Ret. LTG L. Neil Thurgood, DBA

Special Advisor to UAH President for Military Affairs and Technology, The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH)


301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map


Retired Lieutenant General L. Neil Thurgood is the Special Advisor to the UAH President for Military Affairs and Technology. Prior to his appointment at UAH, he served as the Director for Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

In this position, LTG Thurgood was responsible for the rapid fielding of select capabilities to deter and defeat rapidly modernizing adversaries, including overseeing the development of an Army Long Range Hypersonic Weapon. He led the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office mission to rapidly and efficiently research, develop, prototype, test, evaluate, procure and field critical enabling technologies and capabilities that address immediate, near-term, and mid-term threats, consistent with the Army’s modernization priorities. LTG Thurgood most recently served as the Director for Test, Missile Defense Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

LTG Thurgood most recently deployed from 2017-2018, when he served as Deputy Commander, Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan, Operation Resolute Support/Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Prior to his deployment, he served as the Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology), in Washington, D.C. LTG Thurgood enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1983. Following his commissioning in 1986 as an Aviation Branch Officer, he served in multiple company-grade and battalion aviation positions in both the U.S. and overseas, including multiple combat deployments.

LTG Thurgood was then selected and served in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) as a Platoon Leader, Operations Officer and Company Commander. After transitioning into the Army Acquisition Corps in 1995, he served in various program offices for conventional and special programs. As a Project Manager, LTG Thurgood served in the Utility Helicopters Office, and as a Program Executive Officer, LTG Thurgood led the PEO for Missiles and Space, at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. LTG Thurgood participated in operations supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

LTG Thurgood holds an undergraduate degree in Business from the University of Utah; a master’s degree in Systems Acquisition Management from the Naval Postgraduate School; a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Air University, Air War College; and a doctorate in Strategic Planning and Organizational Leadership from the University of Sarasota, as well as several professional certifications.


  • Advanced Program Management Executive Program, Harvard Business School
  • Executive Leadership Program, The Wharton School
  • Executive and Senior Leadership Program, The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
  • DBA, Strategic Planning and Organizational Leadership, University of Sarasota
  • M.S., Strategic Studies, USAF Air War College
  • M.S., Systems Acquisition Management, Naval Postgraduate School
  • B.S., Business and Communications, University of Utah


  • Leadership Development
  • Military Affairs and Technology
  • Hypersonics
  • Directed Energy
  • Long Range Weapons
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Military Logistics and Operations
  • Critical Technologies
  • Helicopter Operations
  • Government Contracting and Acquisition