MG Erik Peterson, USA
Director, Force Development, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8
2020 Tactical Wheeled Vehicles Conference : Keynote
Major General Erik Peterson became the Director, Force Development, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8 on August 26, 2019. As the Director, Force Development, Major General Peterson serves as the principal advisor to the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, the Vice Chief of Staff, Army, and the Chief of Staff, Army on all Army-wide equipping programs and resources. Prior to this assignment, Major General Peterson commanded Division West of First U.S. Army, consisting of five brigades and two mobilization sites arrayed across the country.
Major General Peterson received his Army commission in 1986 as a Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of Idaho’s Chrisman Battalion, Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He was assigned to the Aviation Branch and completed flight school in 1987.
His first assignment was as a Platoon Leader with the 271st Combat Aviation Company, Republic of Korea. He then served his first of four tours with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne); Bravo Company Platoon Leader, Bravo Company Commander, and Headquarters Company Commander, 3rd Battalion, Hunter Army Airfield, GA; Adjutant and Battalion Operations Officer, 2nd Battalion, Fort Campbell, KY; Battalion Executive Officer and Bravo Company Commander, 3rd Battalion; and Battalion Commander, 2nd Battalion.
Other assignments include Senior Special Operations Aviation Observer Controller, Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, LA; Director, Flight Concepts Division, Fort Eustis, VA; Brigade Commander, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade and Chief of Staff, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, NY; Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Cadet Command, Fort Knox, KY; Deputy Commanding General for Support, 2nd Infantry Division, Republic of Korea; Commanding General of U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, NC, and Director of Army Aviation on the Army staff at The Pentagon.
Major General Peterson has commanded and held key staff positions in numerous overseas combat and contingency operations, ranging from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to post 9/11 operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is qualified in eight different military and commercial helicopters.
Major General Peterson earned Bachelor of Science Degrees in Geography and Cartography from the University of Idaho’s College of Mines and Earth Resources, and has also earned Master’s Degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and National Security Strategy. Other professional military education includes the Aviation Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Service Staff School, Command and General Staff College, and the National War College. He has also participated in numerous post-graduate executive training and certificate programs.
His military awards and decorations include the three Distinguished Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, six Bronze Star Medals, five Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal with valor device and numeral 5, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Master Aviator Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, and the Air Assault Badge. His foreign military awards and decorations include the Kuwait Liberation Medal - Government of Kuwait, Kuwait Liberation Medal - Saudi Arabia, Republic of Korea Order of National Security Merit - Cheonsu Medal, Australian Parachutist Badge, honorary Republic of Korea Master Aviator Badge, and honorary Swedish Parachutist Badge. In 2014 Major General Peterson was the U.S Committee of the Blue Shield’s first recipient of the Award for Meritorious Military Service in Protection of Cultural Property. In 2016, he was inducted into the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Hall of Fame. In 2018, Major General Peterson was recognized by the University of Idaho with an honorary PhD.