Air Force Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, became the latest military officer to be inducted into the 2023 Wash100. Executive Mosaic recognizes Cotton’s commitment to helping advance U.S. nuclear capability recapitalization and deterrence goals.
The Wash100, now in its 10th season, represents a cross-section of influential individuals who shape the narrative around government contracting and demonstrate achievements for their company or agency.
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Cotton was selected by President Biden in June 2022 to lead STRATCOM and confirmed by the Senate in December. At his nomination hearing, the four-star general said defense systems and allied forces underpin the country’s strategic deterrence mission.
“I will use my authorities to ensure that [nuclear command, control and communication systems] continue to outpace the threat. We will always build in margin. We will always have hedge,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee in September.
Cotton is a vocal advocate of integrated deterrence, which he described as “the cornerstone of the National Defense Strategy” at SASC’s hearing on the proposed fiscal 2024 defense budget.
“We will need to continue partnering with industry to ensure flexibility, responsiveness and capacity during recapitalization and modernization to ensure we can sustain our current systems, while the new ones are being delivered,” said the first-time Wash100 honoree.
Cotton’s military career began in 1986 when he joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. His previous assignments included leadership of the 341st Missile Wing, 45th Space Wing and 20th Air Force. He also served as commander and president of Air University, director of the Eastern Range at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida and deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office.
Prior to his current role, Cotton led Air Force Global Strike Command from late August 2021 to early December 2022 and oversaw modernization efforts associated with the intercontinental ballistic missile and long-range bomber fleets.
“I think that we, as Airmen and Guardians, need to take a step back to understand the fact that we are responsible for two legs of the [nuclear] triad, which is fundamentally foundational to national security,” the former AFGSC commander remarked at 2022 Air Force Association Warfare Symposium.
Under his leadership, AFGSC received the Joint Meritorious Unit Award from STRATCOM in recognition of initiatives to safeguard national security amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Mosaic lauds Cotton as a progressive and integral steward of defense modernization and STRATCOM’s support of supply chain fortification as a critical component of nuclear and military transformation.
Cast votes for your favorite award recipients at Wash100.com! The popular vote contest ends on April 28.