John M. Custer III
In 1978 he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Military Intelligence Corps. General Custer has commanded at every level to include Company, Battalion and Brigade, and served as the primary Intelligence Staff Officer (S2/G2/J2) at Battalion, Brigade, Division, Corps and Joint Command levels. His previous assignments include Joint Chiefs of Staff (J5, Nuclear Forces Analysis) as a Space Architecture Planner, and duty as an Intelligence Officer and Nuclear Weapons Targeting Officer aboard the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) Airborne Command Post (Silk Purse Control Group) Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. He commanded a surveillance company on the Demilitarized Zone, Republic of Korea, a signals intelligence battalion at the National Security Agency (NSA), Fort Meade, Maryland, and the 201st Military Intelligence Brigade, First US Corps, Fort Lewis, Washington. General Custer has served as a Company Grade Assignments Officer at Military Intelligence Branch, US Army Military Personnel Center, Alexandria VA and as Assistant Commandant, United States Army Intelligence Center and School, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. For the past four years he has been assigned as the Director of Intelligence (J2) Headquarters on Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
Major General Custer’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters; Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters; Humanitarian Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Ranger Tab and Airborne Badge. His military education includes the Post-Graduate Intelligence Program at the Joint Military Intelligence College and a Master of Science Degree in Information Operations from the National Defense University. He is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute’s Russian curriculum, the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS and the National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D. C.
The current Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General is CPT Raphael Vasquez.
In a major review of the nation's intelligence community, "Top Secret America," the Washington Post reported in 2010:
- When ... Custer was the director of intelligence at U.S. Central Command, he grew angry at how little helpful information came out of the NCTC. In 2007, he visited its director at the time, retired Vice Adm. John Scott Redd, to tell him so. "I told him that after 4½ years, this organization had never produced one shred of information that helped me prosecute three wars!" he said loudly, leaning over the table during an interview.
- Two years later, Custer ... still gets red-faced recalling that day, which reminds him of his frustration with Washington's bureaucracy. "Who has the mission of reducing redundancy and ensuring everybody doesn't gravitate to the lowest-hanging fruit?" he said. "Who orchestrates what is produced so that everybody doesn't produce the same thing?"
- Scarborough, Rowan (14-AUG-06). "Military at odds on intel methods; Pentagon ideas for Iraq ignored.". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2008-05-08. Check date values in:
- "Ft. Huachuca gets new chief.". Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona). June 30, 2007.