Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism (DASD SOCT)
JADC2 and the Future of SOF Mission Command
Andrew J. Coté most recently served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism (DASD SOCT). In this capacity, Mr. Coté led the Department's policies, plans, authorities and resources related to special operations and irregular warfare, with special emphasis on counterterrorism, counterinsurgency,
unconventional warfare, information operations and sensitive special operations. He represented the Secretary of Defense on various interagency working groups with other
departments responsible for national security policy and the Hill. He reported to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict (ASD SOLIC) and assisted him in his statutory responsibilities regarding the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and Joint Special Operations command (JSOC).
Prior to this position, Mr. Coté served as the Chief of Staff to the DASD SOCT and the Chief of Staff to the ASD SOLIC. While serving in these roles Mr. Coté was vital in the implementation of Section 922 of the 2017 NDAA to reorganize SO/LIC directly under authority and control of the Secretary of Defense. This legislative requirement codified that the ASD SO/LIC serve as the service Secretary of SOCOM. As the Chief of Staff to ASD SO/LIC, he ran the daily management of the 150-person directorate responsible for policy development and implementation related to special operations, counterterrorism, counter narcotics, global threats, detainee policy, and stability and humanitarian affairs. Additionally, while serving as the Chief of Staff to ASD SOLIC, Mr. Coté championed and signed the historic Women in Special Operations Forces Data Call designed to provide women the equal opportunity to be selected for, and to excel in, senior leadership positions and coveted special operations programs. He was awarded the Secretary of Defense’s Exceptional Public Service Award for his service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).
Before entering OSD as a civilian, Mr. Coté served as an Officer in the Marine Corps. Prior to separation, he served as the Marine Security Force Commander (J2) at the White House Communications Agency. Additional assignments were as a Presidential Support Program Platoon Commander at Marine Barracks Washington D.C., Military Social Aide to the 44th and 45th President of the United States, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment and deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response Africa (Black Sea Rotational Force). He was awarded two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and the Presidential Service Badge for full-time service in support of the President of the United States.
Mr. Coté earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University. He is also a Board member of the American Freedom Fund (AFF), the National Defense Industrial Association – SO/LIC Division, the Johns Hopkins (Men’s and Women’s) Lacrosse Leadership and Mentorship Board, and the Atlantic Council GeoTech Action Council (effective 1 March 2021). AFF is a 501(c)(19) non-profit Veteran Service Organization (VSO) which empowers other VSOs through education and athletics.