Colonel Elvert L. Gardner
Col Gardner is the Director of Space Strategy, Policy, and Plans at Headquarters US Space Force, the Pentagon. In that role, he is responsible for the development, synchronization, and publication of Space Force institutional visions, strategies, policies, and campaign plans to support national security objectives and policies.
Col Gardner was commissioned in May 1993 through the Reserved Officer Training Corps at the distinguished Detachment 015, Tuskegee University, home of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Combat-decorated veteran with multiple deployments; initial deployments came at a time when very few space operators had ever deployed; first African-American to lead a team of space operators in a deployment zone in support of Operations Southern Watch which transformed into Operation Enduring Freedom.
Only the fourth African American space officer to graduate from the US Air Force Weapons School.
First to serve as the Service Chair for the US Space Force at the National Defense University
Four Masters Degrees and doctoral candidate
Mentored as a cadet at Tuskegee University by several Tuskegee Airmen including Brig Gen Herbert Carter, Chief Anderson, and Lee Archer
Col. Gardner has always worked to honor the legacy and heritage of the Tuskegee Airmen through superior performance
He has sought to lead with the courage to do the right thing
He is retiring this year after 30 years knowing a path for others has been paved
Col. Garnder has received numerous quarterly and annual awards; earned 27 decorations; Humanitarian Service Medal for leading a team during the big flood in North Dakota. Received a Commendation medal for valor for extracting the unconscious victim of a car accident.