Colonel Jeffrey D. Peterson was commissioned as an Armor Officer in 1987 upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. After completion of Ranger School, he was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Ft. Bliss, Texas where he served as a tank platoon leader, scout platoon leader, support platoon leader, and troop executive officer. While assigned with the “Thunder Squadron”, he participated in the last REFORGER Exercise that involved units deploying from CONUS to Europe, OPERATION DESERT SHIELD and OPERATION DESERT STORM.
COL Peterson was then assigned to the 2nd Armored Division at Ft. Hood, Texas where he served in the G-3 Training; commanded HHC, 2nd Armored Division; and commanded D Co, 1-66 AR. As commander of D Co, 1-66 AR, he led the company on a deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where his company was in charge of “Village Lima”—a group of 2,500 Cuban migrants awaiting immigration to the United States. D Company provided routine security, supervised governance operations, and provided logistical support to all members of the village.
Following command of D Co, 1-66 AR, COL Peterson attended graduate school at the MIT Sloan School of Management and received an MBA in preparation for two years of teaching economics in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point. He then attended the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth. Upon graduation from CGSC, he was assigned as the Battalion S-3 for 1-72 AR, “First Tank”, at Camp Casey, Republic of Korea. After a year with 1-72 AR, he returned to Ft. Carson, Colorado for a second tour with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment as the Executive Officer for 2nd Squadron. After completion of these duties, COL Peterson made a career transition to serve on the permanent faculty at West Point to Direct the Economics Program. In preparation for that assignment, he was assigned to the RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, CA to pursue a PhD in Policy Analysis.
While in graduate school, COL Peterson was selected for Squadron Command of 1-14 CAV in 3rd SBCT, 2 ID at Ft. Lewis, WA. He took a leave of absence from graduate school to command 1-14 CAV and deployed to Iraq for a 15 month tour from July 2006 – September 2007. The Squadron conducted counterinsurgency operations in Baghdad during the height of the surge and an out of sector attack into Diwaniyah. After command, COL Peterson returned to the RAND Graduate School to complete the PhD program before his assignment to West Point in 2008 as the Director of the Economics Program, his assignment prior to serving as Director for the Center of the Army Profession and Ethic.