U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, commander, U.S. Africa Command, spoke to members of U.S. Transportation Command and its component commands June 14 in the Seay Auditorium.
Waldhauser was the 10th guest in USTRANSCOM's 30-4-30 Distinguished Speaker Series, an initiative to celebrate the command's 30th anniversary in October 2017.
The fourth commander of U.S. Africa Command, he is responsible for building defense capabilities, responding to crises, and deterring and defeating transnational threats in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability and prosperity, all in concert with interagency and international partners.
Waldhauser presented an overview of AFRICOM’s mission, noting the U.S. strategic objectives are to: strengthen democratic institutions; spur economic growth, trade, and investment; advance peace and security; and provide opportunity and development.
“Small investments can go a long way,” he said.
Addressing Africa’s logistical challenges and AFRICOM’s priorities to sustain operations and mature the theater, Waldhauser praised USTRANSCOM’s flexibility and responsiveness in solving complex problems and creating options.
“For many years, I have been the beneficiary of USTRANSCOM’s hard work, and I can’t think of a time where USTRANSCOM did not deliver,” he said.
While here, Waldhauser also met with Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew, USTRANSCOM commander, and participated in a strategic roundtable with command senior leaders.
A native of South St. Paul, Minnesota, Waldhauser graduated from Bemidji State University and was commissioned in 1976. He has served as an infantry officer at all levels in the U.S. Marine Corps, including command of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. His general officer commands include the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, and commander, Marine Corps Forces Central Command.
Waldhauser’s flag officer joint assignments include chief of staff, U.S. Special Operations Command, senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff director of Operations J3 (Acting), and Joint Staff director for Joint Force Development J7.
He attended U.S. Army Ranger School, Jumpmaster School, Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the National War College, where he earned a master’s degree in National Security Strategies.
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