Gen Cotton is the Commander, United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. He is responsible for one of 11 Unified Commands under the Department of Defense. USSTRATCOM is responsible for strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, global strike, missile defense, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, analysis and targeting, and missile threat assessment. USSTRATCOM is comprised of 150,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Guardians, and civilians who operate globally performing the command’s missions. The command also provides the Secretary of Defense and President a range of options to deter adversaries and assure allies.
General Cotton entered the Air Force through the ROTC program in 1986 where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He has commanded at the squadron, group, wing, and major command levels. He has served as the Vice Commander and Commander of the 341st Missile Wing, Commander of the 45th Space Wing, Director of the Eastern Range, Patrick AFB, Florida, Deputy Director of the National Reconnaissance Office, Commander 20th Air Force, Commander and President of Air University, as well as, Deputy Commander Air Force Global Strike Command.
Prior to his current assignment, General Cotton served as the Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command and Commander, Air Forces Strategic – Air, USSTRATCOM, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.