General Michael J. Dugan is chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. As chief, he serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipage of a combined active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian force of nearly 1 million people serving at approximately 3,000 locations in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he and the other service chiefs function as the principal military advisers to the secretary of defense, the National Security Council and the president.
The general was born in Albany, N.Y. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Military Academy in 1958, and a master of business administration degree from the University of Colorado in 1972. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1965, Air Command and Staff College in 1970 and the Air War College in 1973.
His early operational assignments were in F-100s and A-1s. He flew A-1s during 1967, from Pleiku Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, and Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. He then planned and taught cadet military training courses and served as cadet squadron and group air officer commanding at the Air Force Academy.
From June 1973 to July 1977, General Dugan was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as an action officer and branch chief in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, and then as executive to the vice chief of staff. He next served at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., as vice commander and, later, commander of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. He subsequently became commander of the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB, La., and commander of the 832nd Air Division, Luke AFB, Ariz.
In May 1982, he moved to Langley AFB, Va., where he served successively as Tactical Air Command's assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, inspector general and deputy chief of staff for operations. He was assigned to the deputy chief of staff for plans and operations at Air Force headquarters as director of operations in June 1986, and as assistant deputy chief of staff in January 1987. He became the Air Force deputy chief of staff, programs and resources, in July 1987. He then became deputy chief of staff, plans and operations, in March 1988. He assumed his command of U.S. Air Forces in Europe in April 1989.
General Dugan is a command pilot with 4,500 flying hours and 300 combat missions. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
He was promoted to general May 1, 1989, with same date of rank and became Air Force chief of staff in July 1990.