Colonel Christopher Portele, USAF, is the National Defense University Special Operations Force (SOF) Chair and joined the National War College military faculty in June 2021. Colonel Portele was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps, graduating from Texas A&M University. He earned his pilot rating through Undergraduate Pilot Training at Corpus Christi NAS, Texas. As a career SOF aviator, he has flown as an instructor and evaluator pilot accruing over 3,000 flight hours in HC-130P, MC-130W, AC-130W, C-145, and U-28 aircraft. He has served in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, RESOLUTE SUPPORT and FREEDOM SENTINEL. He has joint staff officer experience in the USSOCOM force structure (J8) Directorate and Special Operations Joint Task Force - Afghanistan. Colonel Portele served in leadership positions at the squadron and group levels at the United States Air Force Special Operations School and 1st Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, FL. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, Master of Business Administration from Trident University International, and two Master of Science degrees from Air University.