Brigadier General, U.S. Army (retired)
Brigadier General (retired) Thomas Cole concluded over 31 years of active Army service as the Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO-IEW&S). As PEO IEW&S (2007-2010) he was the senior official responsible for overall direction and programs performance for intelligence, electronic and cyber warfare, and sensor targeting capabilities with seven direct reporting Project Managers who managed 93 separate programs. The valuable contributions of PEO IEW&S were highlighted by the Defense Acquisition Executive with the presentation of the 2010 David Packard Team Award for Department of Defense acquisition excellence. His promotion to the rank of general officer and assignment as a PEO culminated 22 years of acquisition experience and positions of responsibility. He has leveraged these skills and formed a consulting company (Thomas Cole & Associates, LLC) that provides independent, senior level business strategy development and programmatic advice.
He has a broad range of experience with a depth of expertise and knowledge in how to execute the defense acquisition process. He has senior level leadership and programmatic skills that span across concept inception, integrated systems development, test and evaluation, logistics, delivered capability and final disposition of material, all of which make up the total lifecycle of providing complex systems capabilities. He has strong foundation in leadership, ethics, setting vision and objectives, strategic planning, systems engineering, program integration, and developing personnel.
His high level of competency is derived from varied responsibilities, experiences, and assignments throughout his Army career. As the Deputy Program Manager, Networks for Future Combat System (2005-2007) he directed the network integration of communications and sensor systems employed on manned and unmanned ground and air platforms to provide a common operational view of the battle space. Assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) he was the Deputy to the USSOCOM Acquisition Executive (2004-2005) and led technology development and program management efforts for the command. As Project Manager Warfighter Information-Tactical (2001-2004) he was the organization leader responsible to develop, acquire, and field the Army’s largest communications capability involving terrestrial and space-based communications architectures with integrated network control. This position included developing and acquiring satellite communications tactical ground control stations for the Army.
Complementing his programmatic experience, he worked in high level policy as the Deputy for Theater Missile Defense Systems (1999-2001) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he helped direct major defense acquisition programs for theater missile defense. Prior to this assignment he gained his first experience of being directly accountable for programs cost, schedule, and performance as the Product Manager Firefinder (1995-1998) for target acquisition radars. Early in his acquisition career he had operational assignments at U.S. Army Space Command in the Space Plan/Missile Warning Division (1992-1995) fielding the Joint Tactical Ground Station which was instrumental in providing missile launch warning information to tactical commanders. And at U.S. Air Force Space Systems Division as the Chief, Small Satellite Programs (1988-1991) where he led a program responsible for building, launching, and providing on-orbit support of three small communications satellites.
Thomas Cole has successfully led the execution of the Army’s acquisition function and management system. He has vast experience dealing with Congress, all Services, National Agencies, and industry. He has performed at every level, through a wide range of technology disciplines, and has a comprehensive understanding of the phases of acquisition and lifecycle management.
He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy class of 1979. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery and served in various artillery assignments most notably as a firing battery commander responsible to lead, care for, and train his Soldiers to be successful on the battlefield. In 1988 he transitioned to the acquisition career field. Included in his acquisition development was a professional development curriculum that included obtaining advanced degrees. He earned a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from San Diego State University (1987) and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (1999). He is also a graduate of the Advanced Program Management Course from the Defense Acquisition University (1996) and the Army’s Command and General Staff Course (1992). His positions of responsibility also required access to classified and sensitive information. He holds a top secret security clearance granted in August 2006.