The District of Columbia Air National Guard will officially welcome its first-ever Hispanic deputy commanding general, Col. Mark Maldonado, in a promotion ceremony scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Joint Base Andrews, Md.
Maldonado was born in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, where he was raised by his grandparents. At the age of 10, he moved to the Bronx in New York with his mother where he learned English for the first time. He serves full-time as Criminal Law Policy chief for the Drug Enforcement Administration of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
As the deputy commanding general for Air at Joint Force Headquarters D.C. National Guard, Maldonado is the principal advisor to the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard and manages more than 1,200 members of the D.C. Air National Guard (DCANG) while ensuring all DCANG units maintain the required readiness levels for when the nation calls upon them to serve, in times of need.
Maldonado received his commission in 1991 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Upon entering the Air Force, he graduated from undergraduate pilot training and began flying the KC-135 Stratotanker. He served on active duty for nine years and then transferred to the New Jersey Air National Guard where he continued to fly. In 2004, Maldonado graduated from law school at Rutgers University and shortly thereafter became a Staff Judge Advocate (JAG) with the DCANG in 2006.
While serving as a JAG, he handled a wide variety of legal issues including international law, operations law, environmental law, military and civilian personnel issues, pre-trial preparations, trials and post-trial actions. In 2017, Maldonado was selected to his current position.
Throughout his career, Maldonado has deployed to locations including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Spain, Oman and Portugal. He has also represented the Department of Defense’s Institute for International Legal Studies as a Rule of Law, Counterterrorism and Counter-narcotics expert instructor in Peru, El Salvador, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Media interested in attending the promotion ceremony should contact DCNG Public Affairs at 202-821-7181 to RSVP.