Col. Eric Simon is the Director of Public Affairs, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. Col. Simon serves as the strategic communication advisor to the commander, Air Force Reserve Command, providing communication synchronization and planning for headquarters initiatives and across the total force public affairs enterprise. He develops and provides public affairs policy and guidance to three numbered Air Forces, 47 wings and operating locations worldwide. Simon also serves as the career field manager for all unit and individual mobilization augmentees in the Reserve public affairs career field.
Col. Simon enlisted in the active duty U.S. Army in 1990 as a helicopter mechanic, and was later commissioned in 1997 as an Army ROTC graduate at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He served six more years on active duty as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot, logistics officer, executive officer, platoon leader, as well as an operations officer and mission planner during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He then cross-commissioned into the Air Force Reserve as a HH-60 Pave Hawk pilot with the 305th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2013, he crossed over to Public Affairs with the 4th Combat Camera Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, California, the only Air Force Reserve squadron capable of deploying visual information personnel in support of the entire range of military operations, both on the ground and in the air. During this time, he also served as the interim active-duty Director of Public Affairs at Space Command’s Space and Missile System Center in El Segundo, California (Now USSF Space Systems Command). Next, he became the IMA to the Deputy Director, Hollywood Entertainment Liaison Office, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, serving as a project officer and principal military advisor to entertainment productions featuring the Air Force in major motion pictures, television and documentaries. Col. Simon then was selected to go on extended active duty as the deputy commandant for the Defense Information School (DINFOS) at Fort Meade, Maryland. He assisted the commandant in leading 360 joint military, civilian and contract faculty and staff in training nearly 2,700 public affairs, visual information and broadcast maintenance professionals annually. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the IMA to the director of staff at SAF/PA.
1997 Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
1998 Basic Rotary Wing Qualification (Army) Fort Rucker, Ala.
1998 Aviation Officer Basic Course (Army), Fort Rucker, Ala.
2003 Military Intelligence Advanced Course (Army) Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
2003 Squadron Officer School by Army equivalence waiver
2006 HH-60 Pave Hawk Qualification Course, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M
2014 Public Affairs Qualification Course (PAQC), in-residence, Fort Meade, Md.
2014 Air Command and Staff College by correspondence
2019 Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, National University, San Diego, Cali
2019 Instructor Training Course, Defense Information School, Fort Meade, Maryland
2020 Joint Planners Course, Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC)
2020 Air War College by correspondence
1. March 1991 – August 1994, AH-1 & UH-60 Mechanic, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
2. Jan 1998 – March 1999, Student, U.S. Army Aviation Officer Basic Course and Initial Entry Rotary Wing Qualification Courses, Ft. Rucker, Ala.
3. March 1999 – November 1999, Aviation Company Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, Camp Stanley, South Korea
4. November 1999 – July 2000, UH-60 Helicopter Platoon Leader, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, Camp Stanley, South Korea
5. July 2000 – April 2001, Aviation Operations Officer, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, Ft. Hood, Texas
6. June 2000 – August 2001, Platoon Leader, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, Ft. Hood, Texas
7. August 2001 – August 2002, Aviation Logistics Officer (S-4) 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, Ft. Hood, Texas
8. August 2002 – February 2003, Military Intelligence Advanced Course, Ft. Huachuca, Arizona
9. February 2003 – September 2004, Operations Officer, 159th Aviation Brigade, Ft. Campbell, Ky.
10. February 2005 – December 2007, HH-60 Pilot & Operations Officer, 305th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
11. January 2013 – July 2015, Flight Commander, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, March ARB, Calif. with duties as Director of Public Affairs, Space & Missile System Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
12. July 2015 – July 2018, Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office, Los Angeles, Calif.
13. July 2018 – July 2021, Deputy Commandant, Defense Information School, Ft. Meade, Md.
14. July 2021 – January 2022, IMA to the Director of Staff, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, The Pentagon, Washington DC
15. January 2022 – Present, Director of Public Affairs, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
Hours flown: Over 1,000
Aircraft Flown: TH-67, OH-58, UH-60, HH-60, MD530
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Public Affairs Communication Excellence Field Grade Officer 2020 (MAJCOM-level)
Magna Cum Laude, National University, May 2019
Distinguished Graduate, HH-60 Mission Commander Qualification Course 2006
Cum Laude, University of Arizona, December 1997
Distinguished Military Graduate, University of Arizona ROTC, December 1997
Daedalians National Fraternity of Military Pilots scholarship, April 1996
U.S. Army Green to Gold scholarship, Fall 1994 – Spring 1997
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant, December 19, 1997
First Lieutenant, July 8, 1999
Captain, August 1, 2001
Major, August 8, 2008
Lieutenant Colonel, October 1, 2015
Colonel, July 1, 2021
(Current as of January 2022)