Gen. David D. Thompson Square

Gen. David D. Thompson, USSF (Ret.)

Retired United States Space Force (USSF) Gen. David D. Thompson was elected to The Aerospace Corporation’s Board of Trustees effective June 20, 2024. 

Gen. Thompson retired from the USSF in 2024 after completing 38 years of service, culminating in his role as vice chief of space operations, responsible for assisting the chief of space operations in organizing, training, and equipping space forces and coordinating space-related activities for the USSF and Department of the Air Force.

In 2018, Gen. Thompson was assigned to Washington, D.C. to serve as the liaison of Air Force Space Command to Congress and the Pentagon during the creation of the USSF. In October 2020, he transferred to the USSF, was promoted to the rank of general, and assumed the position as the first vice chief of space operations. He served in this role until his retirement.

During his military career, Gen. Thompson held numerous assignments in operations, acquisition, research and development, and academia, and commanded operational space units at the squadron, group, and wing levels.

Gen. Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree in astronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Purdue University, and a master’s degree in national security industrial policy from Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He completed Squadron Officer School and is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College and Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base. 

Gen. Thompson was a 1993 Olmsted Scholar at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, a graduate of the Senior Acquisition Course, and a Level III-certified program manager.

The numerous awards and honors Gen. Thompson has received include the Defense Superior Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster); the Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star Award; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal (with two oak leaf clusters); the Air Force Commendation Medal; and the Air Force Achievement Medal (with two oak leaf clusters), as well as several awards and medals received throughout his career acknowledging excellence in leadership, service, and capabilities.