Don "Stryker" Haley
Don “Stryker” Haley
Air Power Strategist, F-15E Evaluator Pilot
Lieutenant Colonel Don “Stryker” Haley has a rare blend of combat, leadership, and strategic planning experience as a 19-year active duty Air Force officer. As an F-15E Instructor/Evaluator Pilot and Mission Commander, he has flown over 3,200 hours, including 700 combat hours in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, and OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE. Over multiple deployments, he has delivered over one hundred weapons while supporting dozens of scenarios with friendly ground forces under direct enemy fire. In the beginning weeks of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE, he flew multiple sorties as overall Mission Commander, leading coalition packages of over 40 aircraft into hostile Syrian airspace.
As 492d Fighter Squadron Director of Operation, RAF Lakenheath, England, he performed duties commensurate with a COO of a small-medium sized company. He improved squadron readiness from 8% to 90% after Congressional budget sequestration and subsequently led his squadron to the delivery of 47% of total weapons employed against ISIS during the initial month of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE. In 2015, he was selected to lead the 333d Fighter Squadron, the largest fighter training squadron in the US Combat Air Forces, performing duties commensurate with a CEO of a small-medium sized company. As Squadron Commander, he led 65 permanent personnel and 186 students while managing a $102 million dollar annual budget and $1.3 billion in resources.
A life-long learner, he earned his Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in 1999 and continued to earn three master’s degrees. In 2011, he earned his Master of Arts in Christian Leadership Studies from Liberty Theological Seminary, graduating Magna Cum Laude. In 2012, he attended Air Command and Staff College earning a Master of Arts in Military Operational Arts and Sciences, and graduating as a “Distinguished Graduate.” In 2018, Stryker earned a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS). Considered the premier educational program of the U.S. Army, SAMS graduates are colloquially known as “Jedi Knights” of strategy and operational planning.
Aside from his significant combat, leadership, and educational experiences, Stryker has served in two key strategic planning positions. From 2010-2012, he served as a contingency plans officer for the U.S. Air Force’s Korea/Combined Forces Command, writing major theater war plans for conflict on the Korean peninsula. His efforts to develop a Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction plan earned him a rare commendation from Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Republic of Korea. In his current job, Stryker leads Air Force transformation efforts as a member of an elite operational think tank at Headquarter Air Force, Pentagon. In this current role, Stryker collaborates with leaders across the Department of Defense, academia, the defense industry, and the science/technology communities to develop future concepts airpower employment. These concepts inform future force design and capability requirements that drive enterprise-wide changes across the Air Force.
Stryker also enjoys volunteering in his community. Aside from his significant involvement as a lay leader in his local church, he coaches youth soccer, volunteers with Boy Scouts of America, and is an adoption advocate with America World Adoption.