Brigadier General Walter Rugen was born and raised in Onalaska, Wisconsin, and was commissioned through the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in 1989.
His first assignment was as an aviation platoon leader, Camp Page, Republic of Korea. In 1992, hewas assigned to 9-101st Aviation Battalion (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY where he served in a variety of positions and commanded B/9-101st. BG Rugen was then assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in 1995, where he served as an MH-60K platoon leader and company operations officer in D/1-160 SOAR (A). From 2000-2002 he commanded D/160th SOAR (A) at Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station, Puerto Rico and flew extensively in Central/South America and the Caribbean. In 2003 he transitioned to become the battalion operations officer for 3rd Battalion 160th SOAR (A) at Hunter Army Airfield, GA, where he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2005 he was assigned as a strategic plans officer in the J5 at the United States Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, FL. In 2007 BG Rugen commanded 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operation Aviation Regiment and again deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2009-2011 BG Rugen was assigned to the Army Staff in the aviation directorate at the Pentagon, where worked on multiple strategic issues affecting Army Aviation. In 2011 he was designated an Army Fellow and served at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. From 2012-2014 he commanded the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade in the Republic of Korea. He then transitioned back to the Pentagon where he became the Chief Army Aviation Force Development Division in the Army G8 from 2014- 2016. From 2016-2017 he served as the Director of Materiel in HQDA G8 before serving as the 7th Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General - Support at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington from 2017-2018. Currently BG Rugen is the Director of U.S. Army Futures Command’s Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
BG Rugen’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with numeral 4, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (w/ 3 service stars), Iraq Campaign Medal (w/ 4 service stars), the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, the Korean Defense Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Master Aviator Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Army Staff Badge and Dominican Republic Parachutist Badge.
BG Rugen is married to the former Ms. Leigh Anne Boling and they have three wonderful children, Victoria, Jacob and Wesley.
The Director of the Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team will discuss how collaboration is driving the latest developments in FVL for delivering improved lethality, reach and survivability capabilities to support the operational environment and respond effectively to threats in the field. This includes topics such as the integration of UAS (supplementary fixed wing craft; incorporated payloads with air launched effects) and the continued automation of sensors, avionics systems and targeting and weapons systems.