Col Paul M Kucharek

Col Paul M Kucharek

Colonel Paul M. Kucharek is the ROTC Detachment Commander for Detachment 855 at Brigham Young University.  Prior to this assignment Colonel Kucharek served as the Commander of the 43d Airlift Group, Pope Field, N.C.  He commanded a worldwide deployable Airlift Group and en route airlift operation.  The Airlift Group supported the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division, Special Forces, and other combatant commander air mobility requirements.  He also provided leadership and direction for 1,300 personnel assigned to nine squadrons.  As a combat-ready C-130 group, they projected air mobility power by activating on short notice to deliver and resupply troops and their equipment in forward battle areas via Adverse Weather Aerial Delivery System and visual procedures.  The 43d Airlift Group expertly employed the United States Air Force’s only tactical aeromedical evacuation squadron and operated the only CONUS-based en route aircraft maintenance squadron.  Additionally, the 43d Airlift Group managed the largest aerial port operations in the continental United States and served as the principal airfield support for joint training and outload of the XVIII Airborne Corps and 82nd Airborne Division.

Prior to his assignment as the 43d Airlift Group Commander, Colonel Kucharek served as the Deputy Director for Operational Logistics in the Logistics Directorate (J-4) on the Joint Staff, Pentagon, VA.  Additionally, he has commanded the 53d Airlift Squadron at Little Rock AFB, Arkansas and the 407th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron at Ali Base, Iraq.  He has also served as a Joint Mobility Operations Officer at the United States Transportation Command.  Colonel Kucharek has had multiple operational flying assignments including flying the C‑130 Hercules at Rhein-Main AB, Germany, Ramstein AB, Germany, Little Rock AFB, Arkansas, and Pope Field, North Carolina.  He has participated in Operations PROVIDE PROMISE, JOINT ENDEAVOR, ASSURED LIFT, JOINT GUARD, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM.

Colonel Kucharek is a Command Pilot with over 3,200 flying hours including over 200 combat sorties and over 250 combat hours.



  • 1984 - Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, University of Detroit, Detroit, MI
  • 1994 - Squadron Officer's School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Al (Distinguished Graduate)
  • 2000 - Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Al
  • 2000 - Master's degree in Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Al
  • 2001 - Master's degree in Engineering Management, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
  • 2007 - Master's degree in Strategic Studies, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA



  • June 1988 – September 1990: Radar Warning Receiver Systems Engineer, Tactical Air Warfare Center, Eglin AFB, FL

  • September 1990 – August 1992, student undergraduate pilot training, 85th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, TX

  • August 1992 – July 1994, Pilot, C-130E AWADS, 37th Airlift Squadron, Rhein-Main AB, Germany

  • July 1994 – February 1996, Aircraft Commander, C-130E AWADS, 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany

  • February 1996 – October 1997, Airlift Wing Electronic Combat Officer/Instructor Pilot, 86th Operations Support Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany

  • October 1997 – February 1998, Flight Commander/Instructor Pilot, 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany

  • February 1998 – August 1999, Instructor Pilot/DOD Formal School Evaluator/Squadron Executive Officer, 53d Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, AR

  • August 1999 – July 2000, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL

  • July 2000 – May 2003, Joint Mobility Operations Officer, United States Transportation Command, Scott AFB, IL

  • May 2003 – June 2004, Director of Operations, 53d Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, AR

  • June 2004 – June 2006, Commander, 53d Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, AR (April 2005 – September 2005: Commander, 477th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, Ali Base, Iraq)

  • June 2006 – June 2007, Student, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

  • June 2007 – June 2010, Air Mobility Action Officer; Chief, Distribution Division; and Deputy Director for Operational Logistics, The Joint Staff, Pentagon, VA

  • June 2010 – March 2011, Commander, 43d Operations Group, Pope AFB, NC

  • March 2011 – July 2012, Commander, 43d Airlift Group, Pope Field, NC

  • July 2012 – Present, Commander, AFROTC Detachment 855, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT



Rating: Command Pilot

Flight hours: over 3,200 hours

Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, C-130E, C-130H



  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit
  • Bronze Star Medal
  • Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  • Meritorious Service Medal with 2 oak leaf cluster 
  • Air Medal with 5 oak leaf clusters
  • Aerial Achievement Medal with 1oak leaf clusters 
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal
  • Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster 
  • Air Force Achievement Medal


  • Second Lieutenant - April 13, 1988
  • First Lieutenant - April 13, 1990
  • Captain - April 13, 1992
  • Major - July 1, 1999
  • Lieutenant Colonel - March 1, 2004
  • Colonel - June 1, 2009


Detachment Commander

The detachment commander for Detachment 855 is the active duty Air Force Officer in command of the entire cadre, staff and cadet wing. The Det. 855 Commander also serves as the chair of the BYU Department of Aerospace Studies within the Marriott School of Management.

In addition to ensuring that Det 855 is producing quality leaders for the U.S. Air Force, the commander is also a Professor of Aerospace Studies and personally teaches the 400-level Aerospace Studies courses. The commander exemplifies what an Air Force officer should be as he oversees one of the largest ROTC programs in the nation, providing opportunities for college students to become commissioned officers in the United States Air Force.