Brigadier General Jose M. Portela is the mobilization assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Washington, D.C.
The general is a native of Puerto Rico. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico and received his commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. After completing pilot training, he was assigned to fly C-141s at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. In 1972 he became the youngest C-141 aircraft commander and captain at the age of 22. He joined the Reserve in 1973 as C-5A Initial Cadre, 312 Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif. The general has served in a variety of flying, command and staff positions of increased responsibility throughout the Reserve. He is a veteran of Vietnam, Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Shield/Storm and is the only reservist ever to serve as director of mobility forces for Bosnia.
In civilian life, the general is an Airbus check captain for a major airline, and is the recipient of his professions highest award, the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) Superior Airmanship Plaque, given for "demonstrating extraordinary flying skills and professionalism in the face of adversity, for safely recovering an aircraft with severe flight control problems, exemplifying the best of what a pilot can offer to those who have placed their lives in his hands." He is also chapter founder of the League of United Latin American Citizens, co-chairman of the Defense Advisory Council on Hispanic Issues and has been honored for his outstanding achievements by the Senate of Puerto Rico.
1969 Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration, University of Puerto Rico
1984 Marine Command and Staff War College
1987 National Defense University, National Security Management Studies, Outstanding Graduate
1993 Naval War College, Joint Warfare Operations Course
1994 National War College, Reserve Components National Security Course
1995 Naval War College, National Security and Decision Making, Strategy and Policy Studies
2002 Executive Program for General Officers - The Russian Federation and The Black Sea Regional Security courses, Harvard University, Boston, Mass.
1. June 1969 - June 1970, student, undergraduate pilot training, Webb AFB, Texas
2. June 1970 - September 1972, C-141 pilot, 41 Military Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.
3. September 1972 - July 1973, C-5 pilot, 3 Military Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.
4. July 1973 - November 1982, C-5 instructor pilot, 312 Military Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
5. November 1982 - November 1984, C-5 flight examiner, 326 Military Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB, Del.
6. November 1984 - June 1992, C-5 standardization/evaluation chief and airlift control flight commander, Kelly AFB, Texas
7. June 1992 - October 1992, individual mobilization augmentee, VJ3 U.S. Southern Command and Latin American Affairs Political/Military Officer, Air Force Headquarters, The Pentagon
8. October 1992 - June 1993, individual mobilization augmentee, VJ3 U.S. Southern Command and Plans and Issues Officer, Air Force Headquarters, The Pentagon
9. June 1993 - August 1995, individual mobilization augmentee to the chief, Mobility Forces Division, Air Force Headquarters, The Pentagon
10. August 1995 - April 1998, vice commander and inspector general, 512 Airlift Wing, Dover AFB, Del.
11. April 1998 - December 2000, vice commander, 22nd Air Force, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.
12. December 2000 - January 2003, mobilization assistant to the vice commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
13. January 2003 - present, mobilization assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: more than 22,000
Aircraft flown: T37/38, C141, C5, DC8, B747, B737, B727, B111, A319, A320, A321 and F100
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with seven oak leaf clusters
Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal with service star
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 8, 1969
First Lieutenant Dec. 8, 1970
Captain June 8, 1972
Major June 8, 1983
Lieutenant Colonel June 17, 1987
Colonel July 1, 1992
Brigadier General June 30, 1999
(Current as of April 2003)