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Brigadier General Bernie Skoch (USAF, Ret.) graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force. His 29-year Air Force career took him throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and the Middle East on permanent and temporary duty until retiring at the rank of Brigadier General.
Skoch has more than 25 years of experience in leadership positions developing, managing, and implementing communications and information systems at the Wing, Major Command, and Air Staff levels of the United States Air Force as well as at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). During his time at DISA, he served as the Principal Director for Customer Advocacy and as the Principal Director for Network Services. At Headquarters USAF, he served as Director of Mission Systems, Director of Communications Operations, and Director of Chief Information Officer Support where he was responsible for aligning information technology systems with business process improvements. He has developed policies for global voice, video, radio, data, and satellite systems. While on the Joint Staff, Skoch led transformation of the mainframe-based DoD-wide Worldwide Military Command and Control System to the distributed Global Command and Control System, substantially improving system support to Combatant Commands.
As Director of Communications at Pacific Air Forces, he led the creation of the COPE SPARK family of initiatives which significantly improved warfighter communications and data support throughout the Pacific.
Upon retirement from active duty, Skoch was a consultant to numerous IT-sector companies and to the Federal Government. In 2010, following an unsuccessful run for the U.S. House of Representatives, Skoch was appointed National Commissioner of the National Youth Cyber Education Program, CyberPatriot, a program operated by the not-for-profit Air and Space Forces Association. Skoch oversaw the planning and implementation of CyberPatriot and provided leadership and support for the program’s development. Under his leadership the program grew into the largest Cyber Defense STEM Education competition in the world, reaching over 250,000 K-12 students, stimulating their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics related studies, as well as increasing their awareness of cybersecurity threats.
Skoch is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, and the Program for Senior Officials in National Security at Syracuse University and Johns Hopkins University. He holds a Master’s in Management and Supervision from Central Michigan University.
Bernie is a certificated Commercial Pilot and FAA certificated drone pilot, and is an amateur astronomer and a ham radio operator. Bernie and Debbie, his wife of 50 years, have six children, twenty-one grandchildren, and one great grandchild.