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Major General James L. Hobson Jr. is commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla. The command is the Air Force component of U.S. Special Operations Command, providing Air Force special operations forces for worldwide deployment and assignment to regional unified commands. AFSOC has approximately 11,900 people authorized and operates three active-duty flying units which fly more than 100 fixed and rotary wing aircraft at locations worldwide.

The general was born in Memphis, Tenn., and graduated from high school in Montgomery, Ala. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Memphis State University and was commissioned through Officer Training School, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 1965. He is a command pilot with more than 6,500 flying hours in numerous multi-engine and helicopter aircraft.

1965 Bachelor of science degree in biology, Memphis State University, Tenn.
1972 Master's degree in systems management, University of Southern California
1972 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1974 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1986 Master's degree in international and strategic studies, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
1994 Harvard University's Senior Executive Program in National and International Security

1. August 1965 - August 1966, student, pilot training, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.
2. August 1966 - October 1967, C-130 pilot, 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
3. October 1967 - February 1968, MC-130 pilot, 318th Special Operations Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
4. February 1968 - February 1969, MC-130 pilot and squadron administrative officer, 15th Air Commando Squadron, Nha Trang Air Base, South Vietnam
5. February 1969 - August 1973, JC-130 pilot, then chief, JC-130 standardization and evaluation, 6594th Test Group, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
6. August 1973 - June 1974, flying safety officer and MC-130 instructor pilot, 318th Special Operations Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
7. June 1974 - April 1976, squadron and wing standardization and evaluation pilot, 8th Special Operations Squadron and 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
8. April 1976 - June 1980, chief, tactical airlift assignments, later chief departmental and joint assignments, Air Force Manpower and Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
9. June 1980 - July 1982, instructor pilot and operations officer, 8th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
10. July 1982 - August 1984, commander, 8th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
11. August 1984 - July 1985, programmer, special operations forces and operations support airlift, directorate of programs and evaluation, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
12. August 1985 - June 1986, student, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
13. August 1986 - March 1987, vice commander, 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
14. March 1987 - June 1989, commander, 39th Special Operations Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
15. June 1989 - March 1990, vice commander, 23rd Air Force, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
16. March 1990 - April 1992, commander, 332nd Airlift Division and deputy chief of staff for airlift operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
17. April 1992 - December 1992, commander, 435th Airlift Wing, Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany
18. January 1993 - July 1994, director of operations and transportation, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
19. July 1994 - present, commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

Rating: Command pilot
Flying hours: More than 6,500
Aircraft flown: C-130, MC-130, JC-130, C-21, C-5, C-141, KC-10, KC-135, UH-1, UH-60 and MH-53

Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal

1984 Mackay Trophy for the most meritorious flight of the year (Operation Urgent Fury: Grenada Rescue mission)

Second Lieutenant May 17, 1965
First Lieutenant Nov 17, 1966
Captain Jun 9, 1968
Major Sep 1, 1976
Lieutenant Colonel Dec 1, 1980
Colonel Nov 1, 1985
Brigadier General May 1, 1990
Major General Oct 1, 1992

(Current as of April 1997)