First Female Three-Star General Named Director of Staff for U.S. Space Force Headquarters

Nina Armagno named director of staff for Headquarters U.S. Space Force - Photo by Eric R. Dietrich

Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno has been named director of staff for Headquarters U.S. Space Force and became the first female officer promoted to three-star general for the newest branch of the U.S. military.

Armagno will oversee the day to day staff operations including establishment activities for the new service.

“We’re going to be agile, we’re going to be nimble, and we’re going to bring the best of everything into the space force,” Armagno said.

Gen. John W. Raymond, chief of space operations, officiated the promotions ceremony. He said Armagno was the right choice because she is a space expert, she has broad experience as a commander and leader, and is a mentor and teacher to everyone.

“It is absolutely my honor to promote Nina as a lieutenant general in the United States Space Force,” Raymond said. “This is a big job, and I’ll tell you as much momentum as we have, as much as we’ve gotten done, there’s 20 times more to do. Having your leadership to guide the staff to get this right for our nation is going to be really important, and I couldn’t think of a better officer to do that.”

Armagno earned her commission from the Air Force Academy in 1988. After graduating from Undergraduate Space Training in 1988, she served as a combat-mission-ready operator, instructor, evaluator and flight commander in strategic missile warning, space surveillance, space control, space launch and theater missile warning mission areas.

Armagno holds the unique distinction as the only Air Force officer to command both the U.S. Eastern and Western Ranges culminating in an unprecedented, flawless record with over 48 successful launch campaigns valued at more than $19 billion. She received the 2014 General Jerome F. O’Malley Distinguished Space Leadership Award, presented in part for her efforts to reorient Air Force philosophy to build the operational use of space systems at the highest levels of the Air Force.

During the ceremony, Armagno highlighted the leadership qualities she learned from space professionals throughout her career.. She said that there is a Space Force today because of the incredible space leaders of the past.

“This is about the years before us, the leaders, the hundreds of thousands of Airmen who have been doing space for decades,” Armagno said. “These are the shoulders – the titans’ shoulders –the space force was built upon, the shoulders we stand on today.”