Lieutenant General Stephen B. Croker is commander of Air Combat Command's 8th Air Force, with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He is responsible for overseeing the wartime operations capability of Air Combat Command's F-111, B-1, B-2 and B-52 bomber forces as well as active duty C-130 units and Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve fighter, bomber and airlift units located within 8th Air Force's command responsibility.
The general was born in Evanston, Ill., and graduated from high school in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1960. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1964 and master's degrees from Georgetown University and Golden Gate University. His command experience includes serving as commander of 97th Bombardment Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base, Ark., and vice commander of Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va. The general is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours in fighter, bomber and tanker aircraft. He flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam and is credited with destroying two MiG-17s.
1964 Bachelor of science degree, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1965 Master's degree in international relations, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
1969 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Washington, D.C.
1972 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
1974 Master's degree in business administration, Golden Gate University Extension Program
1976 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1980 State Department Senior Seminar, Washington, D.C.
1986 Advanced Management Program, Indiana University
1987 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI Fellowship
1. March 1965 - November 1966, undergraduate pilot training, Reese Air Force Base, Texas
2. November 1966 - August 1967, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand
3. August 1967 - January 1968, aide to the vice commander, 14th Air Force, Air Defense Command, Gunter Air Force Base, Ala.
4. January 1968 - December 1970, flight commander, 87th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Air Defense Command, Duluth International Airport, Minn.
5. December 1970 - January 1972, executive officer to the deputy chief of staff for plans and operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
6. January 1972 - June 1972, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
7. June 1972 - March 1973, FB-111 combat crew training, Plattsburgh Air Force Base, N.Y.
8. March 1973 - July 1974, FB-111 aircraft commander, 393rd Bombardment Squadron, Pease Air Force Base, N.H.
9. July 1974 - July 1976, aide to the commander in chief, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
10. July 1976 - June 1979, commander, 509th Organizational Maintenance Squadron, then commander, 715th Bombardment Squadron, then assistant deputy commander for operations, 509th Bombardment Wing, Pease Air Force Base, N.H.
11. June 1979 - August 1982, chief, strategic negotiations branch, then chief of the Western Hemisphere Division for the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
12. August 1982 - January 1984, vice commander, 97th Bombardment Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base, Ark.
13. January 1984 - April 1985, commander, 97th Bombardment Wing, Blytheville Air Force Base, Ark.
14. April 1985 - July 1987, Air Force member of the Chairman's Staff Group, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
15. July 1987 - October 1987, military assistant to the president's special envoy for POW/MIA affairs, Washington, D.C.
16. October 1987 - August 1988, assistant deputy chief of staff for plans, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
17. August 1988 - September 1989, deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
18. September 1989 - January 1992, director of strategic, special operations forces and airlift programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C.
19. January 1992 - June 1992, commander, Air Combat Command (Provisional), Langley Air Force Base, Va.
20. July 1992 - August 1993, vice commander, Air Combat Command, and vice commander in chief, U.S. Air Forces Atlantic, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
21. August 1993 - present, commander, 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,500
Aircraft flown: B-52, C-130, F-4, F-102, F-106, F-111, FB-111, EC-135,KC-135, T-33 and T-39
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with service star
Vietnam Service Medal with two service stars
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Jun 3, 1964
First Lieutenant Dec 3, 1965
Captain Dec 3, 1967
Major Jan 1, 1972
Lieutenant Colonel Apr 1, 1976
Colonel Feb 1, 1980
Brigadier General Jul 1, 1987
Major General Nov 1, 1989
Lieutenant General Oct 8, 1992
(Current as of January 1994)