HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT B. PATTERSON

PRINT | E-MAIL

Major General Robert B. Patterson is commander of Military Airlift Command's 23rd Air Force, Hurlburt Field, Fla., and commander of Air Force Special Operations Command.

General Patterson was born in Mebane, N.C. He attended public schools in Chapel Hill, N.C., and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1956. The general received a master's degree in business administration from Webster College and is a graduate of Columbia University's executive program in business administration. He completed Armed Forces Staff College in 1971 and Air War College in 1976.

He entered the Air Force in August 1956 and received his pilot wings at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in October 1957. His first operational assignment was to the 31st Air Rescue Squadron at Clark Air Base, Philippines. In 1960 he transferred to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, as aide-de-camp to the Military Training Center commander. From 1963 to 1966 he served as special assistant to the air deputy of Allied Forces Northern Europe in Oslo, Norway.

Returning to the United States, General Patterson joined the 39th Tactical Airlift Squadron of the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing, Lockbourne (now Rickenbacker) Air Force Base, Ohio. He departed Lockbourne in March 1970 to serve at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as an AC-130 gunship pilot in the 16th Special Operations Squadron of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing.

The general then attended Armed Forces Staff College. From September 1971 to October 1973 he was assigned as an air operations staff officer in the Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He left the Pentagon to command the 50th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 314th Tactical Airlift Wing, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. While there he also served as the wing's assistant deputy commander for operations.

Upon graduation from the Air War College in June 1976, he was assigned to Pope Air Force Base, N.C., as the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing's assistant deputy commander for operations. He was appointed deputy commander for operations in June 1977 and became wing vice commander in June 1978.

From March 1979 to March 1980 General Patterson served as commander of the 463rd Tactical Airlift Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. He then was named commander of the U.S. Air Force Airlift Center and the 317th Tactical Airlift Wing at Pope. In March 1981 he became assistant chief of staff for plans at Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. In March 1982 he became vice commander of Military Airlift Command's 21st Air Force at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., and in July 1984 was named commander. From October 1984 to September 1985 he served at Ramstein Air Base, West Germany, as commander, 322nd Airlift Division, Military Airlift Command, and deputy chief of staff, airlift forces, U.S. Air Forces in Europe. He assumed his present command in September 1985.

In April 1987 the general also assumed command of the newly established Air Force Special Operations Command, the Air Force component command of the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base. For the first time, continental United States-based special operations forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force are united under one joint commander.

A command pilot with more than 9,000 flying hours, General Patterson has flown 293 combat hours. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm. The Military Airlift Command security police presented General Patterson the Order of the Bayonet in January 1988 for his significant contributions to security and the ground defense of air bases.

He was promoted to major general Sept. 1, 1984, with date of rank March 1, 1981.

(Current as of December 1988)

Engage

Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: “It feels amazing to help. It makes us proud to wear this uniform, and it reminds us why we put it on and why we raised o…
Twitter
.@RamsteinAirBase welcomed 200 volunteers sent by the German military in support of Operation Allies Refuge during… https://t.co/GsAf6EQzi4
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, we will never forget. #PatriotDay #NationalDayofServiceandRemembrance https://t.co/PfGXl…
Twitter
.@TeamMinot, N.D., hosted Operation Road Warrior for its #Defenders and Wyoming's @90thMissileWing security forces… https://t.co/xnFRoierGT
Twitter
Today, we recognize Patriot Day and remember the thousands of lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. We acknow… https://t.co/BMgNcZ9fuE
Twitter
Multinational students and #AirForce instructors from around the globe came together to learn and expand on allied… https://t.co/1qtqi9OrN2
Twitter
Throughout August, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, @grandslamwing operated as a transit hub for Afghan refugees evacuated… https://t.co/amVMg8VqlE
Twitter
The #AirForce released its 2021 assessment on how states support Air and Space Force families. The evaluation measu… https://t.co/bseHKsXUzM
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A message from @USAirForce & @SpaceForceDoD senior leaders leading up to 9/11: "We will never forget the nearly 3,000 in…
Twitter
Findings from the Department of the Air Force Inspector General Independent Racial Disparity review have been relea… https://t.co/zUZyNB2gT4
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall on the two disparity reviews released today by the Department of the Air Force: "[This] isn’t the end of a…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Our continued commitment of honesty and transparency to the women and men of the Air Force and Space Force remains unwaveri…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: We must continue to listen to our people, understand what they are experiencing, and receive their feedback as we take st…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Department of the Air Force released updates on its first Racial Disparity Review & the results of a second, expande…
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force released a progress update on the Inspector General Independent Racial Disparity Re… https://t.co/yStaRW3ZA9
Twitter
Innovators and thought leaders gathered at the AFWERX Innovation Hub in Las Vegas, Nevada, to review technologies t… https://t.co/Oozq4M1Xek
Twitter
Air chiefs and senior enlisted leaders from the Indo-Pacific region gathered for the Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium a… https://t.co/E3nzEm18If
Twitter
A new technology being directed for use by all @USAF_ACC installations. The Command and Control Incident Management… https://t.co/ovEDVVTYAB
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,374,745
Follow Us