Bennett B. McCutcheon, Jr. ("JR") is the U.S. Fleet Forces Command Acting Director, Fleet Installation and Environmental Directorate (N46). He directs the design, implementation, and management of programs to align the Fleet’s activities in accordance with environmental statutes. Mr. McCutcheon also oversees Fleet installation and energy portfolios. He returned from his second deployment in May 2014 from Kabul, Afghanistan where he served as the Rule of Law Advisor to the Commander, International Security Assistance Force International Joint Command. He directed the synchronization of theater level Rule of Law assets in conjunction with international organizations, governmental entities, and non-governmental organizations to strengthen the legal systems throughout Afghanistan. Mr. McCutcheon also worked to ensure compliance with international law, international human rights norms, and the Constitution of Afghanistan.
From 2011 – 2012, he was detailed from the U.S. Department of Navy to the U.S. State Department for deployment to Afghanistan where he served as Senior Civilian Advisor in Sangin District, Helmand Province. Mr. McCutcheon’s portfolios included: Rule of Law, Strategic Communications, Reintegration, District Communications, and Political Officer. He also supervised Justice Subcommittee activities and oversaw the conduct of detainee operations. Prior to that deployment, Mr. McCutcheon was the Director, Unified Action and Acting Political Advisor to the Commander Second Fleet (C2F). JR simultaneously acted in the same capacity for the Commander Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA); where he designed and repeatedly executed the training program of over 100 Core Staff personnel in preparation for deployment to CJTF-HOA.
Mr. McCutcheon performed similar functions as a Political Military Advisor at the US Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) Standing Joint Force Headquarters prior to his service at C2F. While at USJFCOM, he deployed twice to serve as Director, Unified Action to the Commander, CJTF-HOA, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.
Before he became a U.S. Department of Navy Civilian, Mr. McCutcheon, who was raised in Scottsdale, Arizona punching cows in his spare time, served for 28 years as a US Air Force (USAF) Active and Reserve Officer. He was a USAF Intelligence, Human Intelligence, and Eurasian Foreign Affairs Officer. During his assignment to U.S. European Command (USEUCOM), he was the Command’s Energy Advisor, USEUCOM’s Caucasus, Caspian Basin, Russia, and Ukraine Officer, and the Command’s Hydrocarbon Security Planner. Mobilized for over two years in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. McCutcheon spearheaded the creation of the Georgia Train and Equip Program.
He commanded over 200 operational reconnaissance missions when he was privileged to be assigned to the United States Military Liaison Mission (USMLM) in Potsdam, East Germany from 1985 to 1988 as a USAF Air Liaison Officer. He was awarded the USAF Airman’s Medal while serving at the USMLM. Prior to that posting, Mr. McCutcheon was a “Red Eagle” assigned to the USAF Directorate of Soviet Affairs, Soviet Awareness Division in Washington D.C.
A member of the State Bar of Arizona since 1991, Mr. McCutcheon, who speaks Russian and German, has extensive experience conducting cross-border transactions, forming joint ventures, performing risk assessment studies and formulating risk management strategies in the countries of the Former Soviet Union on behalf of US based clients. When he was not traveling, he focused upon water rights, Indian law, legislative law, and Arizona Constitutional law.
He is a Sun Devil and a Colonial. In 1978, Mr. McCutcheon received a B.A. in History from Arizona State University (ASU). He also studied one summer and worked another summer in the former Soviet Union as an undergraduate. Mr. McCutcheon obtained an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from George Washington University in 1985 while on active duty on the USAF. He returned to Arizona upon leaving active duty where he received a J.D. from the ASU College of Law in 1991.