Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox has been named the next commander of the 18th Air Force, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
Cox, who currently serves as the Air Force’s personnel chief, will replace Gen. Carlton D. Everhart III, who has been tapped to take the reins of the Air Mobility Command, also headquartered at Scott.
Everhart is replacing Gen. Darren McDew, whose nomination to serve as next commander of the U.S. Transportation Command was approved by the full U.S. Senate on Monday.
Cox’s current title is deputy chief of staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, in Washington, D.C.
As head of the Air Force’s human resources department, Cox has had to navigate some tricky issues, including the forced exodus of nearly 20,000 airmen through early retirements, voluntary separation and retention boards because of big budget cuts over the past two years.
This past spring, Cox won praise for proposing a plan to join the Navy in offering program to allow 20 officers and 20 enlisted troops a year to transfer from active duty to the reserves for up to three years to start a family.
“Some women ... leave the Air Force because they want to start a family,” Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, said during a breakfast forum in May, as reported by Military.com. “So why don’t we have a program that allows them, in some cases, to be able to separate from the Air Force for a short period of time, get the family started, then come back in?”
And Cox won more points earlier this month for helping usher in a new program called the Post-Pregnancy Deployment Deferment, which gives new mothers on active duty with the Air Force who gave birth on or after March 6 the optoin of not deploying overseas for a full year.
Cox graduated in 1984 with a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
A seasoned airport transport pilot, Cox is no stranger to Scott, according to his official Air Force biography.
From July 2010 to July 2011, Cox served as commander of the 618th Air and Space Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center), at Scott Air Force Base.
From Aug. 2011 to June 2012, he served as director of strategy, policy, programs and logistics for the U.S. Transportation Command, based at Scott.
And from June 2012 to Dec. 2013, he served as Transcom’s director of operations and plans.
Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at email@example.com or 618-239-2533.