Lieutenant Colonel Timothy W. Thurston II is the commander, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, District of Columbia. Colonel Thurston is responsible for leading more than 210 Airmen in more than 3,000 U.S. Air Force and joint service ceremonies performed annually for the President, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force and other dignitaries worldwide. He ensures the Air Force complies with the congressional mandate to provide Air Force Veterans with appropriate military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., and other cemeteries in a surrounding five-state region when requested.
As the USAF Honor Guard Commander, Colonel Thurston operates the U.S. Air Force Drill Team. This unit is responsible for supporting worldwide Air Force mission awareness in coordination with Air Force Recruiting Services. He is also responsible for the policies, training and performance standards of more than 225 U.S. Air Force Base Honor Guards worldwide.
Lieutenant Colonel Thurston earned his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 1995. Upon graduation, he entered Undergraduate Navigator Training and was assigned as a C-130 navigator. He has served as a navigator, instructor navigator, and evaluator navigator in C-130E, C-130H and T-43 aircraft. He has operated worldwide in an operational role. Prior to 9/11, he deployed five times in support of Operation Joint Forge/Joint Guard and Operation Southern Watch. Since 9/11, he has additionally served in Afghanistan in both flying and staff roles in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His duties have sent him to over 50 countries and five continents in support of United States goals and objectives. He is a Master Navigator with over 2,500 flight hours. Colonel Thurston's previous assignment was as the commander of the 322nd Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. As one of only seven Air Force Basic Military Training squadrons, he was charged with transforming approximately 5,000 civilians into Warrior Airmen of Character each year.
1995 Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, United State Air Force Academy
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2001 Masters of Business Administration, Webster University
2005 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2007 Master of Arts in Homeland Defense and Security, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
2010 Air War College, by correspondence
1. August 1995 - June 1996, student, Undergraduate Navigator Training, 558 & 562d Flying Training Squadron, Randolph AFB, Texas
2. July 1996 - February 1997, student, C-130 Initial Qualification, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
3. February 1997 - April 2000, Navigator, Instructor Navigator and Chief Scheduler, 61st Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
4. April 2000 - November 2003, Instructor Navigator, Evaluator Navigator and Student Flight Commander, Undergraduate Navigator Training, 562d Flying Training Squadron, Randolph AFB, Texas
5. November 2003 - March 2004, C-130 Requalification, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
6. March 2004 - Aug 2006, Instructor Navigator, Assistant Director of Operations, Wing Director of Staff and Wing Executive Officer, 36 Airlift Squadron & 374 Airlift Wing, Yokota AB, Japan
7. September 2006 - December 2007, Student, Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, Calif.
8. January 2008 - May 2011, Deputy Chief, Air Operations, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia
9. June 2011 - April 2013, Commander, 322d Training Squadron (Basic Military Training), Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas
10. May 2013 - present, Commander of the USAF Honor Guard, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, District of Colombia
Rating: Master Navigator
Flight hours: More than 2,500
Aircraft: T-43, C-130E, C-130H
MAJOR AWARDS and DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters)
Air Medal (with one oak leaf cluster)
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal (with one oak leaf cluster)
Air Force Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES of PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 31, 1995
First Lieutenant May 31, 1997
Captain May 31, 1999
Major August 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel July 1, 2010
(Current as of May 2013)