Kevin Pottinger was born on November 15, 1954, in Tucson, Arizona. He was commissioned a 2d Lt through the Air Force ROTC program at Arizona State University on June 2, 1976, and went on active duty beginning February 25, 1977. Lt Pottinger completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Reese AFB, Texas, in February 1978, and then fighter training and F-4 Phantom II training from June 1978 to February 1979. His first assignment was as an F-4 pilot with the 512th Fighter Squadron at Ramstein AB, West Germany, from February 1979 to June 1981, followed by service as an F-16 Falcon pilot with the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah, from December 1981 to August 1984. After attending the F-16 Instructor Course, Capt Pottinger served as an F-16 weapons officer with the 310th Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, Arizona, from January 1985 to October 1986, and then as an instructor with the 58th Tactical Training Wing at Luke AFB from October 1986 to March 1988. Maj Pottinger next served with the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, from March to October 1988, followed by service with the 57th Fighter Wing at Nellis AFB from October 1998 to April 1990. His next assignment was as chief of the Air Interdiction Branch of 7th Air Force at Osan AB, South Korea, from April 1990 until he left active duty and joined the Air Force Reserve on October 1, 1991. He served with the 924th Fighter Group in Austin, Texas, until July 1992, and then with the 704th Fighter Squadron in Austin from July 1992 to July 1995. His next assignment was with the 457th Fighter Squadron at Fort Worth, Texas, from July to December 1995, followed by service as commander of the Operations Group and then commander of the 301st Fighter Wing at Fort Worth from May 1997 to May 1999. Col Pottinger retired from the Air Force Reserve in May 1999 and flew as an airline pilot until returning to active duty in February 2002. He served as mission planning cell team chief for the 301st Fighter Wing at Fort Worth from February 2002 to April 2003, and then completed the F-16 re-qualification course from May to June 2003. His next assignment was as chief of weapons and assistant director of operations for 10th Air Force at NAS JRB Fort Worth from June to September 2003, followed by service as director of operations for 10th Air Force from February 2004 to July 2006. He served as commander of the 301st Fighter Wing at NAS JRB Fort Worth from July 2006 to April 2009, and then served as Commander of the Air Force Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, Colorado, from April 2009 to November 2010. Gen Pottinger served as Reserve Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Reserve for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at the Pentagon from November 2010 to May 2012, and then as Special Assistant to the Commander of Air Force Reserve Command at Robins AFB, Georgia, from May to October 2012. His next assignment was as Mobilization Assistant to the Vice Commander of Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, from October 2012 to October 2013, followed by Mobilization Assistant to the Commander of Pacific Air Forces from October 2013 to the present.
His Air Medal Citation reads:
Major Kevin E. Pottinger distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while participating in sustained aerial flight as F-16 Pilot, 457th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter WIng (Deployed), Aviano Air Base, Italy, from 12 February 1995 to 23 February 1996. During this period, Major Pottinger flew offensive counter-air missions in support of Operation Decisive Edge, the continuing enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina and close-air support missions in direct support of North Atlantic Treaty Organization ground forces. His outstanding professionalism and airmanship enabled the unit to meet one hundred percent of its combat tasking as required by North Atlantic Treaty Organization Headquarters. His devotion and flawless execution of flight duties during these demanding missions contributed significantly to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization effort in the region. The professional ability and outstanding aerial accomplishments of Major Pottinger reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.