Brig. Gen. Rebecca J. Sonkiss is the Deputy Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida. The command is the Air Force component of U.S. Special Operations Command. AFSOC provides Air Force Special Operations Forces for worldwide deployment and assignment to unified combatant commanders with approximately 20,800 active duty, Reserve, Air National Guard and civilian professionals.
Brig. Gen. Sonkiss graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1994. She commanded the 15th Airlift Squadron through two deployments, was the Vice Commander of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan and commanded the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Brig. Gen. Sonkiss also commanded the 89th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. She is a command pilot with more than 4,400 hours, including 1,377 combat hours in nine different Air Force manned and remotely piloted aircraft.
Prior to her current assignment, Brig. Gen. Sonkiss served as the Commander, 618th Air Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center), Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, responsible for command and control of nearly 1,100 mobility aircraft in support of combat delivery and strategic airlift, air refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and global air mobility support operations around the world.
1994 Bachelor of Science, Engineering Mechanics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2001 Squadron Officer School, Distinguished Graduate, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2006 Master of Science, Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2007 Master of Science, Strategic Intelligence, Asia Regional Specialty, National Defense Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.
2011 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2014 Master of Science, Distinguished Graduate and Research Writing Award Recipient, National Resource Strategy, National Defense University, Dwight D. Eisenhower School, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2018 Air Force Enterprise Leadership Seminar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
2022 Combined/Joint Forces Land Component Course, Carlisle Barracks, PA
2022 Combined Forces Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, AL
1. June 1994–February 1995, Executive Officer, 54th Operations Group, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
2. February 1995–August 1995, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
3. August 1995–April 1996, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas
4. August 1996–October 1999, Squadron Scheduler, Squadron Chief of Safety, Aircraft Commander, EC-130E, 42nd Airborne Command and Control Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
5. October 1999–December 2001, Squadron Chief of Safety, Training Flight Commander, B-Flight Commander, Evaluator Pilot, RQ-1A/B, 11th Reconnaissance Squadron, Creech AFB, Nev.
6. December 2001–May 2002, Student, C-17 Initial Aircraft Commander Qualification Course, Altus AFB, Okla.
7. May 2002–August 2005, Squadron Operations Controller, Squadron Executive Officer, Wing Executive Officer, Instructor Aircraft Commander, C-17A, 8th Airlift Squadron, 62nd Airlift Wing, McChord AFB, JB Lewis-McChord, Wash.
8. August 2005–August 2006, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Career Field Manager, Operational Training Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
9. August 2006–August 2007, Student, National Defense Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.
10. August 2007–May 2010, Chief, 437th Airlift Wing Objective Wing Command Post, Director of Operations, 17th Airlift Squadron, Evaluator Aircraft Commander, C-17A, Charleston AFB, S.C.
11. May 2010–May 2012, Commander, 15th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.
12. June 2012–June 2013, Executive Officer to the Commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
13. July 2013–June 2014, Student, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
14. June 2014–July 2016, U.S. Transportation Command Liaison to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Fla.
15. July 2016–July 2017, Vice Commander, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
16. July 2017–May 2018, Commander, 62nd Airlift Wing, JB Lewis-McChord, Wash.
17. June 2018–June 2020, Commander, 89th Airlift Wing, JB Andrews, Md.
18. July 2020–May 2022, Deputy Director, Counter Threats and International Cooperation (J-5), the Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
19. May 2022–June 2023, Commander, 618th Air Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center), Scott AFB, Ill.
20. June 2023–present, Deputy Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2014–July 2016, U.S. Transportation Command Liaison to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Fla., as a colonel
2. July 2020–May 2022, Deputy Director, Counter Threats and International Cooperation (J-5), the Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a brigadier general
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 4,400
Aircraft flown: T-37B, T-44, C-130E, EC-130E/H, RQ-1A/B, C-130J, C-17A, C-37A/B, and C-32A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with silver oak leaf cluster and oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with silver oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Kosovo Campaign Medal with bronze star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal with two bronze stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and five oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 1, 1994
First Lieutenant June 1, 1996
Captain June 1, 1998
Major Sept. 1, 2004
Lieutenant Colonel Aug. 1, 2009
Colonel Oct. 1, 2014
Brigadier General July 3, 2020
(CURRENT AS OF JUNE 2023)