Lt. Col. Eric Simon is the Deputy Commandant of the Defense Information School. In this role, he assists the Commandant in leading a team of 400 military, civilian and contractor professionals in training nearly 3,000 students a year in various public affairs and visual information disciplines. He directly overseas key DINFOS functions and programs to maintain a robust support backbone to facilitate world-class training.
Prior to his current assignment, he was an IMA to the Deputy Director, Hollywood Entertainment Liaison Office, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Los Angeles, Calif. He served as a project officer and principle military advisor to entertainment production companies seeking to feature the Air Force in television, feature films, documentaries and other media.
He entered active duty in 1990 as an enlisted helicopter mechanic and test flight crew chief in the Army, and by 1994 earned a full-time Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. He was commissioned in 1997 at the University of Arizona in Tucson with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and returned to active duty in Army.
Lt. Col. Simon served six more years in the active duty Army as a UH-60 Blackhawk Pilot, Logistics Officer, Executive Officer, Platoon Leader, and Operations Officer and Planner during OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. He cross-commissioned into the Air Force Reserve as a traditional reservist and HH-60 Pave Hawk pilot flying with the 305th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan AFB deploying to Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. While relocating back to Southern California where he grew up, he crossed over to the world of Public Affairs as a traditional reservist with the 4th Combat Camera Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., the only Air Force Reserve squadron capable of deploying visual information personnel in support of the global spectrum of Air Force operations both on the ground and in the air.
Following Combat Camera, he served as the interim active-duty Director of Public Affairs at Space Command’s Space and Missile System Center in El Segundo, Calif. His team of 20 Public Affairs professionals synchronized messaging across the board from Capitol Hill and the Pentagon down to the launch pads of Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg AFB. The Space and Missile System Center is the birthplace of the Air Force's ballistic missile and space program.
1997 Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts, University of Arizona, Tucson
1998 Basic Rotary Wing Qualification (Army) Fort Rucker, Alabama
1998 Aviation Officer Basic Course (Army), Fort Rucker, Alabama
2003 Military Intelligence Advanced Course (Army) Fort Huachuca, Arizona
2003 Squadron Officer School by Army equivalence via combat waiver
2006 HH-60 Pave Hawk Qualification Course, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
2014 Public Affairs Qualification Course (PAQC), in-residence, Fort Meade, Maryland
2014 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1. March 1991 – August 1994, Army AH-1 & UH-60 Mechanic, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield
2. Jan 1998 – March 1999, Student, U.S. Army Aviation Officer Basic Course and Initial Entry Rotary Wing Qualification Courses, Ft. Rucker, AL
3. March 1999 – November 1999, Aviation Company Executive Officer, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, Camp Stanley, Korea
4. November 1999 – July 2000 UH-60 Helicopter Platoon Leader, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Aviation
Regiment, Camp Stanley, Korea
5. July 2000 – April 2001 Aviation Operations Officer, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, Ft. Hood, Texas
6. June 2000 – August 2001, & UH-60 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, 159th Aviation Brigade Operations Officer, Ft. Campbell,
10. February 2005 – December 2007, HH-60 Pilot & Operations Officer, 305th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan, AFB, Arizona
11. January 2013 – July 2015, Flight Commander, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, March ARB, Calif. with duties as Director of Public Affairs for the Space & Missile System Center (SMC)
12. August 2015 – July 2018, Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office, Los Angeles, Calif.
Hours flown: Over 1000
Aircraft Flown: TH-67, OH-58, UH-60, HH-60, MD530
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC)
Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC)
Air Force Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC)
Distinguished Graduate – HH-60 Pave Hawk Qualification Course 2006
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; University of Arizona, Fall 1994 – Spring 1997
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant, Dec. 19, 1997
First Lieutenant, July 8, 1999
Captain, Aug. 1, 2001
Major, Aug. 8, 2008
Lieutenant Colonel, Oct. 1, 2015