DJ State of Mind with Lt Col Rory “DJ Tagg” Tibbals

Whether you know it or not, there are some Air Force officers today who have superpowers. Like the power to move a crowd without speaking a word. In this episode, I interviewed the homie and fellow Air Force officer Lieutenant Colonel Rory Tibbals, also known around the world as DJ Tagg. We cover our origin story as young cyberspace operations officers, how his personal interests have helped him become a better leader with international impact, and how hard work can overcome any fears of pursuing the non-traditional path to success for an officer.

Instagram – @DJTagg


Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Rory Tibbals is Director for Air and Cyber Programs, Mutual Defense Assistance Office, U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, Japan. In this role, he directs security assistance programs and advises the Ambassador, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and other senior military and government leaders on a $24 billion foreign military sales portfolio and mutual defense issues affecting the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance and U.S. National Security.

Lieutenant Colonel Tibbals is a dual-track officer qualified in Cyber Operations as well as Foreign Affairs for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command region, specializing in Northeast Asia issues. Prior to his current position, he was Director of Operations, 51st Communications Squadron, Osan Air Base, Korea, where he assured Fight Tonight mission readiness and execution for 280 uniformed and civilian personnel providing cybersecurity and cyberspace support for the Air Force’s most forward-deployed permanent airbase.

Lieutenant Colonel Tibbals served as an Exchange Officer with the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) in Kumagaya City, Japan where he helped introduce a cyber-curriculum into the initial training programs for JASDF communications and intelligence officers.  He was also an Air Forces Southern theater communications planner and later the action officer and speechwriter for the three-star commander of all U.S. Air Force operations in Latin America.  Early in his career, he deployed twice to Operation Iraqi Freedom delivering communications capabilities in support of air mobility operations at Baghdad International Airport.

Lieutenant Colonel Tibbals enlisted in the Air Force in 1999 and was commissioned in 2004 as a Distinguished Graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of New Mexico. He is a 2013 graduate with honors from the Defense Language Institute Japanese Basic School and was a Mike Mansfield Fellow in Tokyo, Japan from 2015-2016. 

Rory is married to Angelic Hernandez and has one daughter, Lucinda.  He is also a skilled turntable master, DJing across the world since 1998.