Colonel Ackerman received his commission through Air Force ROTC at Rutgers University, NJ. His first operational assignment was with the 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, where he served as a Satellite Operations Crew Commander and Satellite Engineering Officer on the Defense Satellite Communications Systems.
Prior to his assignment at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center, Colonel Ackerman was the Director of Space Forces at Pacific Air Forces. Hickam AFB, Hawaii. His Joint assignments included the U.S. Pacific Command, where he served on the staff of the Operations Directorate in charge of large-scale joint and combined military training exercises within the Northeast Asia region of the Pacific Theater and the Joint Staff Operations Directorate as the Space Operations Branch Chief.
His previous assignments also included recommander of the 17th Test Squadron at Schriever AFB; Operations Officer for the 1st Space Control Squadron at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station; Operations Office for the 3rd Space Surveillance Squadron Detachment 1 at Osan Air Base, South Korea; Chief of Theater Missile Defense and Space Operations for 7th Air Force at Osan AFB; Chief of Special Programs Weapons and Tactics for 14th Air Force at Vandenberg AFB; and Reconnaissance Mission Director for the 607th Combat Operations Squadron at Osan AFB.
Colonel Ackerman's decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster. He holds a Master of Arts degree in strategic studies from Air University, a Master of Science degree in management with a focus in systems engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a Master of Arts degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University, and a bachelor's degree in physics and electrical engineering from Rutgers University.