Claude M. Bolton, Jr. (born December 13, 1945) is a retired United States Air Force officer who served as United States Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology from 2002 to 2008.
Claude M. Bolton, Jr. was born in 1945 in Sioux City, Iowa. He was educated at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, receiving a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering in 1969. While in college, he served in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and after college, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in June 1969. After spending a year in undergraduate pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, he served as a fighter pilot posted at McConnell Air Force Base for the second half of 1970, at Davis–Monthan Air Force Base in early 1971, and at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base 1971-72. In total, during the course of the Vietnam War, Bolton logged over 2,700 hours in over 30 different aircraft; this involved 232 combat missions, 40 of which were over North Vietnam. He then spent 1972-74 as an instructor pilot over Cannon Air Force Base, ultimately logging enough hours to become a command pilot. In 1974, he attended the five-week-long Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base. From 1974 to 1976, he was an instructor pilot at RAF Upper Heyford. Bolton then spent all of 1977 at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base. He was then a test pilot stationed at Eglin Air Force Base 1978-82, during which time he flew test flights for the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark, and the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. Also, in 1978 he completed a Master's Degree in management from Troy State University.
Bolton spent the next phase of his Air Force career in program management. In 1982, he completed correspondence courses from the Air Command and Staff College. He also attended the Defense Systems Management College of the Defense Acquisition University. From 1982 to 1985, he was posted to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where he was the program manager of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor System Program Office. He then spent 1985-86 as a student at the Naval War College. From 1985 to 1986, he served in the Pentagon as the program element officer for the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and as deputy division chief of the Aircraft Division, and later division chief of the Low Observables Vehicle Division in the Office of Special Programs. In 1988, Bolton returned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to serve as deputy program director for the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Program System Office. From 1989 to 1992, he was program director of the AGM-129 ACM System Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Also, in 1991, he completed a master's degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. Remaining at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, from 1992 to 1993, he was inspector general of the Air Force Materiel Command.
He was then commandant of the Defense Systems Management College at Fort Belvoir from 1993 to 1996. He spent three months as special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) in 1996, and then returned to Air Force Materiel Command as director of requirements 1996-98. From 1998 to 2000, he was Program Executive Officer for fighter and bomber programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition). He was then commanding officer of the Air Force Security Assistance Center 2000-2002. As such, he was responsible for overseeing over $90 billion of sales of military equipment to foreign countries. He retired from the Air Force in 2002, having attained the rank of Major General.
In 2002, President of the United States George W. Bush nominated Bolton to be United States Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, and, after Senate confirmation, Bolton held this office from February 1, 2002 to January 2, 2008. During this period, he received an honorary doctorate from Cranfield University in 2006, and a second honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, in 2007.
On January 3, 2008, Bolton became Executive-In-Residence of the Defense Acquisition University.
Dates of Bolton's Promotions
|Rank||Date of Promotion|
|Second Lieutenant||May 31, 1969|
|Lieutenant||November 30, 1970|
|Captain||May 30, 1972|
|Major||November 1, 1980|
|Lieutenant Colonel||March 1, 1984|
|Colonel||July 1, 1988|
|Brigadier General||August 1, 1993|
|Major General||March 20, 1998|
Paul J. Hoeper
Kenneth J. Oscar (acting)
|United States Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology
February 1, 2002 – January 2, 2008
Dean G. Popps (acting)
Malcolm Ross O'Neill
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