In a significant milestone for the nation’s newest armed service, Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno became the first female officer to promote to three-star general and transfer into the U.S. Space Force during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Aug. 17, 2020.
Armagno will serve as the director of staff for Headquarters U.S. Space Force, where she will oversee day to day staff operations to include establishment activities for the new service.
“We’re starting fresh. We’re starting a clean sheet,” Armagno said. “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.”
Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations, officiated the ceremony and said Armagno was the right choice for the position for three qualities. She is a space expert, 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.”