- Name: Christopher T. Fulton
- Location of Birth: Superior, Wisconsin
- Date of Birth: January 17, 1959
- Date of Death:
- Parents: Max and Anne Fulton
- High School and Class: 1977 - Grand Rapids Senior High School, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
- College: 1977-1981 - Bachelor of Science (Engineering) - United States Military Academy
1990-1991 - Master of Science (Physical Education) - Indiana University
2008 - Executive Leadership Fellowship Program - Harvard College, JFK School of Government
1982 - Military Education
1985-1984 - Field Artillery Officer Basic Course 2
1985-1986 - Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course
1990 - Combined Arms Services Staff School
1994-1995 - Command and General Staff College
2002-2003 - United States Army War College
- Highest Rank: COL (Colonel)
- Branch: Army
- Other Branch:
- Date Sworn In: July 6, 1977
- Place Sworn In: West Point, New York
- Date of Discharge: May 31, 2011
- Place of Discharge: Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Illinois
Units and Locations:
Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served May, 1981 March, 1982 Office of Director of Athletics, West Point, New York August, 1982 June, 1985 2nd Armored Cavalry, Bindlach, Germany June, 1986 May, 1990 9th Infantry Division Artillery, Ft. Lewis, Washington June, 1991 June, 1994 Department of Physical Education, West Point, New York June, 1995 August, 1998 1st Infantry Division Artillery, Bamberg, Germany August, 1998 June, 2001 2nd Battalion, 80th Field Artillery, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma July, 2001 March, 2003 United States Army War College, Carlisle Barnadel, Pennsylvania March, 2003 June, 2006 Field Artillery Training Center, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma June, 2006 March, 2008 Strategic Command, Omaha, Nebraska March, 2008 June, 2009 Multi-National Security Transition Command, Iraq July, 2009 May, 2011 5th Army with duty in Chicago (FEMA Region 5)
- Military Awards:
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (4 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
Army Achievement Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terror Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Army Service Medal
Overseas Service Ribbon
- Military Highlights:
West Point, New York - Graduate Assistant, Men's Gymnastic Program (1981-1982).
Commissioned as 2LT in the Field Artillery Branch, May 27, 1981.
Bayreuth, Germany - Squadron Fire Support Officers, 1st Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment (1984-1985), Battery-level Field Artillery positions, Howitzer Battery, 1st Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, (1982-1984).
Fort Lewis, Washington - Battery Commander, Headquarters Battery, 9th Infantry Division Artillery (1988-1990). Battery Commander, A-Battery, 1-84th Field Artillery (1986-1988). Battalion Adjutant, 1-84th Field Artillery (1986).
West Point, New York - Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Education (1992-1994). Instructor, Department of Physical Education (1991-1992).
Bamberg, Germany - Operations Officer. 1st Infantry Division Artillery (1997-1998). Operations Officer, 1-6th Field Artillery (1996-1997). Assistant Operations Officer, 3rd Infantry Division Artillery (1995-1996).
Fort Sill, Oklahoma - Deputy Brigade Commander, Field Artillery Training Center (2001-2002). Battalion Commander, 2-80th Field Artillery (1999-2001), Deputy Director, Depth and Simultaneous Attack Battle lab (1998-1999).
Fort Sill, Oklahoma - Brigade Commander, Field Artillery Training Center (2004-2006).
Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska - Chief of Staff, Space and Global Strike (2006-2008).
Baghdad, Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Chief of Staff, Directorate of Interior Affairs (2008-2009).
Chicago, Illinois with duty at FEMA Region V, Defense Coordinating Officers (2009-2011).
News article in Grand Rapids Herald Review, dated January 7, 2009- Grand People Section:
Greetings from Baghdad!
17 June 2009
By Colonel Christopher T. Fulton July 15, 2009
This is it - my last day in Baghdad. I begin the trek home tomorrow via Blackhawk helicopter, C130 cargo plane, a couple of busses, a contracted commercial jet and then finally a straight-up commercial jet that will take me into Eppley Airfield in Omaha. The entire process will take 3-4 days...the temps in Kuwait will be about 120 degrees (but dry)...Fort Benning, GA (where I have to turn my gear in) will be hot and humid, and I don't even care what Omaha is like - because I'll be home! I look forward to not wearing body armor or carrying a pistol...and mostly to seeing Johnnie and family - and green grass...! My adventure in Iraq is nearly complete.
All in all, this has been a very good year. I would like to think that I've been experiencing an important period in the history of Iraq and of our presence here. Almost as I arrived last May, the security situation finally got to the point where real work could get started (as it me??). Progress has been forward ever since, with the occasional yet momentary set-backs that come with dealing with a determined foe. I have watched daily attacks drop from an average of 30 to most days less than 10. I've seen days where the casualty numbers (civilian and military) have been as high as almost 200 (most from horrific individual attacks) to as low as two. I was really hoping to see a single day where there were no casualties...but I'll have to read about it instead. That day is coming.
I've watched our governments work out a three year security deal to protect both us and the Iraqis - and have heard the promises from both countries that they will stick with it, to include the current removal of combat forces from the Iraqi cities. Iraq took back the Republican Palace where I went every morning last summer and fall for the daily update with General Petraeus; they have taken over security of the International Zone where I have lived for the past year, and we are turning over U.S. built operating bases to the Iraqis every day. I observed first-hand a peaceful, democratic election of provincial leadership. Although a later test still looms with national elections this coming January, the Iraqis know they have a vote in their government and in their future. Our troops are partnered up with their Iraq counterparts and are watching them conduct missions instead of leading them on missions. Again-all in all, this has been a very good year.
However, there still is much history to be written. There are still plenty of bad guys both in this country and in some neighboring countries who wish us harm. Sadly, they wish everyone harm, and in some way or the other we will be dealing with the sickness of fanatical terrorists well into the future (probably our forever. There is significant corruption in all levels of government, but at least verbally there is a public campaign to reduce it. We'll see. There remains plenty of distrust among the greater Middle East neighborhood, but embassies are coming back into Baghdad on a weekly basis from countries around the world. There is vastly improved security for the population; but that security is fragile...the bad guys try to turn it around almost every day. I am personally cautiously optimistic that this will work - that there will eventually be a moderate Arab country smack in the Middle East. That would be a good thing if it becomes reality!
So...getting back down to my world...I have seen very little of Iraq. I've flown over some deserts and have walked around some military camps, but those pictures you see in the paper of soldiers walking through city markets - that wasn't me.
The historic aspect of being here was one thing, but just like any other job I've had, what I'll remember after the dust settles are the people I've worked with and for. I have spent the year working with some great Americans, many dedicated Iraqis, and a few others who really make the name "International Zone" mean something...!
- Wars Involved:
Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom
- MIA / POW:
- Civilian Life:
I'll never forget the day that my Guidance Counselor at Grand Rapids Senior High School, Mr. Yocum, walked up to me in the winter of my senior year and told me I had a call from the gymnastics coach at West Point. I had to ask Mr. Yocum what West Point was.....
After making a recruiting visit soon after, I was hooked on the United States Military Academy; not only could I continue a sport that I loved, but I'd be getting a great education AND a guaranteed job! I didn't excel at West Point (!), but I survived and graduated around the middle of my class of 900+. I was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Field Artillery on May 27, 1981 under the watchful eye of our commencement speaker, President Ronald Reagan.
Graduates of West Point have a five-year commitment to military service, so I headed out to make my mark as an Army officer, with the expectation in my mind that I could certainly get through those five years and then go seek fame and fortune doing something else as a civilian. The problem with that plan is that I found I really loved the Army life--the camaraderie, the adventure, and the leadership of other young adults who came from all walks of life to serve their country.
I retired as a Colonel on May 31, 2011...30 years later...and what a great ride it was!
I find it hard to do justice in my "military story". The memories run deep, as much about the people as the places. I hate to say it, but "you had to be there" is an apt expression looking back over the 17 moves by our family, the weeks and months and even years spent away from home in places that can only be termed "exotic".
It wasn't all enjoyable (especially the deployments), but it was definitely all very rewarding and fulfilling. From my earliest years in Germany during the Cold War, to my latest years in the Green Zone along the Tigris River in downtown Baghdad, I was able to see first-hand the goodness of this country I am fortunate enough to call "home".
I am honored to have been given the privilege to be a part of the greatest military our world will ever know. Once a Solider - always a Soldier.
- Tribal Affiliation(s):