002, Student, US Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island
11. Dec 2002- June 2003 – (TDY) Operations Group Commander, 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group, Al Jaber, Kuwait
12.  June 2002 – May 2004, Deputy Commander, 366th Operations Group, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
13.  May 2004 - Group Commander, 355th Mission Support Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona

14. Dec 2006 – Retired.

 

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Rating: Command pilot

Flight hours: 3,196

Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, AT-38, A-10, F-15 A-D

 

Major Awards and Decorations

Distinguished Flying Cross, with two oak leaf clusters

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal, with five oak leaf clusters

Air Medal, with five oak leaf clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal, with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Achievement Medal

AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor, with two oak leaf clusters

Combat Readiness Medal, with two oak leaf clusters

National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Southwest Asia Service Medal, with three oak leaf clusters

Kuwait Liberation Medal

Armed Forces Service Medal

NATO Medal

Kosovo Campaign Medal

Effective Dates of Promotion

Second Lieutenant May 1981

First Lieutenant October 1983

Captain June 1985

Major December 1993

Lieutenant Colonel January 1997

Colonel June 2002-2006

(Retired December 2006)