Each year the Rocky Mountain Chapter of NDIA selects one person to receive the one-time award of the prestigious Gen James V. Hartinger Award. Since 1984, our chapter has recognized individuals for their outstanding achievement in the military space mission of the United States during the preceding calendar year, and/or long-term contributions to this field. Each year, the Hartinger Award Selection Committee reaches out to all of the members of the Rocky Mountain Chapter to nominate qualified candidates. The Hartinger Award will be presented at the Annual Rocky Mountain Ball annually.
Gen. David D. Thompson is the Vice Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force. As Vice Chief, he is responsible for assisting the Chief of Space Operations in organizing, training, and equipping space forces in the United States and overseas, integrating space policy and guidance, and coordinating space-related activities for the U.S. Space Force and Department of the Air Force.
The U.S. Space Force organizes, trains, equips and maintains mission-ready space forces that provide missile warning, space domain awareness, positioning, navigation and timing, communications, and space electronic warfare for North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Space Command, and other combatant commands.
Gen. Thompson was commissioned in 1985 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a career space officer with assignments in operations, acquisition, research and development, and academia. Gen. Thompson has commanded operational space units at the squadron, group, and wing levels; he is also an Olmsted Scholar, a graduate of the Senior Acquisition Course, and Level III-Certified Program Manager. Prior to his assignment as Vice Chief of Space Operations, Gen. Thompson was the Vice Commander, U.S. Space Force.
1985 Bachelor of Science, Astronautical Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
1989 Master of Science, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
1990 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1993 Olmsted Scholar, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
1998 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2000 Advanced Program Managers Course, Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Va.
2001 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 Master of Science, National Security Industrial Policy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2005 Senior Acquisition Course, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1. July 1985–May 1988, Experimental Rocket Propulsion Engineer and Chief, Motor/ Component Operations Section, Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
2. June 1988–July 1989, Graduate Student, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
3. August 1989-October 1992, Instructor of Astronautics, Assistant Professor and Executive Officer, Department of Astronautics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
4. October 1992–May 1993, Student, Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, Calif.
5. June 1993–July 1995, Olmsted Scholar, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
6. August 1995–July 1997, Program Manager, Advanced MILSATCOM Program, MILSATCOM Joint Program Office, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
7. August 1997–June 1998, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
8. July 1998–August 2000, Spacelift Requirements Officer and Chief, Spacelift Vehicle Requirements Branch, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colo.
9. September 2000–April 2002, Deputy Director, Commander’s Action Group, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
10. June 2002–July 2004, Operations Officer and Commander, 2nd Space Launch Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
11. August 2004–June 2005, Student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. June 2005–July 2007, Commander, 45th Operations Group, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
13. July 2007–May 2009, Commander, Aerospace Data Facility – Colorado, Buckley AFB, Colo.
14. June 2009–June 2010, Director of Space Forces, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia
15. July 2010–May 2011, Vice Commander, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, Nellis AFB, Nev.
16. May 2011–March 2012, Director of Air, Space and Cyberspace Operations, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
17. March 2012–January 2014, Deputy Director of Global Operations, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
18. January 2014–June 2015, Director of Plans and Policy, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
19. July 2015–July 2017, Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
20. July 2017–April 2018, Special Assistant to the Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
21. April 2018–December 2019, Vice Commander, Air Force Space Command, Washington, D.C.
22. December 2019–September 2020, Vice Commander, U.S. Space Force, Washington, D.C.
23. October 2020–present, Vice Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, Washington, D.C.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2007–May 2009, Commander, Aerospace Data Facility – Colorado, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., as a colonel
2. March 2012–January 2014, Deputy Director of Global Operations (DJ3), U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb., as a brigadier general and major general
3. January 2014–June 2015, Director of Plans and Policy (J5), U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb., as a major general
Command-Space Operations Badge
Master Acquisition Badge
Missile Maintenance Badge
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
2006 Outstanding Space Operations Crew, Air Force Association
2009 National Reconnaissance Office Gold Medal
2012 General Jerome F. O’Malley Distinguished Space Leadership Award, Air Force Association
2018 Peter B. Teets Government Award, National Defense Industrial Association
2019 Space Leadership Award, Federation of Galaxy Explorers
2019 Outstanding Aerospace Engineer, Purdue University
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
- Second Lieutenant May 29, 1985
- First Lieutenant May 29, 1987
- Captain May 29, 1989
- Major Aug. 1, 1996
- Lieutenant Colonel May 1, 2000
- Colonel Aug. 1, 2004
- Brigadier General June 18, 2010
- Major General Oct. 10, 2013
- Lieutenant General April 4, 2018
- General Oct. 1, 2020
ABOUT THE HARTINGER AWARD
HISTORY OF THE HARTINGER AWARD
The General James V. Hartinger Award is named for the first Commander of the United States Air Force Space Command. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association presents the award annually to an individual from the military services, other government agencies or industry, in recognition of outstanding achievement in the military space mission of the United States.