VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. – On Aug. 22, 2022, the Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) welcomed Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Schiess and his wife, Mrs. Debbie Schiess, took command of the unit as the general. Since taking command, the two have been busy settling into their new role, meeting CFSCC members, and setting priorities for the command. In order for members of CFSCC and the greater Vandenberg team to learn more about the Schiesses, public affairs had the pleasure of sitting down with both for a Q&A to know their story, vision, and priorities.

Q: Where did you grow up?

SCHIESS: “I grew up in California and eventually my family found our way to a small town called Yucaipa, California. We were high school sweethearts. We both attended college in the Los Angeles area.”

DEBBIE: “We met in the fifth grade. I wasn’t too impressed with him back then, but he eventually won me over and we ended up getting married halfway through college.”

Schiess was a Distinguished Graduate of the University of California Los Angeles’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in 1992 and transferred to the U.S. Space Force in 2022.

Q: What was your inspiration to join the military?

SCHIESS: “I had a great Uncle in the Army during WWII and my Dad was in the Air Force at the end of Vietnam, but overall I did not have a huge military family per se. I came from lower middle class and didn’t know how I would pay for college. Through a local job I was doing in high school at the time, I became friends with one of the high school counselors and he said there was a chance to get some scholarships. He walked me through some of the different options and that’s when I started to look at ROTC.”

“So initially, it was to pay for college. It wasn’t until I got into ROTC and immersed myself in the detachment there, and learned how the military operates, that I found out this is something I really want to be about.