R. Craig Effinger III is a Department of the Army Civilian serving as the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Ground Vehicle Systems Center. Effinger, COL (U.S. Army retired), enlisted as a Combat Engineer in 1976 and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers, through ROTC, in 1981. He graduated from Auburn University in 1983 and from the U.S. Army’s Initial Entry Rotary Wing Flight School at Fort Rucker, AL in 1984. After flight school he served as a maintenance test pilot/platoon leader in the 205th Trans Bn (AVIM) and then as Commander, HHD 8-158th Aviation Regiment, Hanau, Germany. He later served at the 3d Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), Camp Humphreys, Korea as the Battalion S4 and Commander, B Company (Aerial Surveillance). As a major, he served at HQ USAINSCOM as the G-4 (Air) and then at the 224th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), Hunter Army Airfield, GA as the Battalion S3 and Battalion XO. From there, he served at the U.S. Total Army Personnel Command in Alexandria, VA as the Officer Personnel Management Directorate’s, FORSCOM account manager. As a lieutenant colonel he served as the G-3 (Air) for the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, VA and then Commander, 3d Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea. Following command, he served on the faculty at Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia as an Instructor, Seminar Team Leader, and Course Developer.
As a colonel, he served at HQDA G-3/5/7 as Chief, Leader Development Division, and then as Chief, Operations, Plans, and Policy Division, Capability Integrator to Multi-National Corps Iraq, and Chief, Science and Technology Division at the Army Capabilities Integration Center, Fort Monroe, VA. He culminated his career on the Joint Staff J7 in Norfolk, VA as the Desk Officer/Training Developer for NORAD/USNORTHCOM.
Colonel Effinger retired on 30 Nov 2012 with over 31 years of active duty service. He is a Master Army Aviator, Army Parachutist, and Joint Specialty Officer. He has a Bachelor’s of Aviation Management from Auburn University, a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. His military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Aviation Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Joint Forces Staff College, and the Army War College. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating, with over 3300 flying hours, is dual rated (fixed and rotary wing), and is maintenance test pilot certified. His awards and decorations include: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal (w/4 Oak Leaf Clusters).