General Merrill A. McPeak 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 over 850,000 people serving at approximately 1,300 locations in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he and the other service chiefs function as military advisers to the secretary of defense, National Security Council and the president.
The general entered the Air Force in 1957 as a distinguished graduate of the San Diego State College ROTC program. He has commanded an Air Force wing, a numbered Air Force and, before becoming Air Force chief of staff, commanded the Pacific Air Forces, a major command. He is a command pilot, having flown more than 6,000 hours, principally in fighter aircraft. He flew two years as a solo pilot for the elite aerial demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, and flew as an attack pilot and high-speed forward air controller in Vietnam.
1957 Bachelor of arts degree in economics, San Diego State College
1970 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
1974 Master's degree in international relations, George Washington University
1974 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1979 The Executive Development Program, University of Michigan Graduate School of Business
1. November 1957 - January 1958, student, Officer Preflight Training, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
2. January 1958 - January 1959, student, pilot training, Hondo Air Base, Texas, and Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
3. February 1959 - December 1959, student, F-100 combat crew training, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
4. December 1959 - August 1961, F-104C fighter pilot, 436th Tactical Fighter Squadron, George Air Force Base, Calif.
5. August 1961 - May 1964, F-100D fighter pilot, 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Station Woodbridge, England
6. May 1964 - August 1965, fighter staff officer, tactical evaluation division, Headquarters 3rd Air Force, South Ruislip Air Station, England
7. September 1965 - December 1966, F-104G instructor pilot, 4443rd Combat Crew Training Squadron; later, F-104G weapons officer, 4510th Combat Crew Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
8. December 1966 - December 1968, demonstration pilot, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
9. December 1968 - January 1969, F-100D fighter pilot, 612th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat Air Base, Republic of Vietnam
10. January 1969 - August 1969, operations officer, later commander, Operation Commando Sabre (Misty Fast FACs), Phu Cat Air Base, Republic of Vietnam
11. August 1969 - December 1969, chief, standardization and evaluation division, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam
12. January 1970 - July 1970, student, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
13. August 1970 - August 1973, air operations staff officer, Mideast Division, directorate of plans and policy, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
14. August 1973 - June 1974, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
15. June 1974 - April 1975, assistant deputy commander for operations, 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
16. April 1975 - June 1975, student, French language training (en route for duty as air attache to Republic of Cambodia), Foreign Service Institute, Washington, D.C.
17. July 1975 - June 1976, military fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, New York City
18. July 1976 - July 1977, commander, 513th Combat Support Group, Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, England
19. July 1977 - July 1978, vice commander, 406th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, Zaragoza Air Base, Spain
20. July 1978 - February 1980, assistant chief of staff, current operations, Allied Air Forces Central Europe, Boerfink, West Germany
21. February 1980 - June 1981, commander, 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Upper Heyford, England
22. June 1981 - October 1982, chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany
23. October 1982 - May 1985, deputy chief of staff, plans, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
24. May 1985 - June 1987, deputy chief of staff, programs and resources, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
25. June 1987 - July 1988, commander, 12th Air Force and commander, U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas
26. July 1988 - October 1990, commander in chief, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
27. October 1990 - October 1994, chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
Rating: Command pilot, parachutist
Flight hours: More than 6,000
Aircraft flown: F-4, F-15, F-16, F-100, F-104, F- 111
Pilot wings from: Germany, Spain, Mexico, Thailand, Yugoslavia France, Israel, Russia, Bulgaria, Venezuela and Poland
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
"Training and Discipline, Keys to Maximum Performance," TAC ATTACK, August 1968
"Israel: Borders and Security," Foreign Affairs, April 1976
"TAC Air Missions and the Fire Support Coordination Line," Air University Review, Sept. - Oct. 1985
"For the Composite Wing," Air Power Journal, Fall 1990
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 19, 1957
First Lieutenant May 30, 1959
Captain Oct. 1, 1962
Major May 20, 1968
Lieutenant Colonel Nov. 1, 1972
Colonel April 1, 1974
Brigadier General July 1, 1981
Major General Oct. 1, 1983
Lieutenant General May 22, 1985
General Aug. 1, 1988
(Current as of May 1993)