COL Kirby E. Watson is a 1988 ROTC graduate of Lycoming College, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics, a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the Army Senior Service College.
Colonel Watson has served twice as a platoon leader, twice as a company commander, twice as an O-5 level commander and Brigade Commander of the Joint Communications Support Element. He currently serves as the Chief of the Interoperability Division on the Joint Staff, J6.
Colonel Watson served as the S6 for the 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, NC, where he deployed to Afghanistan as the C6 for CJSOTF-AFGHANISTAN. He then served in the 112th Special Operations Signal Battalion, as the Operations Officer (S3) and as the Executive Officer (XO) for the command. While serving as the S3, he was selected by the Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) J6 to direct the Joint Communications Control Center (JCCC) for the invasion of Iraq.
COL Watson commanded the Special Missions Command (SMC) of the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) where he was responsible for the communications at the Presidential Retreat, Camp David, and the communications at the President’s residence in Crawford, Texas. In that time he traveled 330 days as the personal communication officer for President George W. Bush.
COL Watson commanded the 56th Signal Battalion, providing strategic and tactical signal support to U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army South and Special Operations Command South. His other assignments include Deputy Brigade Commander, 21st Signal Brigade, S6 for 3/7 Field Artillery Battalion, S6 for the 25th Infantry Division Artillery, the Electronic Proving Ground, Fort Huachuca, Arizona and 36th Signal Battalion, Korea.
COL Watson is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and is a qualified Joint Planner with the Additional Skill Identifier 3H and a Joint Qualified Officer with an ASI of 3L. His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Korean Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal (with one Bronze Service Star), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Air Force Combat Readiness Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, British Military Parachutists Wings and German Military Parachutists Wings.
Check out the incredible speaker line-up to see who will be joining COL Kirby.