Colonel Keith Butler
509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri

2024 Philip Pistilli Silver Veteran’s Medal

The Truman Foundation is proud to honor Colonel Keith J. Butler who has compiled a distinguished record of service in the United States Air Force since his enlistment in 1991. As the Commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base near Sedalia, Missouri, he is responsible for the combat readiness of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber fleet.

After serving in various enlisted capacities at air bases in California, Mississippi, and Texas, he was selected for an Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship at the University of South Carolina and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1999. After graduation, he served in operational and command assignments as an F-16 Falcon and an F-117 Nighthawk pilot, as well as a B-2 pilot. He has flown combat missions in the NATO Joint Forge Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2004, as well as in Operation Iraqi Freedom and in the first stage of the War in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom.

Colonel Butler first served at Whiteman Air Force Base in 2007-2012 as a B-2 instructor pilot and in other positions, including Chief of Combat Plans of the 509th Operations Support Squadron. After assignments in the Pentagon and at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., he returned to Whiteman where he ultimately served as the Deputy Commander and Commander of the 509th Operations Group. Subsequent to service at Edwards Air Force Base in California, he returned to Whiteman to become Commander of the 509th Bomb Wing in June 2023.

Colonel Butler holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.