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Senior Advisor to the Administrator
Lieutenant General Spence (Sam) Armstrong, USAF (Ret.)

General Armstrong is the Senior Advisor to the Administrator. Since February 2000, General Armstrong is responsible for spearheading NASA's effort to create new synergy with universities, industry and other scientific and technical agencies. From May 1998 to February 2000, General Armstrong was Associate Administrator for Aerospace Technology, responsible for directing NASA'a research into Global Civil Aviation, Revolutionary Technology Leaps, and Advanced Space Transportation.

Prior to his appointment as Associate Administrator for Aerospace Technology Enterprise, General Armstrong was Associate Administrator for Human Resources and Education. He was responsible for developing NASA's human resources strategic plan and for furthering NASA's emphasis on national education goals.

He served from July 1990 to July 1991 as Director, Program Architecture for the Synthesis Group, in support of the President's Space Exploration Initiative, where he planned and supervised the nine-month study effort.

In April 1990, General Armstrong retired from the US Air Force after nearly 34 years of service. His last assignment with the Air Force was Vice Commander, US Air Force Systems Command, consisting of over 53,000 personnel, 15 research laboratories, six weapons systems acquisition divisions, and numerous test ranges and facilities.

During his military career he served as Vice Commander-in-Chief, USAF Military Airlift Command; Chief, US Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia, the US Central Command; Commander, Air Force Military Training Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas; and other positions.

From October 1967 to May 1968, General Armstrong flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam in F-105's. During this time, he was Operations Officer, 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand. He is a command pilot with over 4,500 hours flying time in 50 different aircraft.

His decorations and honors include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters, Saudi Arabian King Abdulaziz Badge, Second Grade, plus 13 other ribbons.

General Armstrong is a 1956 graduate of the US Naval Academy, where he received a B.S. in general engineering. He earned an M.S. in astronautical engineering and an M.S. in instrumentation engineering, both from the University of Michigan in 1963. He attended Columbia University's Executive Program in Business Administration in 1976 and the Senior Managers in Government program at Harvard University in 1978.

He is married to the former Beth Webb of Myrtle Beach, SC, and they have two children and four grandchildren.

Responsible NASA Official: Rich Cooper
Curator: Scott Glasser
Last Updated: August 15, 2002