Thomas (Tom) Michael Rutherford, Sr. (born November 24, 1943) served in combat during the Vietnam War and the invasion of Grenada;
He has vast experience in special combat operations, extremely sensitive national security endeavors, and international intelligence activities. He takes great pride in building champion teams. For 12 years he provided “special security” for the Strategic Defense Center (constructed during President Regan’s tenure) which housed several “Star War” programs. He continued to have overall responsibility for very critical national security activities, some being the “blackest of black” (one waived), supposedly nonexistent programs ( less than 1% of unacknowledged, “above Top Secret”, Special Access Programs are waived. It’s likely a waived program may be invisible to the President and all but 8 specially selected members of Congress. The ultra-sophisticated security for a waived program may represent up to 50% of the program’s total financial expenditures).
For four years, he was executive grade Manager of Advanced Projects / Advanced Program’s Security for the Advanced System’s Division. He was responsible for a multitude of diverse, complex, highly classified programs that supported many different “customers”. One of the rarely partially declassified programs was Tacit Blue (the aircraft test-bed for the B-2 Stealth Bomber), that directly contributed to the stealth Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile, Pave Mover, and the E-8 Joint-STARS. Tom was deeply involved in ultra-secret black programs that led to the present day, famous, F-35 Lighting II and other variations. Many programs he managed were not “air breathers”.
He was the recipient of the Super Achiever Award in 1984, and the Significant Accomplishment Award in 1986. Prior to his second career in Space and Defense, he spent 23 years in the United States Marine Corps. His last assignment was Head, Naval Intelligence Processing Systems, Pentagon and the Naval Intelligence Command, Washington, D.C. He was principle staff officer directly responsible for supporting intelligence systems afloat for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, worldwide. His major program dwelt with newfound satellite digital imagery. One of his presentations was to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
1st Platoon, Echo Co. 1968-1969
He was the first and senior of two Marines to attend MOTC since the Office of Strategic Services was disbanded (distinguished graduate and record holder); one of 80 Marines in a decade to receive the Drill Instructor of the Quarter Award, at Parris Island, S.C.; Leatherneck Award and the Claude A. Phillip’s Cup Award; only Marine honor graduate of the Armed Forces Counterintelligence School during a five year period (defeated class of Green Berets); over 43 personal/national/foreign decorations and commendations for gallantry and distinguished service which includes special recognition by the CIA, FBI, and the NIS; President and lifetime inductee in the National Honor Society; Associated Student Government Awardee; recipient of the Bank of America Scholarship; and graduate with honors at Officer Candidate School (2 of 267).
He received the Special Achievement Award during 1997; personal recognition from the Secretary of the Air Force (1997) for “historic achievements that will have a profound effect on National Security”; Certificate of Recognition from the Air Force (Space, 1997); numerous Letters of Appreciation and other forms of recognition from the Marine Corps and most branches of the military (many general officers), and Letter of Appreciation from the Chairman and CEO, (classified Fortune 100 government contractor).
Mr. Thomas (Tom) Michael Rutherford, Sr., one of the few Directors of Special Security in Space and Defense in the United States, helped defend our country for 39 years.
(UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION EXTRACTED FROM OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS)
Other assignments include the Naval Investigative Service, Department of State
(embassy) Security, Counterintelligence Team Commander, Combat Infantry Leader, Training Coordinator/Leadership/Instructor, and Operations Specialist. Tom’s background includes various assignments in the CIA, FBI, Human Intelligence (HUMINT; espionage), Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), and Presidential (VIP) Protective Services. His field of expertise includes hostage negotiations (FBI), counterespionage, sabotage, national and international terrorism and subversion; advanced software satellite imagery exploitation systems and law enforcement corrections specialist.
He assisted in briefing the head of the National Security Agency. Ultimately, he provided critical classified support in special operations and unconventional warfare to the White House, all national intelligence communities, and all of the armed services.
He was the first Staff Counterintelligence Officer for the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade, the spear- head of the then newly formed Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force / U.S. Central Command.
He holds an M.A. Degree in Management (magna cum laude), B.A. in Psychology with honors, and 33 additional career related formal school courses. Tom was honored by three U.S. Presidents for gallantry in combat (Vietnam/Grenada), nominated for a battlefield commission for combat leadership during the Vietnam War, special guest of President Reagan at the White House following his significant classified mission into Grenada along with Navy Seals, Army Rangers and the CIA (there he would brief in the White House Situation Room and befriend Marine LtCol “Ollie” North), lone DoD nominee for the coveted President’s/Jaycee Leadership/National Physical Fitness Award (letters from Secretary of Defense and Stan Musial), and establishment of a new intelligence system considered by many to be the “single-most contribution to intelligence centers afloat”.
Tom was also a distinguished Marksmanship Instructor (always qualified Rifle/Pistol Expert), distinguished Physical Fitness Instructor (almost always near- perfect fitness test scores), distinguished Drill Instructor, and distinguished Leadership/Staff NCO/NCO Military Subjects Instructor, Marine 1st Class Swimmer, Certified Small Boat Operator and Recon Amphibious Warfare. Tom also played on several champion Marine and Air Force football teams.
As a young man of early 18, Tom was elected Vice President of a famous large youth choir in south Florida named Friendship-90 (associated with astronaut/ later Senator John Glenn’s space exploits). Sanctioned by the U.S. Congress and financed by nonprofit contributions throughout Florida, these young singer’s were the first in U.S. History whose mission was to increase the cultural relationship between the U.S and every country in Central and South America (except Venezuela). Some audiences contained thousands of people. Many songs were sung in Portuguese. About seven months before this significant journey, Tom and about six of these choir members sang a few impromptu Christmas carols to President elect, Senator John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline, and their very young children, JFK, Jr. and Caroline. The Kennedys were standing just inside the front foyer of their older mansion in Palm Beach, Florida; heavily guarded by Secret Service Agents.
Note: Unfortunately, during June 2001, Tom was compelled to retire from his second career in Space & Defense due to permanent, Marine service-connected, severe physical/mental disabilities.) When asked, he stated he would do it all again “and more for our country”.
Received citation from the American Embassy Ambassador and was selected "American Youth Association Volunteer of the Year". (Ankara, Turkey;1966) as Head, Marine Physical Fitness Program. In 1966, Tom was also selected as Boy Scout Leader of the Year. "Presented Warriors Medal of Valor by Native American Nations (2009)." Tom was nominated for the Arizona Veteran's Hall of Fame during 2013 & 2014.
Navy Unit Commendation - Awarded for Operation Taylor Common.
Dates are 7 December 1968 - 8 March 1969. All participates are awarded the Navy Unit Commendation (NUC). Most of my close combat took place during this operation. I had taken over my badly wounded Platoon Commander's position as "acting Platoon Commander".
Tom was 1st Platoon Sergeant (E-5) Echo Company - around October 1968, and later Platoon Commander (age 24) until being medevaced. He served 23 years in the Corps and 16 years in Space & Defense. He resides in Prescott, Arizona.
Tom’s performance was heavily influenced by his favorite Commanding Officer; Vietnam POW (April 1968), Marine LtCol Richard F. Risner. Risner, a Silver and Bronze Star recipient, escaped by killing his captors.
Navy Achievement Medal Citation
Letter from President Reagan
Internal Letter - Star Wars Program
Jogging at "The Farm" CIA Williamsburg VA
Medal from President Reagan for Grenada
Counterintelligence Retired Badge
Native American Warriors Medal
Embassy Guard - Ankara Turkey 1963-1966
In Appreciation - College President 1974
Naval Intelligence Coffee Mug
Authenticates Combat in Grenada
Tom with young endangered bears
Tom Rutherford State Dept Passport
Tom Rutherford, Marine Physical Fitness Instructor 1965, American Embassy, Ankara, Turkey
Correspondence from White House pertaining to Marine Physical Fitness Program
Precursor to recognition from President (1965). Note reference to Stan Musials letter
Letter came via diplomatic pouch it did not go through the postal service
Adult BooBoo (toms bear) with offspring at Philadelphia Zoo
(Tom CWO-3) Counterintelligence Officer involved with special operations (San Clemente Island [S. CA] Dec 20, 1977)
Award - Jungle Warfare Camp, Cubi Pt, Philippines 1978
Presented by President for Classified Grenada Mission
Marine Football Champions - Coach Player 1970
Partial Fitness Report Activities in Grenada
Awarded Drill Instructor of the Quarter Award
Verifying Nomination Battlefield Commission ( Vietnam )
Battlefield Commission Nomination
1 JANUARY 1969
Captain U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)
Director, Special Security, Space & Defense (Ret)
39 Years of Sacrifice to Our Country
codenamed Operation Urgent Fury. In military parlance, Tom is a MUSTANG, i.e. someone who began as an enlisted service member and earned their commission; in Rutherford's case rising all the way from Private to Captain (GySgt; CWO-3; Captain; Major selectee). Tom was an enlisted - infantry unit leader- for 12 years.
Drill Instructor of the Quarter