Col. Steven H. Rathmell is the Commander, 224th Air Defense Group, New York Air National Guard. The 224th ADG is deployed in place in Rome, New York to execute the mission of the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS). EADS is one of two North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) air defense sectors in the continental United States. EADS reports directly to 1st Air Force and the Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR), co- located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. EADS is responsible for the aerospace defense of the eastern United States to include the National Capital Region around Washington, D.C., and supports NORAD’s Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment and Northern Command’s homeland defense missions.

Col. Rathmell joined the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 112th Air Control Squadron, State College, Pennsylvania in May 1994. He was commissioned from the Academy of Military Science in November 1994. After graduating from Air Weapons Controller training at Tyndall AFB, Florida in June 1995, he joined the New York Air National Guard’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) the following January. He has held multiple combat crew qualifications at the Sector to include Air Weapons Officer, Senior Director and Mission Crew Commander.

Following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Col. Rathmell performed mission crew functions, directing the daily execution of joint and allied forces flying combat air patrols and airborne early warning missions over major U.S. cities, defending the Homeland under Operation NOBLE EAGLE. Between 2003-2005, he deployed several times to the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, Washington D.C. as a Sector liaison officer supporting the Army’s ground-based air defense of the National Capital Region. While serving as the Assistant Chief, Standardizations and Evaluations from 2005-2007, he helped guide the mission expansion of the Northeast Air Defense Sector to the Eastern Air Defense Sector; more than doubling the size, scope and responsibility of the Sector. Col. Rathmell has served in a variety of key positions at EADS including Chief, Weapons and Tactics, Flight Commander, Chief, Standardization and Evaluations and Director of Operations. He was trained at the 601st Air Operations Center as a Senior Air Defense Officer (SADO) and received the highest “Exceptionally Qualified” rating. Immediately following the destruction of Tyndall Air Force Base by Hurricane Michael, he deployed numerous times to support the 601st Air Operation Center’s continuity of operations’ efforts. Col. Rathmell has maintained operational currency throughout most of his 28-year career and is an experienced Air Battle Manager with more than 30,000 mission crew hours conducting the Sector's air defense mission of protecting the United States of America from air attacks. Prior to his current position, Col. Rathmell was the Commander of the 224th Air Defense Squadron.

1990 Bachelor of Science degree, Lock Haven University, Lock Haven, Pa.
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence 
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in residence
2009 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence 
2016 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
1.    December 1994–June 1995, Student, Weapons Controller Training, 325th Training Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
2.    June 1995-January 1996, Air Weapons Officer, 112th Air Control Squadron, Sate College, Pa.
3.    January 1996–August 1998, Air Weapons Officer, NEADS, Rome, N.Y.
4.    August 1998–January 2005, Senior Director, NEADS, Rome, N.Y.
5.    January 2005–June 2007, Assistant Chief, Standardizations and Evaluations, EADS, Rome, N.Y.
6.    June 2007–June 2009, Weapons OIC and Mission Crew Commander, EADS, Rome, N.Y.
7.    June 2009–May 2011, Chief, Weapons and Tactics, EADS, Rome, N.Y.
8.    May 2011–August 2015, Flight Commander, EADS, Rome, N.Y.
9.    August 2015–August 2017, Chief, Standardization and Evaluations, 224th Air Defense Squadron, Rome, N.Y.
10.  August 2017–August 2018, Assistant Director of Operations, 224th Air Defense Squadron, Rome, N.Y.
11.  August 2018–May 2020, Director of Operations, 224th Air Defense Squadron, Rome, N.Y.
12.  May 2020–May 2023, Commander, 224th Air Defense Squadron, Rome, N.Y.
13.  May 2023-Present, Commander, 224th Air Defense Group, Griffiss IAP, Rome, N.Y.

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters 
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters 
AF Outstanding Unit Award with seven oak leaf clusters 
AF Organizational Excellence Award
Combat Readiness Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters 
National Defense Service Medal with star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
AF Longevity Service with six oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two hourglass devices and one “M” device 
AF Training Ribbon

New York Military Commendation Medal
New York Long and Faithful Service Award with three shields 
New York Physical Fitness Ribbon with eight shields
New York Defense of Liberty

Second Lieutenant, Nov. 17, 1994
First Lieutenant, Jan. 10, 1997
Captain, Nov. 18, 1998
Major, Jan. 28, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel, Feb. 03, 2011
Colonel, Jun. 11, 2020 

(Current as of August 2023)