Biography hq united States Special Operations Command

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HQ United States Special Operations Command

Reserve Component Office (813) 299-2202

7701 Tampa Point Blvd DSN 299-2202

MacDill AFB, FL 33621

Colonel Steven L. Oster
Colonel Steven L. Oster is assigned as the Deputy Director to the Reserve Component (RC) Office, which functions as the principal advisor to the USSOCOM Commander and his staff in the development and implementation of RC polices and programs necessary to accomplish the USSOCOM mission. The RC Office interacts with the Active Components (AC) & RC agencies to validate RC requirements and resources and allocates and executes funds and programming changes to force structure. On the direction of the Secretary of Defense, implements mobilization of RC Special Operations Forces (SOF). As the Senior Air Force Advisor he is responsible for all SOF matters pertaining to the Air Force Reserve (AFR) and the Air National Guard (ANG). He coordinates SOF mission initiatives with the AFR, ANG and Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). He insures Reserve Component (RC) SOF capabilities are available and integrated into SOCOM initiatives that train and equip SOF RC forces and insure those forces are effectively utilized in operations to conduct the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).  
Oster entered the Air Force in 1979 and received his commission from Officer Training School at Lackland AFB, Texas. On active duty he served as an instructor radar navigator on B-52D/G’s, and Bomb Wing Offensive Systems Branch Target Study Officer. He entered the Air Force Reserve as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee to Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) in 1990 and performed duties as the J3 Air Operations Officer, and the J5 Chief of Intelligence Plans. In 1994 he transferred to the unit program as a traditional reservist at Duke Field where he has flown the AC-130A Spectre Gunship and MC130H/P Combat Shadow. He became an Air Reserve Technician in 1997 and transitioned to the AGR program in 2004. A Command Navigator and Intelligence Officer with over 4,000 flying hours, he has deployed and flown in or directed combat operations supporting several conflicts and contingencies which included, Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, RESTORE HOPE, UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, JOINT ENDEAVOR, JOINT GUARD, NORTHERN WATCH, and ENDURING FREEDOM. Oster, a native of Ethan, S.D., is married and has two children.

1979 Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/History, Dakota Wesleyan University Mitchell, S.D.

1984 Squadron Officers School, Maxwell AFB, Ala. (in residence)

1997 Masters in public administration, Coastal Zone Environmental Management University of West Florida, Pensacola, Fla.


Air Command and Staff College by correspondence, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.


Air War College by correspondence, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.


  1. March 1980 – June 1981, student, undergraduate navigator, advanced navigator, navigator-bombardier training, Mather AFB, Calif.

  2. June 1981 – March 1982 B-52DN Combat Crew Training, Carswell AFB, Texas; Basic Survival, Fairchild AFB, Wash.; Water Survival Training, Homestead AFB, Fla.

  3. March 1982 – December 1984, B52D Instructor Navigator 60th Bombardment Squadron, Anderson AFB, Guam.

  4. December 1984 – May 1988, Instructor Radar Navigator, 668th Bombardment Squadron; Offensive Systems Branch Target Study Officer 416th Bombardment Wing, Griffiss AFB, N.Y.

  5. September 1990 – April 1994, J3 Operations Directorate Air Operations Division, Special Operations Navigator; J5 Plans Directorate, Intelligence Applications Officer, Operations Research Analyst and Chief Intelligence Plans Division, Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT), MacDill AFB, Fla.

  6. June 1993 – January 1993, Joint Task Force Six (JTF-6) Senior Military Representative and Mission Commander, Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Department of Justice, Phoenix Field Division, Phoenix, Ariz.

  7. April 1994 – June 1999, Fire Control Officer AC-130A, 711th Special Operations Squadron; Instructor Navigator MC130N/P, Chief Squadron Navigator and Chief Weapons and Tactics, 5th Special Operations Squadron, Duke Field, Fla.

  8. June 1999 – November 2002, Instructor Navigator, Chief Contingency Operations, 919th Special Operations Wing Reserve Liaison to the 16th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

  9. November 2002 – August 2004, Operations Officer, 919th Operations Support Squadron, Duke Field, Fla.

  10. August 2004 – December 2004, Chief Requirements Division, HQ Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), Robins AFB, Ga

  11. December – Present, Senior Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard Advisor to the Commander HQ United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), MacDill AFB, Fla.


Rating: Master Navigator

Flight hours: More than 4,000 hours

Aircraft flown: T-43A, T-37, B-52D/G, C-130E/H, AC-130A, HC-130N/P, MC-130P


Bronze Star

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Joint Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster

AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor and 6 oak leaf clusters

Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters

National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Southwest Asia Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Armed Forces Service Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster

AF Overseas Ribbon Short with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters

AF Longevity Service with three oak leaf clusters

Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 2 “M” Devices

AF Training Ribbon


Outstanding Achiever, Joint Military Intelligence Training Center; National Intelligence Course

Outstanding Performer Award, Dale Carnegie Course

Outstanding Performer Award, Dale Carnegie Sales Course

Outstanding Performer Award, Dale Carnegie Management Seminar

Strategic Air Command Central Flight Instructor Course

HQ AFRC Air Reserve Technician Officer Orientation Course

Joint Military Intelligence Training Center; Counterterrorism Analysis Course

Drug Enforcement Administration US Department of Justice M204/TKO Seminar

USAF Aircrew Life Support Officer Course

USAFR Cascade Training Course (Problem Solving Process & Quality Improvement Process

USAF Special Operations School

Introduction to Special Operations Course

Middle Ease Orientation Course

Aviation in Foreign Internal

Dynamics of International Terrorism Course

Revolutionary Warfare Course

Joint Special Operations University

Terrorism Response Senior Leaders Seminar

Level III Anti Terrorism Course


Reserve Officers Association (Lifetime Member)

National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration; Pi Alpha Alpha UWF Chapter

American Legion

Disabled American Veterans (Lifetime Member)

Knights of Columbus (Patriotic Fourth Degree)

Boy Scouts of America (Cub Scout Den Leader)

Board of Directors; Biscayne Point Pine Ranch Home Owners Association


Second Lieutenant March 10, 1980

First Lieutenant March 10, 1982

Captain March 10, 1984

Major March 05, 1993

Lieutenant Colonel March 05, 2000

Colonel August 05, 2004
(Current as of Jul 05)

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