COLONEL CHRISTOPHER M. WHELAN

Colonel Christopher M. Whelan is the Chief, DNWS Department, Nuclear Enterprise Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. He also serves as the Commandant of the Defense Nuclear Weapons School.  He is responsible for the Department of Defense’s premier educational institution for the preservation and education of nuclear weapons, nuclear accident/incident command, control and response; explosive ordnance disposal; threat awareness and assessment; weapons of mass destruction; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear modeling and related expertise. 

Colonel Whelan was commissioned in May 1995 as a graduate of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, into the Chemical Corps.  After serving for 17 years as a Chemical Officer, he transitioned in the FA 52 (Nuclear and Counterproliferation Officer) Branch. He has extensive experience in all levels of Weapons of Mass Destruction planning and policy, to include budget, nonproliferation, and treaty activities. COL Whelan has considerable expertise in military education, having served as an Assistant Professor at both the United States Military Academy and the Command and General Staff School.  He has also worked in a variety of staff positions at the 20th CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and High Yield Explosives) Command, The Joint Staff at the Pentagon, and as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the Department of State.

EDUCATION

1995 Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

1996 Chemical Officer Basic Course, Fort McClellan, AL

1999 Chemical Captain’s Career Course, Fort McClellan, AL

1999 Combined Arms Services Staff School (CAS3), Fort Leavenworth, KS

2004 Master of Science, Chemistry, Brown University, Providence, RI

2007 Military Transition Team (MiTT) Training, Fort Riley, KS

2009 Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS

2011 Technical Escort School, Fort Leonard Wood, MO

2012 Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JPME-II), Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University, Norfolk, VA

2014 Nuclear and Counterproliferation Office (FA 52) Qualification Course, Kirtland AFB, NM

2015 Graduate Certificate, Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy & Proliferation, Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, OH

2016 Master of Science, Science & Technology Intelligence, National Intelligence University, Boling AFB, Washington, DC

 

ASSIGNMENTS

1.  May 1995 – September 1995, Gold Bar Recruiter, Bloomsburg University, Bison Battalion, Bloomsburg, PA

2.  September 1995 – March 1996, Student, Chemical Officer’s Basic Course, Fort McClellan, AL

3.  March 1996 – October 1996, Battalion Chemical Officer, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY

4.  November 1996 – January 1997, Battalion S1 & Adjutant, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY

5.  January 1998 – April 1998, Brigade Chemical Officer, 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY

6.  May 1998 – December 1998, Smoke/Decon Platoon Leader, 59th Chemical Company, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, NY

7.  January 1999 – June 1999, Student, Chemical Captain’s Career Course, Fort McClellan, AL

8.  July 1999 – December 2000, Brigade Chemical Officer, 1st Brigade, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY

9.  January, 2001 – June 2002, Company Commander, 1st Brigade, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY

10.  August 2002 – June 2006, Student, Brown University, Providence, RI

11.  June 2004 – July 2007, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY

12.  August 2007 – December 2008, Deputy Team Chief, Brigade Military Transition Team, Iraqi Assistance Group, 36th Iraqi Armored Brigade, Taji, Iraq

13.  January 2008 – December 2009, Student, Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS

14.  December 2009 – June 2010, Operations Officer, Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Element, 20th CBRNE Command, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD

15.  July 2010 – June 2011, Team Chief, Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Element, 20th CBRNE Command, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD

16.  July 2011 – July 2012, Secretary of the General Staff, 20th CBRNE Command, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD

17.  July 2012 – August 2015, Branch Chief, CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) Defense Branch, Joint Requirements Office for CBRN Defense, J8, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Arlington, VA.

18.  August 2015 – July 2016, Student, National Intelligence University, Boling AFB, Washington D.C.

19.  August 2016 – July 2019, Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of Chemical, Biological, and Missile Nonproliferation, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN), Department of State, Washington, D.C.

20.  July 2019 – July 2021, Assistant Professor, Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations, Command and General Staff School, Army University, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, KS

21.  July 2021 – present, Chief DNWS Department; Commandant, Defense Nuclear Weapons School, Nuclear Enterprise Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS

Bronze Star Medal

Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Army Commendation Medal

Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf cluster

National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star

Iraq Campaign Medal with one campaign star

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Korean Defense Service Medal

Army Service Ribbon

Overseas Service Ribbon

Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

Parachutist Badge

Air Assault Badge

 

JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1.  July 2012 - August 2015, Branch Chief, CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) Defense Branch, Joint Requirements Office for CBRN Defense, J8, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Arlington, VA, as a Lieutenant Colonel.
2.  August 2016 - July 2019, Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of Chemical, Biological, and Missile Nonproliferation, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN), Department of State, Washington, D.C., as a Lieutenant Colonel.

3.  July 2021 - present, Chief, DNWS Department, Nuclear Enterprise Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Kirtland AFB, NM, as a Colonel.

 

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant              May 26, 1995
First Lieutenant                   June 3, 1997
Captain                                July 1, 1999
Major                                   Oct. 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel              February 1, 2012
Colonel                                February 1, 2021

 

(Current as of Aug. 1, 2021)