Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Mitchell Jr. is the mobilization assistant to the commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida. The command is the air component of forces for worldwide deployment and assignment to regional unified commands. AFSOC has approximately 8,500 people assigned to three active duty flying units which fly more than 100 fixed and rotary wing aircraft at locations worldwide, and approximately 2,500 people in two Reserve and Guard flying units which fly more than 23 fixed wing aircraft at two stateside locations. As mobilization assistant to the commander, General Mitchell serves as the senior Air Reserve component officer responsible for leadership and liaison with all of the reservists and guard personnel in the two ARC units gained by AFSOC.
The general is a distinguished graduate of the University of Florida’s ROTC program. He has commanded numerous aircraft, and has served as a C-130 group deputy commander of operations, an A-10 wing deputy commander of resources, a C-130 wing vice commander and in a Headquarters U.S. Air Force staff position. A command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours in various aircraft, he accumulated 874 hours while flying 200 combat missions in KC-135s over Vietnam.
In civilian life, the general is a commercial pilot for Trans World Airlines with more than 8,500 flying hours in civilian jet aircraft.
General Mitchell and his wife, June, are from Kansas City, Mo. General Mitchell retired from the Air Force on July 17, 1996, after more than 34 years of service to the nation.
1962 Bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville
1972 Air Command and Staff Collge, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1973 Masters degree in public administration, Auburn University, Ala.
1978 Masters degree in business administration, University of Missouri, Kansas City
1978 Air War College, by correspondence, rated as “outstanding”
1. March 1963 – April 1964, student, pilot training, Laredo AFB, Texas.
2. April 1964 – June 1964, student, KC-135 combat crew training, Castle AFB, Calif.
3. June 1964 – December 1968, KC-135 pilot, Columbus AFB, Miss. During this time he was assigned to four combat tours in Southeast Asia, completing 200 combat missions.
4. December 1968 – September 1970, inactive status.
5. September 1970 – October 1982, aircraft commander, C-124, C-130A/E, instructor, security officer, unit mobility officer, flight commander, chief of the wing command post, wing chief of plans, 442nd Tactical Airlift Wing, Richards-Gebaur AFB, Mo.
(September 1978 – 1985, additional duty as deputy commander of Missouri’s Air Force Academy Liaison Officer program, Kansas City, Mo. Continued to present as Air Force Academy liaison officer)
6. October 1982 – May 1984, deputy commander for operations, 901st Tactical Airlift Group, Peterson AFB, Colo.
7. May 1984 – December 1984, deputy commander for resources, 442nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Richards Gebaur AFB, Mo.
8. December 1984 – April 1989, vice commander, 94th Tactical Airlift Wing, Dobbins AFB, Ga.
9. April 1989 – August 1991, mobilization assistant to the assistant deputy chief of staff, plans and operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
10. August 1991 – July 1996, mobilization assistant to the commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,000 military, 8,500 civilian
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-33, KC-135, C-124, C-130A, C-130E, C-130H and B727
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze service stars
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
1966 Co-Pilot Best KC-135 Crew – Third Air Division
1983 Outstanding Base Civil Engineer in Air Force Reserve, Richards-Gebaur AFB, Mo.
1984 Outstanding Deputy Liaison Officer Commander of the Nation, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1985 – 1987, National Executive Committeeman, Reserve Officers Association, Washington, D.C.
1987 – 1988, National vice president, Reserve Officers Association, Washington, D.C.
1989 – 1990, National president, Reserve Officers Association, Washington, D.C.
1992 – 1993, International vice president and chief of the U.S. Delegation to the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers, Washington, D.C.
1992 – 1993, Produced Air Force Special Operations Strategic Plan – Air Force Institute of Technology Rated the plan as the “Best in the Air Force”.
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Dec. 22, 1962
First Lieutenant Sept. 2, 1964
Captain Feb. 18, 1967
Major April 30, 1975
Lieutenant Colonel Sept. 22, 1980
Colonel July 1, 1984
Brigadier General July 17, 1991
(Current as of July 1996)