Colonel Samuel A. Friend is the deputy commander of the 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. He serves as second in command of the largest B-1B wing in the Air Force; responsible for the health and welfare of more than 14,500 active-duty members, civilian employees, and family members, providing combat mission ready B-1B aircraft, aircrew, combat support, and expeditionary Airmen for global taskings.

Colonel Friend earned his commission as a graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program and completed undergraduate pilot training at Columbus AFB, MS. He has held numerous operational flying positions including as Commander, 439th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, 36th Operations Support Squadron Director of Operations and 28th Bomb Wing Chief of Flight Safety. He has also been an Air Liaison Officer, instructing in air/ground integration to the joint community and on staff on the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s Strategic Execution Group, in the Global Power Programs directorate under the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, and at Headquarters United States Air Forces Europe / Air Forces Africa as a planner in the Operations Directorate and deployed as the Air Forces Africa Liaison to Niger. Colonel Friend is a Senior Pilot with more than 2400 total flight hours, 1417 combat hours, and 157 combat missions in the B-1B and C-208 aircraft during Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM and RESOLUTE SUPPORT.

2001  Bachelors of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois
2006  Squadron Officer School, Correspondence
2008  Masters of Business Administration, Touro University International, California
2009  Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
2010  Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence
2014  Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
2017  Air War College, Correspondence

1. June 2001 – January 2002, Executive Officer, 11th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Scott AFB, Illinois.
2. January 2002 – January 2004, Student and Transition Pilot, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Mississippi.
3. January 2004 – September 2004, Student Pilot, B-1B Formal Training Unit, Dyess AFB, Texas.
4. September 2004 – October 2007, Pilot and Assistant Chief of Safety, 34th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.
5. October 2007 – April 2009, Academic Instructor, Chief of Scheduling and Flight Commander, 6th Combat Training Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada.
6. April 2009 – May 2010, Executive Officer, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nevada.
7. May 2010 – June 2012, Instructor Pilot and Assistant Director of Operations, 34th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.
8. June 2012 – June 2013, Chief, Wing Flight Safety, 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.
9. June 2013 – June 2014, Student, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
10. July 2014 – June 2016, Chief, Offensive Operations, 603d Air Operations Center, Ramstein AB, Germany.
11. June 2016 – July 2017, Chief, Bomber Operations and Plans, A3, Headquarters United States Air Forces Europe / Air Forces Africa, Ramstein AB, Germany.
12. July 2017 – September 2019, Director of Operations, 36th Operations Support Squadron, Andersen AFB, Guam.
13. September 2019 – June 2020, Commander, 439th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, Kabul, Afghanistan.
14. June 2020 – April 2022, Deputy Director, Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Strategic Execution Group, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
15. May 2022 – June 2023, Chief, Weapons Division, Global Power Programs, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
16. June 2023 – Present, Vice Commander, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas

Rating: Senior Pilot Flight
hours: More than 2400, including 1417 combat hours
Aircraft flown: B-1B, C-208, KC-135, T-38, T-37 

Legion of Merit 
Bronze Star
Medal Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with "C" Device and five oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air and Space Commendation Medal
Air and Space Achievement Medal
Combat Readiness Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three bronze stars
Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal

Second Lieutenant   May 30, 2001
First Lieutenant   May 30, 2003
Captain   May 30, 2005
Major   June 1, 2011
Lieutenant Colonel   July 1, 2016
Colonel   September 1, 2022

(Current as of July 2023)