Charles R. Holland

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Charles R. Holland
General Charles R. Holland
Born (1946-01-21) January 21, 1946 (age 69)
Flag of West Virginia.svg Elkins, West Virginia, U.S.
Allegiance United States United States
Service/branch  United States Air Force
Years of service 1968-2003 (35 years)
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held
Awards See below

Charles R. Holland (born January 21, 1946) is a retired United States Air Force general who served as the Commander of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. As Commander, he was responsible for all special operations forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force, both active duty and reserve.[1] Holland is the only USSOCOM combat commander originally from the USAF as of 24 March 2014.


Holland entered the Air Force in 1968 after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy. His early commands over his career included a squadron and two Air Force wings. He flew more than 100 combat missions, including 79 in an AC-130 Gunship in Southeast Asia. He served as Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command, was Commander of the Special Operations Command, Pacific, commanded the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and was the Vice Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. His final assignment was commanding USSOCOM at MacDill. He retired November 1, 2003.[2]



  1. August 1968 - August 1969, student, undergraduate pilot training, Reese AFB, Texas
  2. September 1969 - November 1969, student, initial C-130E pilot qualification training, Sewart AFB, Tennessee
  3. November 1969 - September 1972, C-130E pilot, 347th and 772nd tactical airlift squadrons, Dyess AFB, Texas
  4. October 1972 - January 1973, student, AC-130E combat crew training, Hurlburt Field, Florida
  5. January 1973 - January 1974, AC-130E/H aircraft commander, instructor pilot, and standardization and evaluation pilot, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand
  6. February 1974 - January 1976, Air Operations Staff Officer, Directorate of Airlift, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, West Germany
  7. January 1976 - April 1977, Joint Training Exercise Plans Officer, Military Airlift Center Europe, Ramstein AB, West Germany
  8. May 1977 - December 1978, astronautical engineering graduate student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
  9. January 1979 - May 1983, Chief, Space Shuttle Flight Operations Branch, later, Deputy Director for Policy Planning, later, Executive to the Commander, Space Division, Los Angeles Air Force Station, California
  10. June 1983 - August 1983, student, C-130E requalification course, Little Rock AFB, Arkansas
  11. September 1983 - June 1985, Commander, 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron, Clark AB, Philippines
  12. July 1985 - June 1986, student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
  13. June 1986 - June 1987, Deputy Chief, Airlift and Training Division, Directorate of Operational Requirements, Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
  14. June 1987 - June 1988, Chief, Airlift and Training Division, Directorate of Strategic, Special Operations Forces and Airlift, Military Deputy for Acquisition, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.
  15. June 1988 - June 1991, Vice Commander, later, Commander, 1550th Combat Crew Training Wing, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico
  16. June 1991 - June 1993, Commander, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida
  17. June 1993 - June 1995, Deputy Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  18. June 1995 - June 1997, Commander, Special Operations Command, Pacific at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii
  19. July 1997 - August 1999, Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida
  20. August 1999 - October 2000, Vice Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany
  21. October 2000 - October 2003, Commander, Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Florida

Flight Information[edit]

Awards and decorations[edit]

COMMAND PILOT WINGS.png US Air Force Command Pilot Badge
United States Air Force Missile Badge.svg Basic Missile Maintenance Badge
Personal decorations
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 crimson ribbon with a pair of width-2 white stripes on the edges
Legion of Merit with bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 crimson ribbon with two width-8 white stripes at distance 4 from the edges.
Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters
Unit awards
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Service awards
Combat Readiness Medal
Campaign and service medals
Bronze star
Width=44 scarlet ribbon with a central width-4 golden yellow stripe, flanked by pairs of width-1 scarlet, white, Old Glory blue, and white stripes
National Defense Service Medal with service star
Bronze star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with service star
Vietnam Service Medal
Bronze star
Width-44 ribbon with the following stripes, arranged symmetrically from the edges to the center: width-2 black, width-4 chamois, width-2 Old Glory blue, width-2 white, width-2 Old Glory red, width-6 chamouis, width-3 myrtle green up to a central width-2 black stripe
Southwest Asia Service Medal with service star
Service, training, and marksmanship awards
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Longevity Service Award with silver oak leaf cluster and two bronze oak leaf clusters
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
Foreign awards
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Award
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Effective dates of promotion[edit]

Insignia Rank Date
US-O10 insignia.svg General December 1, 2000
US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General  November 1, 1999
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General February 22, 1997
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General May 20, 1993
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel December 1, 1985
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel December 1, 1982
US-O4 insignia.svg Major April 19, 1979
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain June 5, 1971
US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant December 5, 1969
US-O1 insignia.svg Second Lieutenant June 5, 1968


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b "General Charles R. Holland". official biography. United States Air Force. 2003. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Air Force document "General Charled R. Holland biography".