Gen. Craig R. McKinley serves as the 26th Chief National Guard Bureau and as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he serves as a military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and is the Department of Defense's official channel of communication to the Governors and to State Adjutants General on all matters pertaining to the National Guard. He is responsible for ensuring that the more than half a million Army and Air National Guard personnel are accessible, capable, and ready to protect the homeland and to provide combat resources to the Army and the Air Force.
General McKinley received his commission in 1974 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Southern Methodist University. He has served in numerous assignments in flying and operations, as well as command positions at group, wing, sector and field operating agency levels. His assignments include Commander, 1st Air Force, Air Combat Command, and Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. He has served as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Director, Mobilization and Reserve Affairs Directorate, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany. General McKinley is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours, primarily in the T-38, F-106, F-16 and F-15. Additionally, General McKinley has been pilot in command in the C-131 and C-130 operational support airlift aircraft.
Prior to his current assignment, General McKinley served as Director of the Air National Guard.
1974 Bachelor's degree in business administration, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
1979 Master's degree in management and economics, Webster College, St. Louis, Mo.
1984 Squadron Officer School
1990 Air Command and Staff College
1995 Master's degree in national security strategy, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1997 National Security Management Course, Syracuse, N.Y.
1998 Capstone, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2002 Combined Forces Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 U.S. - Russia Security Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2005 U.S. - Black Sea Security Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2007 Leadership at the Peak, Center for Creative Leadership, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1. December 1974 - November 1975, student, undergraduate pilot training, Moody AFB, Ga.
2. November 1975 - March 1977, T-38 instructor pilot, Craig AFB, Ala.
3. March 1977 - May 1979, equal opportunity and treatment officer, Air Force Military Training Center, Lackland AFB, Texas
4. May 1979 - November 1980, T-38 instructor pilot, Laughlin AFB, Texas
5. November 1980 - April 1986, F-106 alert pilot, 125th Fighter Interceptor Group, Jacksonville, Fla.
6. April 1986 - June 1987, Chief of Safety, 125th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Jacksonville, Fla.
7. June 1987 - April 1989, F-16 instructor pilot, 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville, Fla.
8. April 1989 - May 1990, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville, Fla.
9. May 1990 - May 1991, Deputy Commander for Operations, 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville, Fla.
10. May 1991 - May 1994, Commander, 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville, Fla.
11. May 1994 - June 1995, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. June 1995 - March 1996, Commander, 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville, Fla.
13. March 1996 - July 1996, Air National Guard Vice Commander, Southeast Air Defense Sector, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
14. July 1996 - January 1998, Commander, Southeast Air Defense Sector, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
15. January 1998 - February 2001, Deputy Director, Air National Guard, Arlington, Va., and Commander, Air National Guard Readiness Center, Andrews AFB, Md.
16. March 2001 - July 2002, Deputy Inspector General of the Air Force, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.
17. August 2002 - October 2004, Commander, 1st Air Force, Air Combat Command, and Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
18. November 2004 - November 2005, Director, Mobilization and Reserve Affairs Directorate, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany
19. November 2005 - May 2006, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
20. May 2006 - November 2008, Director, Air National Guard, Arlington, Va.
21. November 2008 - present, Chief, National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Va.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. November 2004 - November 2005, Director, Mobilization and Reserve Affairs Directorate, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany, as a major general
2. November 2008 - present, Chief, National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Va., as a general
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,000
Aircraft flown: C-130, C-131, F-15, F-16, F-106, T-33, T-37 and T-38
Pilot wings from: Moody AFB, Ga.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Combat Readiness Medal with four oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Air Force Longevity Service Award with silver oak leaf cluster
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with silver hourglass
Air Force Training Ribbon
1974 Distinguished graduate, Air Force ROTC, Southern Methodist University
1993 I.G. Brown Trophy
2003 Distinguished Alumni Award, Southern Methodist University
2004 Combined Forces Commander, Unified Engagement 04, U.S. Joint Forces Command
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 18, 1974
First Lieutenant Dec. 8, 1977
Captain Nov. 21, 1980
Major May 16, 1986
Lieutenant Colonel May 16, 1990
Colonel Jan. 28, 1994
Brigadier General Jan. 28, 1998
Major General May 24, 2001
Lieutenant General May 20, 2006
General Nov. 17, 2008
(Current as of April 2012)