Major General Charles F. Bolden Jr., a Master of Science degree in systems management and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. (Honorary Doctorates from several distinguished universities.)
He was a space shuttle pilot astronaut for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for 13 years, flying four space missions. Bolden served as Assistant Deputy Administrator for NASA.
He was assigned Deputy Commanding General, 1MEF, Marine Forces, Pacific in 1997. Mr. Bolden served as Commanding General, 1 MEF (FWD) for Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait.
He was promoted to Major General serving as the Commanding General of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing.
Bolden retired from the United States Marine Corps after serving 34 and a half years.
Bolden’s NASA astronaut career included technical assignments as the Astronaut Office Safety Officer; Technical Assistant to the Director of Flight Crew Operations; Special Assistant to the Director of the Johnson Space Center; Chief of the Safety Division at Johnson (overseeing safety efforts for the return to flight after the 1986 Challenger accident); lead astronaut for vehicle test and checkout at the Kennedy Space Center; and Assistant Deputy Administrator at NASA Headquarters. After his final space shuttle flight in 1994, he left the agency to return to active duty the operating forces in the Marine Corps as the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.
He has been awarded a number of military and NASA decorations.