Colonel Robert (Rob) Manning III currently serves as the Director of Defense Press Operations for the U.S. Department of Defense.
He previously served as the Director of Public Affairs for the United Nations Command / Combined Forces Command / U.S. Forces Korea at Yongsan, Republic of Korea.
COL Manning began his military career in the 2d Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, where he served as a rifle, anti-armor and 81mm mortar platoon leader. As a captain, he served as a G3 Plans Officer in Eighth U.S. Army in Yongsan, Republic of Korea. Following this assignment, he served as the S-3 (Air) for 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; later commanding Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, as well as Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 25th Infantry Division (Light), and Headquarters & Headquarters Company Multinational Division (North), Bosnia-Herzegovina (SFOR11). Following his company command assignments, he served as a G3 Plans Officer for United States Army Pacific (USARPAC), Fort Shafter, Hawaii, and as a special assistant to the Joint Task Force 519 commander (U.S. Pacific Command), Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.
In 2005, he served as the Chief of Operations for 3rd Infantry Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom III (Iraqi Governance phase); later as a battalion S-3 for 3-15th Infantry Battalion & 1-30th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division; and then as the Chief of Operations for 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom V (Iraqi Surge phase).
After single-tracking in the public affairs career field, he served as the Deputy Chief of Plans in the Office of the Chief of Army Public Affairs (Pentagon, Washington D.C.); the Director of Public Affairs for the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region / U.S. Army Military District of Washington (Fort McNair, Washington D.C.); and as the Public Affairs Officer for the 30th Under Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Dr. Joseph W. Westphal (Pentagon, Washington D.C.).
COL Manning received his commission as an Infantry Second Lieutenant from South Carolina State University. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Infantry Mortar Leader Course, the Bradley Leaders Course, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff Officers Course, the Public Affairs Qualification Course (DINFOS), and Senior Service College (National Defense University). He received a Bachelor's of Art degree in Political Science from South Carolina State University; a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University; and a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies and Resourcing Strategy from the National Defense University (The Eisenhower School).
COL Manning's awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal (5 Oak Leaf Clusters) and numerous other awards. He earned the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the U.S. Army Ranger Tab.
COL Manning is a native of Manning, South Carolina and is married with three children.