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List of United States Air Force four-star generals

 

List of United States Air Force four-star generals

This is a complete list of four-star generals in the United States Air Force. The rank of general (or full general, or four-star general) is the highest rank normally achievable in the U.S. Air Force. It ranks above lieutenant general (three-star general) and below General of the Air Force (five-star general).

There have been 206 four-star generals in the history of the U.S. Air Force. Of these, 198 achieved that rank while on active duty, 3 were promoted after retirement, and one was promoted posthumously. Generals entered the Air Force via several paths: 60 were commissioned via the U.S. Military Academy (USMA), 49 via the aviation cadet program, 36 via the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), 36 via Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at a civilian university, 9 via AFROTC at a senior military college, 7 via Air Force Officer Training School (OTS), 4 via the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), 2 via direct commission, one via Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university, one via the Army National Guard (ARNG), and one via the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

Contents

  • List of generals 1
  • Timeline 2
    • Four-star positions 2.1
    • 1940 – present 2.2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • See also 5

List of generals

Entries in the following list of four-star generals are indexed by the numerical order in which each officer was promoted to that rank while on active duty, or by an asterisk (*) if the officer did not serve in that rank while on active duty. Each entry lists the general's name, date of rank,[1] active-duty positions held while serving at four-star rank,[2] number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank (Yrs),[3] year commissioned and source of commission,[4] number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank (YC),[5] and other biographical notes.[6]

The list is sortable by last name, date of rank, number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank, year commissioned, and number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank. The median number of years in commission to achieve four-star rank is 31 (as can be seen by sorting by 'YC' and scrolling halfway down this list) and the quickest rise to four-star is 22 years (LeMay and Norstad).

# Name Photo Date of rank Position Yrs[3] Commission YC[5] Notes
1 Henry H. Arnold 19 Mar 1943   3 1907 (USMA) 36 (1886–1950) Promoted to general of the Army, 21 Dec 1944; to general of the Air Force, 7 May 1949.
2 Joseph T. McNarney 7 Mar 1945   7 1915 (USMA) 30 (1893–1972)
3 George Kenney 9 Mar 1945   6 1917 (cadet) 28 (1889–1977)
4 Carl A. Spaatz 11 Mar 1945   3 1914 (USMA) 31 (1891–1974)
5 Hoyt Vandenberg 1 Oct 1947   6 1923 (USMA) 24 (1899–1954) Director of Central Intelligence, 1946–1947. Nephew of U.S. Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg; son married daughter of Air Force four-star general Leon W. Johnson.
6 Muir S. Fairchild 27 May 1948   2 1918 (cadet) 30 (1894–1950) Died in office.
7 Nathan F. Twining 10 Oct 1950   10 1918 (USMA) 32 (1897–1982) Brother of Marine Corps four-star general Merrill B. Twining.
8 John K. Cannon 29 Oct 1951   3 1917 (direct) 34 (1892–1955)
9 Benjamin W. Chidlaw 29 Oct 1951   4 1922 (USMA) 29 (1900–1977)
10 Curtis LeMay 29 Oct 1951   14 1929 (cadet) 22 (1906–1990) American Independent Party nominee for U.S. Vice president, 1968.
11 Lauris Norstad 5 Jul 1952   11 1930 (USMA) 22 (1907–1988)
12 Otto P. Weyland 5 Jul 1952   7 1923 (Texas A&M) 29 (1902–1979)
13 Thomas D. White 30 Jun 1953   8 1920 (USMA) 33 (1902–1965)
14 Edwin W. Rawlings 19 Feb 1954   5 1930 (cadet) 24 (1904–1997)
15 Earle E. Partridge 19 Feb 1954   5 1924 (USMA) 30 (1900–1990)
16 Orval R. Cook 1 Apr 1954   2 1922 (USMA) 32 (1898–1980)
17 Laurence S. Kuter 29 May 1955   7 1927 (USMA) 28 (1905–1979)[7] U.S. Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization, 1946–1948.
18 Thomas S. Power 30 Jun 1957   7 1929 (cadet) 28 (1905–1970)
19 Frank F. Everest 1 Jul 1957   4 1928 (USMA) 29 (1904–1983)
20 Leon W. Johnson 31 Aug 1957   8 1926 (USMA) 31 (1904–1997)[8] Awarded Medal of Honor, 1943. Daughter married son of Air Force four-star general Hoyt S. Vandenberg.
21 Charles P. Cabell 11 Jul 1958   4 1925 (USMA) 33 (1903–1971) Distant cousin of Navy four-star admiral Richard H. Jackson.
22 Samuel E. Anderson 10 Mar 1959   4 1928 (USMA) 31 (1906–1982)
23 Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. 31 Jul 1959   4 1928 (USMA) 31 (1906–1972)
24 Frederic H. Smith, Jr. 1 Aug 1959   3 1929 (USMA) 30 (1908–1980) Son-in-law of Navy five-star admiral Ernest J. King.
25 Truman H. Landon 28 Jun 1961   2 1928 (USMA) 33 (1905–1986)
26 William F. McKee 29 Jun 1961   3 1929 (USMA) 32 (1906–1987) Assistant Administrator for Management and Development, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1964–1965; Administrator, Federal Aviation Agency, 1965–1968.
27 Walter C. Sweeney, Jr. 30 Jun 1961   4 1930 (USMA) 31 (1909–1965)
28 Bernard A. Schriever 1 Jul 1961   5 1931 (Texas A&M) 30 (1910–2005)
29 John K. Gerhart 29 Jun 1962   3 1929 (cadet) 33 (1907–1981)
30 Dean C. Strother 30 Jun 1962   4 1931 (USMA) 31 (1908–2000)
31 Mark E. Bradley 1 Jul 1962   3 1930 (USMA) 32 (1907–1999)
32 John P. McConnell 1 Oct 1962   7 1932 (USMA) 30 (1908–1986)
33 Robert M. Lee 4 Jun 1963   3 1931 (USMA) 32 (1909–2003)
34 Jacob E. Smart 5 Jun 1963   3 1931 (USMA) 32 (1909–2006) Assistant Administrator for Policy/DoD and Interagency Affairs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1967–1973.
35 Joe W. Kelly 6 Jun 1963   1 1932 (USMA) 31 (1910–1979)
36 Gabriel P. Disosway 1 Aug 1963   5 1933 (USMA) 30 (1910–2001)
37 Hunter Harris, Jr. 18 Jul 1964   3 1932 (USMA) 32 (1909–1987)
38 Howell M. Estes II 19 Jul 1964   5 1936 (USMA) 28 (1914–2007) Father of Air Force four-star general Howell M. Estes III.
39 John D. Ryan 1 Dec 1964   9 1938 (USMA) 26 (1915–1983) Father of Air Force four-star general Michael E. Ryan.
40 William H. Blanchard 19 Feb 1965   1 1938 (USMA) 27 (1916–1966) Died in office.
41 Kenneth B. Hobson 31 Jul 1965   2 1932 (USMA) 33 (1908–1979)
42 Bruce K. Holloway 1 Aug 1965   7 1937 (USMA) 28 (1912–1999)
43 William S. Stone 28 Jul 1966   2 1934 (USMA) 32 (1910–1968) Died in office. Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy, 1959–1962.
44 Raymond J. Reeves 29 Jul 1966   3 1934 (USMA) 32 (1909–1998)
45 James Ferguson 30 Jul 1966   4 1937 (cadet) 29 (1913–2000)
46 David A. Burchinal 31 Jul 1966   7 1940 (cadet) 26 (1915–1990)
47 Maurice A. Preston 1 Aug 1966   2 1937 (USMA) 29 (1912–1983)
48 Joseph J. Nazzaro 1 Feb 1967   4 1936 (USMA) 31 (1913–1990)
49 Thomas P. Gerrity 1 Aug 1967   1 1940 (cadet) 27 (1913–1968) Died in office.
50 William W. Momyer 13 Dec 1967   6 1939 (cadet) 28 (1916–2012)
51 Jack G. Merrell 29 Mar 1968   4 1939 (USMA) 29 (1915–1993)
52 Horace M. Wade 31 Jul 1968   5 1938 (cadet) 30 (1916–2001)
53 George S. Brown 1 Aug 1968   10 1941 (USMA) 27 (1918–1978)
54 Joseph R. Holzapple 1 Feb 1969   2 1941 (cadet) 28 (1914–1973)
55 Seth J. McKee 30 Jul 1969   4 1939 (cadet) 30 (1916–       )
56 John C. Meyer 31 Jul 1969   5 1940 (cadet) 29 (1919–1975)
57 Jack J. Catton 1 Aug 1969   5 1941 (cadet) 28 (1920–1990)
58 Lucius D. Clay, Jr. 1 Sep 1970   5 1942 (USMA) 28 (1919–1994) Son of U.S. Senator Alexander S. Clay.
59 Theodore R. Milton 31 Jul 1971   3 1940 (USMA) 31 (1915–2010)
60 John D. Lavelle 1 Aug 1971   1 1940 (cadet) 31 (1916–1979)[9] Relieved, 1972.
61 David C. Jones 1 Sep 1971   11 1943 (cadet) 28 (1921–2013)
62 John W. Vogt, Jr. 7 Apr 1972   3 1942 (cadet) 30 (1920–2010)
63 Russell E. Dougherty 1 May 1972   5 1943 (cadet) 29 (1920–2007) Father-in-law of Air Force four-star general Joseph W. Ralston.
* George B. Simler 16 Aug 1972  
  • (posthumous)
0 1942 (cadet) 30 (1921–1972)[10]
64 Paul K. Carlton 9 Oct 1972   5 1942 (cadet) 30 (1921–2009)
65 Timothy F. O'Keefe 1973   1 1940 (cadet) 33 (1919–1984)
66 George J. Eade 18 Apr 1973   2 1942 (cadet) 31 (1921–       )
67 Samuel C. Phillips 1 Aug 1973   2 1942 (ROTC) 31 (1921–1990) Director, National Security Agency, 1972–1973.
68 Richard H. Ellis 30 Sep 1973   8 1942 (cadet) 31 (1919–1989) U.S. Commissioner for the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Standing Consultative Commission, 1982–1989.
69 Robert J. Dixon 1 Oct 1973   5 1942 (RCAF) 31 (1920–2003)[11]
70 Louis L. Wilson Jr. 1 Jul 1974   3 1943 (USMA) 31 (1919–2010)
71 Louis T. Seith 1 Aug 1974   3 1943 (USMA) 31 (1921–2007)
72 William V. McBride 1 Sep 1974   4 1942 (cadet) 32 (1922–       )
73 William J. Evans 30 Aug 1975   3 1946 (USMA) 29 (1924–2000)
74 F. Michael Rogers 1 Sep 1975   3 1943 (cadet) 32 (1921–2014)
75 Daniel James, Jr. 1 Sep 1975   2 1943 (cadet) 32 (1920–1978)
76 Robert E. Huyser 1 Sep 1975   6 1944 (cadet) 31 (1924–1997) U.S. Special Envoy to Iran, 1979.
77 John W. Roberts 29 Mar 1977   2 1944 (cadet) 33 (1921–1999)
78 William G. Moore Jr. 1 Apr 1977   2 1941 (cadet) 36 (1920–2012)
79 Lew Allen 31 Jul 1977   5 1946 (USMA) 31 (1925–2010) Director, National Security Agency, 1973–1977; Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1982–1990.
80 James R. Allen 1 Aug 1977   6 1948 (USMA) 29 (1925–1992) Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy, 1974–1977.
81 James E. Hill 21 Dec 1977   2 1943 (cadet) 34 (1921–1999)
82 Bryce Poe II 2 Feb 1978   3 1946 (USMA) 32 (1924–2000)
83 Alton D. Slay 1 Apr 1978   3 1944 (cadet) 34 (1924–       )
84 Wilbur L. Creech 1 May 1978   6 1949 (cadet) 29 (1927–2003)
85 James A. Hill 10 Jul 1978   2 1944 (cadet) 34 (1923–2010)
86 John W. Pauly 1 Aug 1978   2 1945 (USMA) 33 (1923–2013)
87 Bennie L. Davis 1 Apr 1979   6 1950 (USMA) 29 (1928–2012)
88 William Y. Smith 1 Jul 1979   4 1948 (USMA) 31 (1925–       )
89 Robert C. Mathis 1 Mar 1980   2 1948 (USMA) 32 (1927–       )
90 Richard L. Lawson 1 Jul 1980   6 1951 (ARNG) 29 (1929–       )[12]
91 Charles A. Gabriel 1 Aug 1980   6 1950 (USMA) 30 (1928–2003)
92 Robert T. Marsh 1 Feb 1981   3 1949 (USMA) 32 (1925–       )
93 Thomas M. Ryan, Jr. 31 Jul 1981   4 1950 (cadet) 31 (1928–       )
94 James P. Mullins 1 Aug 1981   3 1949 (cadet) 32 (1928–       )
95 James V. Hartinger 1 Oct 1981   3 1949 (USMA) 32 (1925–2000)
96 Jerome F. O'Malley 1 Jun 1982   3 1953 (USMA) 29 (1932–1985) Died in office.
97 Billy M. Minter 1 Jul 1982   2 1949 (cadet) 33 (1926–2005)
98 Andrew P. Iosue 1 Jul 1983   3 1951 (AFROTC) 32 (1927–       )
99 James E. Dalton 1 Aug 1983   2 1954 (USMA) 29 (1930–       )
100 Lawrence A. Skantze 6 Oct 1983   4 1952 (USNA) 31 (1928–       )
101 Larry D. Welch 1 Aug 1984   6 1953 (cadet) 31 (1934–       ) President, Institute for Defense Analyses, 1990–2003, 2006–present.
102 Robert T. Herres 1 Aug 1984   6 1954 (USNA) 30 (1932–2008)
103 Robert W. Bazley 1 Nov 1984   2 1945 (cadet) 29 (1925–2012)
104 Charles L. Donnelly, Jr. 1 Nov 1984   3 1952 (cadet) 32 (1929–1994)
105 Earl T. O'Loughlin 1 Nov 1984   3 1952 (cadet) 32 (1930–       )
* James Doolittle 4 Apr 1985  
  • (retired)
0 1918 (cadet) 67 (1896–1993)[13] Awarded Medal of Honor, 1942; Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1989. First Air Force reservist to attain rank of general.
* Ira C. Eaker 26 Apr 1985  
  • (retired)
0 1917 (direct) 68 (1896–1987)[14] Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, 1978.
106 Robert D. Russ 22 May 1985   6 1955 (AFROTC) 30 (1933–1997)
107 John T. Chain, Jr. 1 Jul 1985   6 1956 (AFROTC) 29 (1934–       ) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs, 1984–1985.
108 John L. Piotrowski 1 Aug 1985   5 1954 (cadet) 31 (1934–       )
109 Duane H. Cassidy 8 Nov 1985   4 1954 (cadet) 31 (1933–       )
110 Robert H. Reed 1 Jul 1986   2 1953 (cadet) 33 (1929–       )
111 Thomas C. Richards 1 Dec 1986   3 1956 (VPI) 30 (1930–       ) Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, 1992–1993.
112 Jack I. Gregory 1 Jan 1987   1 1953 (AFROTC) 34 (1931–       )
113 Monroe W. Hatch Jr. 29 Jan 1987   3 1951 (USNA) 36 (1933–       )
114 William L. Kirk 1 May 1987   2 1954 (cadet) 33 (1932–       )
115 Bernard P. Randolph 1 Aug 1987   3 1956 (cadet) 31 (1933–       )
116 Alfred G. Hansen 1 Aug 1987   2 1955 (cadet) 32 (1933–       )
117 John A. Shaud 1 Jul 1988   3 1956 (USMA) 32 (1933–       )
118 Merrill McPeak 1 Aug 1988   6 1957 (AFROTC) 31 (1936–       )
119 Michael J. Dugan 1 May 1989   1 1958 (USMA) 31 (1937–       ) Relieved, 1990.
120 James P. McCarthy 1 Oct 1989   3 1957 (AFROTC) 32 (1935–       )
121 Hansford T. Johnson 1 Oct 1989   3 1959 (USAFA) 30 (1936–       ) U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment, 2002–2005.
122 Charles C. McDonald 1 Nov 1989   3 1956 (AFROTC) 33 (1933–       )
123 Donald J. Kutyna 1 Apr 1990   2 1957 (USMA) 33 (1933–       )
124 Ronald W. Yates 1 Apr 1990   5 1960 (USAFA) 30 (1938–       )
125 John M. Loh 1 Jun 1990   5 1960 (USAFA) 30 (1938–       )
126 Robert C. Oaks 1 Jul 1990   4 1959 (USAFA) 31 (1936–       )
127 George Lee Butler 25 Jan 1991   3 1961 (USAFA) 30 (1939–       )
128 Jimmie V. Adams 13 Feb 1991   2 1958 (AFROTC) 33 (1936–       )
129 Michael P. C. Carns 16 May 1991   3 1959 (USAFA) 32 (1937–       )[15]
130 James B. Davis 24 Jul 1991   2 1958 (USNA) 33 (1935–       )
131 Chuck Horner 1 Jul 1992   2 1958 (AFROTC) 34 (1936–       )
132 Ronald Fogleman 1 Sep 1992   5 1963 (USAFA) 29 (1942–       )
133 Charles G. Boyd 1 Dec 1992   3 1960 (cadet) 32 (1938–       )
134 Henry Viccellio Jr. 1 Dec 1992   5 1963 (USAFA) 29 (1940–       )
135 Robert L. Rutherford 1 Feb 1993   3 1961 (AFROTC) 32 (1938–2013)
136 Thomas S. Moorman, Jr. 1 Aug 1994   3 1962 (AFROTC) 32 (1940–       )
137 James L. Jamerson 1 Sep 1994   4 1963 (USAFA) 31 (1941–       )
138 Joseph W. Ashy 13 Sep 1994   2 1962 (Texas A&M) 32 (1940–       )
139 John G. Lorber 12 Oct 1994   3 1964 (USAFA) 30 (1941–       )
140 Billy J. Boles 1 Jul 1995   2 1962 (AFROTC) 33 (1938–       )
141 Joseph Ralston 1 Jul 1995   8 1965 (AFROTC) 30 (1943–       ) U.S. Special Envoy for Countering the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), 2006–present. Son-in-law of Air Force four-star general Russell E. Dougherty.
142 Richard E. Hawley 1 Aug 1995   4 1964 (USAFA) 31 (1942–       )
143 Eugene E. Habiger 1 Mar 1996   2 1963 (OTS) 33 (1939–       ) Director of Security and Emergency Operations, U.S. Department of Energy, 1999–2001.
144 Michael E. Ryan 4 Apr 1996   5 1965 (USAFA) 31 (1941–       ) Son of Air Force four-star general John D. Ryan.
145 Walter Kross 1 Aug 1996   2 1964 (OTS) 32 (1942–       )
146 Howell M. Estes III 1 Oct 1996   2 1965 (USAFA) 31 (1941–       ) Son of Air Force four-star general Howell M. Estes Jr.
147 Lloyd W. Newton 1 Apr 1997   3 1966 (AFROTC) 31 (1942–       )
148 George T. Babbitt, Jr. 1 Jun 1997   3 1965 (AFROTC) 32 (1942–       ) Director, Defense Logistics Agency, 1996–1997.
149 Ralph Eberhart 1 Aug 1997   7 1968 (USAFA) 29 (1946–       )
150 Richard Myers 1 Sep 1997   8 1965 (AFROTC) 32 (1942–       ) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2005.
151 John A. Gordon 31 Oct 1997   3 1968 (AFROTC) 29 (1946–       ) U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, 1993–1994; U.S. Undersecretary of Energy for Nuclear Security, 2000–2002; Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, 2002–2003; Homeland Security Advisor, 2003–2004.
152 John P. Jumper 17 Nov 1997   8 1966 (VMI) 31 (1945–       )
153 Charles T. Robertson, Jr. 1 Sep 1998   3 1968 (USAFA) 30 (1946–       )
154 Patrick K. Gamble 1 Oct 1998   3 1967 (Texas A&M) 31 (1945–       ) President, University of Alaska System, 2010–present.
* Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. 9 Dec 1998  
  • (retired)
0 1936 (USMA) 62 (1912–2002)[16] Director of Aviation Security, 1970–1971; U.S. Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs, 1971–1975.
155 Lester Lyles 1 Jul 1999   4 1968 (AFROTC) 31 (1946–       ) Director, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, 1996–1999.
156 Gregory S. Martin 1 Jun 2000   5 1970 (USAFA) 30 (1948–       )[17]
157 John W. Handy 1 Jul 2000   5 1967 (OTS) 33 (1944–       )
158 Hal M. Hornburg 1 Aug 2000   4 1968 (Texas A&M) 32 (1945–       )
159 Charles R. Holland 1 Dec 2000   3 1968 (USAFA) 32 (1946–       )
160 William J. Begert 1 May 2001   3 1968 (USAFA) 33 (1946–       )
161 Robert H. Foglesong 5 Nov 2001   4 1972 (AFROTC) 29 (1945–       ) President, Mississippi State University, 2006–2008.
162 Donald G. Cook 17 Dec 2001   4 1969 (AFROTC) 32 (1946–       )
163 Lance W. Lord 19 Apr 2002   4 1968 (AFROTC) 34 (1946–       )
164 Charles F. Wald 1 Jan 2003   4 1971 (AFROTC) 32 (1948–       )
165 T. Michael Moseley 1 Oct 2003   5 1971 (Texas A&M) 32 (1949–       ) Resigned, 2008.
166 Paul V. Hester 1 Aug 2004   3 1971 (AFROTC) 33 (1947–       )
167 Michael V. Hayden 21 Apr 2005   3 1969 (AFROTC) 36 (1945–       )[18] Director, National Security Agency, 1999–2005.
168 Ronald Keys 27 May 2005   2 1967 (AFROTC) 38 (1945–       )
169 William R. Looney III 1 Aug 2005   3 1972 (USAFA) 33 (1949–       )
170 Bruce A. Carlson 1 Sep 2005   3 1971 (AFROTC) 34 (1949–       ) Director, National Reconnaissance Office, 2009–present.
171 Norton A. Schwartz 1 Oct 2005   7 1973 (USAFA) 32 (1951–       )
172 John D. W. Corley 1 Nov 2005   4 1973 (USAFA) 32 (1951–       )
173 Lance L. Smith 7 Nov 2005   2 1970 (OTS) 35 (1946–       )
174 Duncan McNabb 1 Dec 2005   6 1974 (USAFA) 31 (1952–       )
175 William T. Hobbins 1 Feb 2006   2 1969 (OTS) 37 (1946–       )
176 Kevin P. Chilton 26 Jun 2006   5 1976 (USAFA) 30 (1954–       ) First astronaut to attain rank of general.
177 Victor E. Renuart, Jr. 23 Mar 2007   3 1972 (OTS) 35 (1949–       )
178 Arthur Lichte 7 Sep 2007   2 1971 (AFROTC) 36 (1949–       )
179 C. Robert Kehler 12 Oct 2007   6 1975 (AFROTC) 32 (1952–       )
180 Carrol Chandler 30 Nov 2007   4 1974 (USAFA) 33 (1952–       )
181 Roger A. Brady 9 Jan 2008   2 1968 (AFROTC) 40 (1946–       )
182 Stephen R. Lorenz 2 Jul 2008   2 1973 (USAFA) 35 (1951–       )
183 William M. Fraser III 9 Oct 2008   6 1974 (Texas A&M) 34 (1952–       )[19]
184 Craig R. McKinley 17 Nov 2008   4 1974 (AFROTC) 34 (1952–       )
185 Donald J. Hoffman 21 Nov 2008   4 1974 (USAFA) 34 (1952–       )
186 Douglas M. Fraser 25 Jun 2009   3 1975 (USAFA) 34 (1953–       )
187 Gary L. North 19 Aug 2009   3 1976 (AFROTC) 33 (1954–       )
188 Raymond E. Johns, Jr. 20 Nov 2009   3 1977 (USAFA) 32 (1954–       )
189 Edward A. Rice Jr. 17 Nov 2010   3 1978 (USAFA) 32 (1956–       )
190 Mark A. Welsh III 13 Dec 2010   4 1976 (USAFA) 34 (1953–       )
191 William L. Shelton 5 Jan 2011   3 1976 (USAFA) 35 (1953–       )
192 Philip M. Breedlove 14 Jan 2011   3 1977 (AFROTC) 34 (1955–       )
193 Gilmary M. Hostage III 13 Sep 2011   3 1977 (AFROTC) 34 (1955–       )
194 Janet C. Wolfenbarger 5 Jun 2012   2 1980 (USAFA) 32 (1958–       ) First woman to achieve the rank of general in the Air Force.
195 Larry O. Spencer 27 Jul 2012   2 1980 (OTS) 32 (1954–       )
196 Herbert J. Carlisle 2 Aug 2012   2 1978 (USAFA) 34 (1957–       )
197 Paul J. Selva 29 Nov 2012   2 1980 (USAFA) 32 (1958–       )
198 Frank Gorenc 2 Aug 2013   1 1979 (USAFA) 34 (1957–       )
199 Robin Rand 10 Oct 2013   1 1979 (USAFA) 34 (1958–       )
200 Darren W. McDew 05 May 2014   0 1982 (VMI) 32 (1961–       )
201 John E. Hyten 15 Aug 2014   0 1981 (AFROTC) 33 (1959–       )
202 Lori J. Robinson 16 Oct 2014  
  • Commander, Pacific Air Forces/Air Component Commander for U.S. Pacific Command/Executive Director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff (COMPACAF/AIRCDRUSPACCOM/EXDIRPACOPS), 2014–present.
0 1982 (AFROTC) 32 (1960–       )

Timeline

Four-star positions

1940 – present

The modern rank of general was established by the Officer Personnel Act of 1947, which authorized the President to designate certain positions of importance to carry that rank. Officers appointed to such positions bear temporary four-star rank while so serving, and are allowed to retire at that rank if their performance is judged satisfactory.[20] The total number of active-duty four-star generals in the Air Force is limited to a fixed percentage of the number of Air Force general officers serving at all ranks.[21]

Within the Air Force, the chief of staff (CSAF) and vice chief of staff (VCSAF) are four-star generals by statute. Other four-star generals occupy positions of designated importance; historically, these have included the commanders responsible for strategic bombers and nuclear missiles (SAC/STRATCOM); tactical air combat (TAC/ACC); air transport (MAC/TRANSCOM); North American aerospace defense (NORAD); the Air Force formations in Europe and the Pacific; and other training, readiness, and materiel organizations.

The Air Force also competes with the other services for a number of joint four-star positions, such as the chairman (CJCS) and vice chairman (VCJCS) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Other joint four-star positions have included unified combatant commanders and certain NATO staff positions.

Notes

  1. ^ Dates of rank are taken, where available, from the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force registers of active and retired commissioned officers, or from the World Almanac and Book of Facts. The date listed is that of the officer's first promotion to general.
  2. ^ Positions listed are those held by the officer when promoted to general. Dates listed are for the officer's full tenure, which may predate promotion to four-star rank or postdate retirement from active duty.
  3. ^ a b The number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Date of rank" column from the last year in the "Position" column. Time spent between active-duty four-star assignments is not counted, nor is time spent on special duty as an unassigned general of the Army or general of the Air Force.
  4. ^ Sources of commission are listed in parentheses after the year of commission and include: the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA); the United States Military Academy (USMA); the United States Naval Academy (USNA); Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university; Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at a civilian university; ROTC or AFROTC at a senior military college such as Texas A&M University (Texas A&M), the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), or Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI); Air Force Officer Training School (OTS); Officer Candidate School (OCS); the aviation cadet program (cadet); the Army National Guard (ARNG); the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF); and direct commission (direct).
  5. ^ a b The number of years in commission before being promoted to four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Commission" column from the year in the "Date of rank" column.
  6. ^ Notes include years of birth and death; awards of the Medal of Honor, Congressional Gold Medal, Presidential Medal of Freedom, or honors of similar significance; major government appointments; university presidencies or equivalents; familial relationships with other four-star officers or significant government officials such as U.S. Presidents, cabinet secretaries, U.S. Senators, or state governors; and unusual career events such as premature relief or death in office.
  7. ^ Nomination as chairman, Civil Aeronautics Board withdrawn, 1948.
  8. ^ Retired as general, 31 July 1961; recalled as general, Sep 1961; retired as general, 30 Apr 1965.
  9. ^ Relieved, Apr 1972, and retired as major general.
  10. ^ Appointed Commander, Military Airlift Command (COMAC), effective 12 September 1972; died in air crash, 9 Sep 1972; posthumously promoted to general with date of rank 16 Aug 1972.
  11. ^ Transferred from Royal Canadian Air Force, 1943.
  12. ^ Transferred from Army National Guard, 1952.
  13. ^ Transferred from Signal Corps Reserve, 1920; resigned, 1930; recalled 1940; reverted to inactive reserve, 1946; retired as lieutenant general, Feb 1959; advanced to general on the retired list, 4 April 1985.
  14. ^ Retired as major general, Aug 1947; advanced to lieutenant general on the retired list, 29 June 1948; advanced to general on the retired list, 26 Apr 1985.
  15. ^ Nomination as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) withdrawn, 1995.
  16. ^ Retired as lieutenant general, Feb 1970; advanced to general on the retired list, 9 December 1998.
  17. ^ Nomination as Commander, U.S. Pacific Command (CDRUSPACOM) withdrawn, 2004.
  18. ^ Retired as general, 1 July 2008; remained Director, Central Intelligence Agency (DCIA) as civilian.
  19. ^ First nomination as Commander, U.S. Transportation Command (CDRUSTRANSCOM) withdrawn, 2008.
  20. ^ 10 USC 601, Positions of importance and responsibility: generals and lieutenant generals; admirals and vice admirals 
  21. ^ 10 USC 525, Distribution of commissioned officers on active duty in general officer and flag officer grades 

References

  • Air Force Association (May 2006), "USAF Almanac 2006" (PDF), Air Force Magazine 89 (5) 
  • Cole, Ronald H.; Poole, Walter S.; Schnabel, James F.; Watson, Robert J.; Webb, Willard J. (1995), The History of the Unified Command Plan, 1946–1993 (PDF), Washington D.C.: Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Senior officials in the NATO military structure, from 1949 to 2001 (PDF) 
  • United States Air Force, Air Force Link – Biographies 
  • United States Air Force (1951–1970, 1972, 1974, 1979), Air Force Register, Washington D.C.: Department of the Air Force 


See also

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