Colonel Michael O. Walters is commander of the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D. He ensures the wing’s combat readiness and is responsible for operations involving the wing’s fleet of B-52H bombers to provide deterrence and long-range strike capability for combatant command operations worldwide. Additionally, his command provides logistics support for the 91st Missile Wing.
Colonel Walters received his commission in 1997 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Utah and completed Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin AFB, Texas in 1999.
Colonel Walters has served multiple flying tours in the B-52, B-2, and the B-1, at the squadron, group, and wing levels as an instructor, evaluator, weapons officer, and director of operations. He led the 325th Weapons Squadron during his command tour in the U.S. Air Force Weapons School. His operational and staff experience includes service as Senior Fire Support Officer and Advisor to the Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command, and Senior Executive Officer to the Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command. Prior to his current assignment, he commanded one of the Air Force's largest, most diverse combat operations groups, the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
Colonel Walters has combat experience in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, and INHERENT RESOLVE. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, U.S. Naval Command and Staff College, the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, and the U.S. Army War College. He is a native of Houston, Texas and is married with two children.
1997 Bachelor of Arts, Economics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
2004 Squadron Officers School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. (Distinguished Graduate)
2005 Master of Science, Business Management, Webster University, St. Louis, Mo.
2006 U.S. Air Force Weapons School, B-2 Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2008 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2010 Master of Arts, National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval Command and Staff College, Newport, R.I.
2011 Master of Philosophy in Military Strategy, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air University,
Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 Joint Terminal Attack Controller Course, Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nev.
2015 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2018 Master of Arts degree, Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
1. October 1997–July 1999, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
2. October 1999–April 2000, Student, B-52H Initial Qualification Course, Barksdale AFB, La.
3. April 2000–May 2002, B-52H Pilot, Weapons and Tactics Officer, Executive Officer, and Flight Scheduler,
20th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.
4. June 2002–September 2003, Executive Officer, T-38 Pilot, Student, B-2 Initial Qualification Course, 394th Combat Training Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
5. October 2003–October 2004, Chief, Plans and Mobility, B-2 Pilot, 325th Bomb Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
6. October 2004–January 2006, Weapons and Tactics Officer, B-2 Instructor Pilot; Chief, Wing Training, B-2 Instructor Pilot, 509th Operations Support Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
7. January 2006–June 2006, Student, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
8. June 2006–June 2007, Chief and Flight Commander, Weapons and Tactics, 393d Bomb Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
9. July 2007–June 2009, Assistant Director of Operations and B-2 Weapons Instructor Pilot,
325th Weapons Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
10. July 2009–June 2010, Student, Naval Command and Staff College, Naval Station, Newport, R.I.
11. June 2010–June 2011, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
12. June 2011–June 2013, Chief, Global Strike Branch, Aviation Tactics and Evaluation Group; Director, J-3 Fires Division, Aviation Tactics and Evaluation Group, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.
13. June 2013–January 2014, Director of Operations, 509th Operations Support Squadron,
Whiteman AFB, Mo.
14. January 2014–July 2015, Commander, 325th Weapons Squadron, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
15. July 2015–July 2017, Senior Executive Officer to the Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale AFB, La.
16. July 2017–June 2018, Student, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
17. July 2018–June 2020, Commander, 379th Expeditionary Operations Group, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
18. July 2020–Present, Commander, 5th Bomb Wing, Minot AFB, N.D.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
June 2011–June 2013, Chief, Global Strike Branch and Director, J-3 Fires Division, Aviation Tactics and Evaluation Group, Joint Special Operations Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, as a lieutenant colonel
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 2,680 hours (588 combat hours)
Aircraft Flown: T-38A, B-52H, B-2A, and B-1B
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Sept.18, 1997
First Lieutenant Sept. 18, 1999
Captain Sept. 18, 2001
Major May 1, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel Sept. 1, 2012
Colonel Apr. 1, 2018
(Current as of July 2020)