Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday that McLaughlin would also elevate from the rank of major general to lieutenant general.
McLaughlin currently leads a team of cyber professionals based at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland as well as oversees efforts to secure and maintain the branch’s computer networks.
Previously, he served as director of space operations and deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements in the service’s Washington headquarters.
He entered military service in 1983 and has commanded a variety of squadron, wing and numbered air force organizations.
McLaughlin also held assignments within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, National Reconnaissance Office and Center for Strategic and International Studies.
His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Air Force Achievement Medal.
He holds a bachelor of science degree in general studies from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s degree in space systems management from Webster University.