MAJ. GEN. (RET.) Tom Mullikin attended South Carolina public schools, graduating from Camden High School in 1978 and the University of South Carolina (Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in 1982; the same year he married his high school sweetheart Virginia Ann Pitsenbarger.
Following a working stint on Capitol Hill, Tom and Virginia Ann returned to South Carolina where he attended the USC School of Law, graduating in 1986. Since 1986, Tom’s civilian law practice has focused on corporate law, energy and environmental law, and issues of healthcare, safety and national security.
With more than three decades of significant legal environmental expertise, Tom is a globally recognized senior energy-and-environmental attorney, an acclaimed expert on global environmental policy, an award-winning documentarian and author, and a decorated senior military officer (having held commissioned rank in both state and federal forces). Tom’s work has taken him to every continent on earth, including multiple trips to the Arctic and Antarctica. Tom has brought context to his work as a senior environmental attorney by studying climate, water and land-use on every continent and in every ocean and sea around the world. In addition to – and as a result of – his travels, he has developed sophisticated strategies on everything from climate change to nuclear technology, environmental sustainability, disaster relief, crisis management, healthcare, and unconventional energy production.
A former U.S. Army officer and International Legal Officer attached to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Tom ultimately served as Special Assistant to the Chief Prosecutor of Military Commissions, overseeing the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four co-defendants. Tom retired from military service as the two-star commanding general of the S.C. State Guard – the state defense force component of the S.C. Military Dept., which also oversees the S.C. Army National Guard, the S.C. Air National Guard, and the Emergency Management Division.
Tom currently serves as chairman of the gubernatorially established South Carolina Floodwater Commission.
An accomplished mountain climber having summitted more than 20 mountains including mountains on every continent and four of the world’s seven great summits, Tom is a dive instructor and has logged SCUBA dives in all oceans on earth. Tom was honored as the 2020 Expedition Leader of the Year by the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and he was named IRONMAN by “Ironman Outdoors.” He is a Fellow in the Explorers Club (New York), a Fellow in the Royal Geographical Society (London), and he has served as a “National Geographic Expert.”
In addition to his many awards, honors, and military decorations, Tom is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor bestowed by the State of South Carolina. He is a member of two Halls of Fame. He has received two S.C. Senate commendations. He is an Honorary Green Beret. And he has earned military parachutist badges from six foreign nations.
Tom and wife Virginia Ann reside in Camden, S.C. Together they have four children and two grandchildren, all of whom are lifelong members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Camden.