An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Major Rafael Toro-Quiñones

Major Rafael Francisco Toro-Quiñones, a native of Puerto Rico, is the Commander of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) Band, located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
 
Major Toro-Quiñones entered the Air Force in 1997 as an enlisted member and bassist with the USAF Band of Mid-America. He held subsequent assignments in the USAFE Band, Sembach Air Base, Germany and the USAF Band of Liberty. After qualifying as a band officer, he received his commission through the Air Force Officer Training School and in 2009 was assigned to the USAF Heritage of America Band as Deputy Commander. Additionally, Major Toro-Quiñones has been the Commander and Conductor of the USAF Heartland of America Band, the USAF Band of the West, and the USAF Band of the Golden West. In February 2018 he completed a second deployment as Officer in Charge of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Band.

Major Toro-Quiñones has worked as a freelance bassist and conductor in Puerto Rico, the United States and Europe. He as performed with the San Juan Pops and recorded with the famous Puerto Rican music group Haciendo Punto en Otro Son. An active conductor, he leads professional and student orchestras and bands in the United States. His conducting teachers include Charles Peltz and William Drury.

EDUCATION
1996 Bachelor of Music in Performance and Philosophy, cum laude, DePauw University
2002 Airman Leadership School, USAFE, Sembach AB, Germany
2004 Associates Degree in Applied Science-Music, Community College of the Air Force
2004 Graduate Certificate in Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL
2009 Master of Music in Wind Ensemble Conducting with academic honors, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA
2009 Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2010 Air and Space Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, AL
2011 Public Affairs Qualifying Course, Defense Information School, Ft Meade, MD
2014 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2022 Master of Arts, Military and Operational Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL

ASSIGNMENTS
1. Regional Band Journeyman, Electric/String Bass, USAF Band of Mid-America, Scott AFB, IL (July 1997 - October 2000)
2. Regional Band Craftsman, Electric/String Bass, USAFE Band, Sembach AB, Germany (November 2000 - September 2004)
3. Regional Band Craftsman, Electric/String Bass, USAF Band of Liberty, Hanscom AFB, MA (September 2004 - September 2007)
4. Air Force Educational Leave of Absence, New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA (September 2007 - March 2009)
5. Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, AL (March 2009 - June 2009)
6. Deputy Commander, USAF Heritage of America Band, Langley AFB, VA (June 2009 - December 2009)
7. Commander, USAF Heritage of America Band, Langley AFB, VA (December 2009 - July 2011)
8. Deputy Commander, USAF Heartland of America Band, Offutt AFB, NE (July 2011 - October 2011)
9. Commander, USAF Heartland of America Band, Offutt AFB, NE (October 2011 - July 2013)
10. Officer in Charge, USAF Central Command Band, Southwest Asia (August 2012 - February 2013)
11. Commander, USAF Band of the West, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland TX (August 2013 - July 2016)
12. Commander, USAF Band of the Golden West, Travis AFB, CA (August 2016 - August 2018)
13. Officer in Charge, USAF Central Command Band, Southwest Asia (July 2017 - February 2018)
14. Commander, USAF Heritage of America Band, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA and the USAF Heartland of America Band, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska (September 2018 - Present)
15. Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL (July 2021 - May 2022)
16. Commander, USAFE Band, Ramstein Air Base, Germany (July 2022 - Present)

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Combat Command Public Affairs Company Grade Officer of the Year, 2010
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs Company Grade Officer of the Year, 2017
The Colonel George S. Howard Citation of Musical Excellence for Military Concert Bands, 2017
Young Artist Conservatory of Music Recognition for Outstanding Contribution, 2018
Air Combat Command Public Affairs Field Grade Officer of the Year, 2020 

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman First Class 11 June 1997
Senior Airman 11 October 1999
Staff Sergeant 1 February 2002
Second Lieutenant 2 June 2009
First Lieutenant 2 June 2011
Captain 2 June 2013
Major 1 April 2019

(Current as of August 2022)