List of United States Air Force four-star generals

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This is a complete list of four-star generals in the United States Air Force. The rank of general (or full general, or four-star general) is the highest rank normally achievable in the U.S. Air Force. It ranks above lieutenant general (three-star general) and below General of the Air Force (five-star general).

There have been 206 four-star generals in the history of the U.S. Air Force. Of these, 198 achieved that rank while on active duty, 3 were promoted after retirement, and one was promoted posthumously. Generals entered the Air Force via several paths: 60 were commissioned via the U.S. Military Academy (USMA), 49 via the aviation cadet program, 36 via the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), 36 via Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at a civilian university, 9 via AFROTC at a senior military college, 7 via Air Force Officer Training School (OTS), 4 via the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), 2 via direct commission, one via Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university, one via the Army National Guard (ARNG), and one via the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

List of generals[edit]

Entries in the following list of four-star generals are indexed by the numerical order in which each officer was promoted to that rank while on active duty, or by an asterisk (*) if the officer did not serve in that rank while on active duty. Each entry lists the general's name, date of rank,[1] active-duty positions held while serving at four-star rank,[2] number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank (Yrs),[3] year commissioned and source of commission,[4] number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank (YC),[5] and other biographical notes.[6]

The list is sortable by last name, date of rank, number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank, year commissioned, and number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank. The median number of years in commission to achieve four-star rank is 31 (as can be seen by sorting by 'YC' and scrolling halfway down this list) and the quickest rise to four-star is 22 years (LeMay and Norstad).

# Name Photo Date of rank Position Yrs[3] Commission YC[5] Notes
1 Henry H. Arnold General of the Air Force Hap Arnold.png 19 Mar 1943   3 1907 (USMA) 36 (1886–1950) Promoted to general of the Army, 21 Dec 1944; to general of the Air Force, 7 May 1949.
2 Joseph T. McNarney Joseph T McNarney.jpg 7 Mar 1945   7 1915 (USMA) 30 (1893–1972)
3 George Kenney George Kenney.jpg 9 Mar 1945   6 1917 (cadet) 28 (1889–1977)
4 Carl A. Spaatz Carl Spaatz, Air Force photo portrait, color.jpg 11 Mar 1945   3 1914 (USMA) 31 (1891–1974)
5 Hoyt Vandenberg Hoyt S Vandenberg.jpg 1 Oct 1947   6 1923 (USMA) 24 (1899–1954) Director of Central Intelligence, 1946–1947. Nephew of U.S. Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg; son married daughter of Air Force four-star general Leon W. Johnson.
6 Muir S. Fairchild Muir S Fairchild.jpg 27 May 1948   2 1918 (cadet) 30 (1894–1950) Died in office.
7 Nathan F. Twining Nathan Twining 02.jpg 10 Oct 1950   10 1918 (USMA) 32 (1897–1982) Brother of Marine Corps four-star general Merrill B. Twining.
8 John K. Cannon John K Cannon.jpg 29 Oct 1951   3 1917 (direct) 34 (1892–1955)
9 Benjamin W. Chidlaw Benjamin W Chidlaw.jpg 29 Oct 1951   4 1922 (USMA) 29 (1900–1977)
10 Curtis LeMay Curtis LeMay (USAF).jpg 29 Oct 1951   14 1929 (cadet) 22 (1906–1990) American Independent Party nominee for U.S. Vice president, 1968.
11 Lauris Norstad 5 Jul 1952   11 1930 (USMA) 22 (1907–1988)
12 Otto P. Weyland Weyland op.jpg 5 Jul 1952   7 1923 (Texas A&M) 29 (1902–1979)
13 Thomas D. White Gen Thomas Dresser White.jpg 30 Jun 1953   8 1920 (USMA) 33 (1902–1965)
14 Edwin W. Rawlings Edwin Rawlings.jpg 19 Feb 1954   5 1930 (cadet) 24 (1904–1997)
15 Earle E. Partridge Earle Everard Partridge.jpg 19 Feb 1954   5 1924 (USMA) 30 (1900–1990)
16 Orval R. Cook GEN Cook, Orval Ray (2).jpg 1 Apr 1954   2 1922 (USMA) 32 (1898–1980)
17 Laurence S. Kuter Gen-Laurence-S--Kuter.jpg 29 May 1955   7 1927 (USMA) 28 (1905–1979)[7] U.S. Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization, 1946–1948.
18 Thomas S. Power Thomas S Power.jpg 30 Jun 1957   7 1929 (cadet) 28 (1905–1970)
19 Frank F. Everest Frank F Everest.jpg 1 Jul 1957   4 1928 (USMA) 29 (1904–1983)
20 Leon W. Johnson Leon W Johnson.jpg 31 Aug 1957   8 1926 (USMA) 31 (1904–1997)[8] Awarded Medal of Honor, 1943. Daughter married son of Air Force four-star general Hoyt S. Vandenberg.
21 Charles P. Cabell Charles p cabell.jpg 11 Jul 1958   4 1925 (USMA) 33 (1903–1971) Distant cousin of Navy four-star admiral Richard H. Jackson.
22 Samuel E. Anderson Samuel E Anderson.jpg 10 Mar 1959   4 1928 (USMA) 31 (1906–1982)
23 Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. General Emmett Rosie O'Donnell.jpg 31 Jul 1959   4 1928 (USMA) 31 (1906–1972)
24 Frederic H. Smith, Jr. GEN Smith, Frederic Harrison, Jr (VCSAF).jpg 1 Aug 1959   3 1929 (USMA) 30 (1908–1980) Son-in-law of Navy five-star admiral Ernest J. King.
25 Truman H. Landon Truman Landon.jpg 28 Jun 1961   2 1928 (USMA) 33 (1905–1986)
26 William F. McKee General William F McKee, USAF.JPG 29 Jun 1961   3 1929 (USMA) 32 (1906–1987) Assistant Administrator for Management and Development, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1964–1965; Administrator, Federal Aviation Agency, 1965–1968.
27 Walter C. Sweeney, Jr. Walter C. Sweeney.jpg 30 Jun 1961   4 1930 (USMA) 31 (1909–1965)
28 Bernard A. Schriever Bernard Adolph Schriever.jpg 1 Jul 1961   5 1931 (Texas A&M) 30 (1910–2005)
29 John K. Gerhart John K Gerhart.jpg 29 Jun 1962   3 1929 (cadet) 33 (1907–1981)
30 Dean C. Strother Dean Coldwell Strother.jpg 30 Jun 1962   4 1931 (USMA) 31 (1908–2000)
31 Mark E. Bradley Mark Edward Bradley.jpg 1 Jul 1962   3 1930 (USMA) 32 (1907–1999)
32 John P. McConnell John P. McConnell.jpg 1 Oct 1962   7 1932 (USMA) 30 (1908–1986)
33 Robert M. Lee Robert Merrill Lee.jpg 4 Jun 1963   3 1931 (USMA) 32 (1909–2003)
34 Jacob E. Smart Smart je.jpg 5 Jun 1963   3 1931 (USMA) 32 (1909–2006) Assistant Administrator for Policy/DoD and Interagency Affairs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1967–1973.
35 Joe W. Kelly Joe W Kelly.jpg 6 Jun 1963   1 1932 (USMA) 31 (1910–1979)
36 Gabriel P. Disosway Gabriel P Disosway.jpg 1 Aug 1963   5 1933 (USMA) 30 (1910–2001)
37 Hunter Harris, Jr. Hunter Harris.jpg 18 Jul 1964   3 1932 (USMA) 32 (1909–1987)
38 Howell M. Estes II Estes howell m jr.jpg 19 Jul 1964   5 1936 (USMA) 28 (1914–2007) Father of Air Force four-star general Howell M. Estes III.
39 John D. Ryan GEN Ryan, John Dale (2).jpg 1 Dec 1964   9 1938 (USMA) 26 (1915–1983) Father of Air Force four-star general Michael E. Ryan.
40 William H. Blanchard William H Blanchard.jpg 19 Feb 1965   1 1938 (USMA) 27 (1916–1966) Died in office.
41 Kenneth B. Hobson Kenneth Hobson.jpg 31 Jul 1965   2 1932 (USMA) 33 (1908–1979)
42 Bruce K. Holloway Bruce K Holloway.jpg 1 Aug 1965   7 1937 (USMA) 28 (1912–1999)
43 William S. Stone William Sebastian Stone.jpg 28 Jul 1966   2 1934 (USMA) 32 (1910–1968) Died in office. Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy, 1959–1962.
44 Raymond J. Reeves Raymond J Reeves.jpg 29 Jul 1966   3 1934 (USMA) 32 (1909–1998)
45 James Ferguson General James Ferguson.jpg 30 Jul 1966   4 1937 (cadet) 29 (1913–2000)
46 David A. Burchinal David A Burchinal.jpg 31 Jul 1966   7 1940 (cadet) 26 (1915–1990)
47 Maurice A. Preston Prestonheadshot.jpg 1 Aug 1966   2 1937 (USMA) 29 (1912–1983)
48 Joseph J. Nazzaro GEN Joseph J Nazzaro.jpg 1 Feb 1967   4 1936 (USMA) 31 (1913–1990)
49 Thomas P. Gerrity Thomas Patrick Gerrity.jpg 1 Aug 1967   1 1940 (cadet) 27 (1913–1968) Died in office.
50 William W. Momyer William w momyer.jpg 13 Dec 1967   6 1939 (cadet) 28 (1916–2012)
51 Jack G. Merrell Jack G. Merrell portrait.jpg 29 Mar 1968   4 1939 (USMA) 29 (1915–1993)
52 Horace M. Wade Horace M. Wade.jpg 31 Jul 1968   5 1938 (cadet) 30 (1916–2001)
53 George S. Brown GEN George Brown.JPG 1 Aug 1968   10 1941 (USMA) 27 (1918–1978)
54 Joseph R. Holzapple Joseph R Holzapple.jpg 1 Feb 1969   2 1941 (cadet) 28 (1914–1973)
55 Seth J. McKee Seth J McKee.jpg 30 Jul 1969   4 1939 (cadet) 30 (1916–       )
56 John C. Meyer JohnCMeyer.jpg 31 Jul 1969   5 1940 (cadet) 29 (1919–1975)
57 Jack J. Catton Jack J. Catton (color).jpg 1 Aug 1969   5 1941 (cadet) 28 (1920–1990)
58 Lucius D. Clay, Jr. Lucius D Clay Jr.jpg 1 Sep 1970   5 1942 (USMA) 28 (1919–1994) Son of Army four-star general Lucius D. Clay; grandson of U.S. Senator Alexander S. Clay.
59 Theodore R. Milton TheodoreRMilton.jpg 31 Jul 1971   3 1940 (USMA) 31 (1915–2010)
60 John D. Lavelle John D. Lavelle portrait.jpg 1 Aug 1971   1 1940 (cadet) 31 (1916–1979)[9] Relieved, 1972.
61 David C. Jones David C Jones official portrait.jpg 1 Sep 1971   11 1943 (cadet) 28 (1921–2013)
62 John W. Vogt, Jr. General John William Vogt.jpg 7 Apr 1972   3 1942 (cadet) 30 (1920–2010)
63 Russell E. Dougherty Russell E Dougherty.jpg 1 May 1972   5 1943 (cadet) 29 (1920–2007) Father-in-law of Air Force four-star general Joseph W. Ralston.
* George B. Simler GEN (posthumous) Simler, George B.jpg 16 Aug 1972  
  • (posthumous)
0 1942 (cadet) 30 (1921–1972)[10]
64 Paul K. Carlton Paul K. Carlton portrait.jpg 9 Oct 1972   5 1942 (cadet) 30 (1921–2009)
65 Timothy F. O'Keefe Timothy F. O'Keefe.jpg 1973   1 1940 (cadet) 33 (1919–1984)
66 George J. Eade GEN Eade, George James (1).jpeg 18 Apr 1973   2 1942 (cadet) 31 (1921–       )
67 Samuel C. Phillips Samuel C. Phillips.jpg 1 Aug 1973   2 1942 (ROTC) 31 (1921–1990) Director, National Security Agency, 1972–1973.
68 Richard H. Ellis GEN Ellis, Richard Hastings.jpg 30 Sep 1973   8 1942 (cadet) 31 (1919–1989) U.S. Commissioner for the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Standing Consultative Commission, 1982–1989.
69 Robert J. Dixon Robert J Dixon.jpg 1 Oct 1973   5 1942 (RCAF) 31 (1920–2003)[11]
70 Louis L. Wilson Jr. Louis L. Wilson Jr.jpg 1 Jul 1974   3 1943 (USMA) 31 (1919–2010)
71 Louis T. Seith GEN Seith, Louis Theodore (BGEN Commandant of USMA) - crop.jpg 1 Aug 1974   3 1943 (USMA) 31 (1921–2007)
72 William V. McBride William V. McBride.jpg 1 Sep 1974   4 1942 (cadet) 32 (1922–       )
73 William J. Evans William John Evans.jpg 30 Aug 1975   3 1946 (USMA) 29 (1924–2000)
74 F. Michael Rogers F. Michael Rogers.jpg 1 Sep 1975   3 1943 (cadet) 32 (1921–2014)
75 Daniel James, Jr. James DanielChappie.jpg 1 Sep 1975   2 1943 (cadet) 32 (1920–1978)
76 Robert E. Huyser GEN Huyser, Robert E (LGEN) cropped.jpg 1 Sep 1975   6 1944 (cadet) 31 (1924–1997) U.S. Special Envoy to Iran, 1979.
77 John W. Roberts RobertsKE67589jpg.jpg 29 Mar 1977   2 1944 (cadet) 33 (1921–1999)
78 William G. Moore Jr. William G. Moore.jpg 1 Apr 1977   2 1941 (cadet) 36 (1920–2012)
79 Lew Allen General Lew Allen, official military photo.jpg 31 Jul 1977   5 1946 (USMA) 31 (1925–2010) Director, National Security Agency, 1973–1977; Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1982–1990.
80 James R. Allen James R Allen.jpg 1 Aug 1977   6 1948 (USMA) 29 (1925–1992) Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy, 1974–1977.
81 James E. Hill GEN Hill, James E (cropped).jpg 21 Dec 1977   2 1943 (cadet) 34 (1921–1999)
82 Bryce Poe II Bryce Poe II portrait.jpg 2 Feb 1978   3 1946 (USMA) 32 (1924–2000)
83 Alton D. Slay Alton D Slay.jpg 1 Apr 1978   3 1944 (cadet) 34 (1924–       )
84 Wilbur L. Creech Wilbur Creech.jpg 1 May 1978   6 1949 (cadet) 29 (1927–2003)
85 James A. Hill James A Hill.jpg 10 Jul 1978   2 1944 (cadet) 34 (1923–2010)
86 John W. Pauly General John W. Pauly January 28, 1982.JPEG 1 Aug 1978   2 1945 (USMA) 33 (1923–2013)
87 Bennie L. Davis Bennie Davis.jpg 1 Apr 1979   6 1950 (USMA) 29 (1928–2012)
88 William Y. Smith William Y. Smith.JPEG 1 Jul 1979   4 1948 (USMA) 31 (1925–       )
89 Robert C. Mathis Robert C Mathis.jpg 1 Mar 1980   2 1948 (USMA) 32 (1927–       )
90 Richard L. Lawson Richard L. Lawson.jpg 1 Jul 1980   6 1951 (ARNG) 29 (1929–       )[12]
91 Charles A. Gabriel Charles A. Gabriel.jpg 1 Aug 1980   6 1950 (USMA) 30 (1928–2003)
92 Robert T. Marsh Marsh rt.jpg 1 Feb 1981   3 1949 (USMA) 32 (1925–       )
93 Thomas M. Ryan, Jr. GEN Thomas M Ryan Jr.jpg 31 Jul 1981   4 1950 (cadet) 31 (1928–       )
94 James P. Mullins James P. Mullins.JPEG 1 Aug 1981   3 1949 (cadet) 32 (1928–       )
95 James V. Hartinger James V Hartinger.jpg 1 Oct 1981   3 1949 (USMA) 32 (1925–2000)
96 Jerome F. O'Malley Jerome F OMalley.jpg 1 Jun 1982   3 1953 (USMA) 29 (1932–1985) Died in office.
97 Billy M. Minter Billy M. Minter.jpg 1 Jul 1982   2 1949 (cadet) 33 (1926–2005)
98 Andrew P. Iosue General Andrew P. Iosue May 5, 1986.JPEG 1 Jul 1983   3 1951 (AFROTC) 32 (1927–       )
99 James E. Dalton James E Dalton.jpg 1 Aug 1983   2 1954 (USMA) 29 (1930–       )
100 Lawrence A. Skantze Lawrence A Skantze.jpg 6 Oct 1983   4 1952 (USNA) 31 (1928–       )
101 Larry D. Welch Larry D. Welch.jpg 1 Aug 1984   6 1953 (cadet) 31 (1934–       ) President, Institute for Defense Analyses, 1990–2003, 2006–present.
102 Robert T. Herres General Robert Herres, military portrait, 1984.JPEG 1 Aug 1984   6 1954 (USNA) 30 (1932–2008)
103 Robert W. Bazley Robert W. Bazley.JPEG 1 Nov 1984   2 1945 (cadet) 29 (1925–2012)
104 Charles L. Donnelly, Jr. Charles L. Donnelly, Jr..JPEG 1 Nov 1984   3 1952 (cadet) 32 (1929–1994)
105 Earl T. O'Loughlin GEN Earl T. O'Loughlin - May 2, 1986.JPEG 1 Nov 1984   3 1952 (cadet) 32 (1930–       )
* James Doolittle Lt. General James Doolittle, head and shoulders.jpg 4 Apr 1985  
  • (retired)
0 1918 (cadet) 67 (1896–1993)[13] Awarded Medal of Honor, 1942; Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1989. First Air Force reservist to attain rank of general.
* Ira C. Eaker LTG Ira Eaker.jpg 26 Apr 1985  
  • (retired)
0 1917 (direct) 68 (1896–1987)[14] Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, 1978.
106 Robert D. Russ Robert D. Russ.JPEG 22 May 1985   6 1955 (AFROTC) 30 (1933–1997)
107 John T. Chain, Jr. John T Chain.jpg 1 Jul 1985   6 1956 (AFROTC) 29 (1934–       ) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs, 1984–1985.
108 John L. Piotrowski John L Piotrowski.jpg 1 Aug 1985   5 1954 (cadet) 31 (1934–       )
109 Duane H. Cassidy Duane H Cassidy.jpg 8 Nov 1985   4 1954 (cadet) 31 (1933–       )
110 Robert H. Reed General Robert Harvey Reed USAF.JPEG 1 Jul 1986   2 1953 (cadet) 33 (1929–       )
111 Thomas C. Richards Thomas C Richards.jpg 1 Dec 1986   3 1956 (VPI) 30 (1930–       ) Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, 1992–1993.
112 Jack I. Gregory Jack I Gregory.jpg 1 Jan 1987   1 1953 (AFROTC) 34 (1931–       )
113 Monroe W. Hatch Jr. Monroe W Hatch Jr.jpg 29 Jan 1987   3 1951 (USNA) 36 (1933–       )
114 William L. Kirk William L. Kirk.JPEG 1 May 1987   2 1954 (cadet) 33 (1932–       )
115 Bernard P. Randolph Bernard P Randolph.jpg 1 Aug 1987   3 1956 (cadet) 31 (1933–       )
116 Alfred G. Hansen General Alfred G. Hansen - USAF.JPEG 1 Aug 1987   2 1955 (cadet) 32 (1933–       )
117 John A. Shaud John A Shaud.jpg 1 Jul 1988   3 1956 (USMA) 32 (1933–       )
118 Merrill McPeak Merrill McPeak, official military photo.JPEG 1 Aug 1988   6 1957 (AFROTC) 31 (1936–       )
119 Michael J. Dugan Michael Dugan, official military photo.jpg 1 May 1989   1 1958 (USMA) 31 (1937–       ) Relieved, 1990.
120 James P. McCarthy GEN McCarthy, James P.jpg 1 Oct 1989   3 1957 (AFROTC) 32 (1935–       )
121 Hansford T. Johnson General Hansford Johnson, official military photo, 1990.jpg 1 Oct 1989   3 1959 (USAFA) 30 (1936–       ) U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment, 2002–2005.
122 Charles C. McDonald Charles C McDonald.jpg 1 Nov 1989   3 1956 (AFROTC) 33 (1933–       )
123 Donald J. Kutyna Donald Kutyna.jpg 1 Apr 1990   2 1957 (USMA) 33 (1933–       )
124 Ronald W. Yates Ronald W Yates.jpg 1 Apr 1990   5 1960 (USAFA) 30 (1938–       )
125 John M. Loh Gen John Michael Loh.jpg 1 Jun 1990   5 1960 (USAFA) 30 (1938–       )
126 Robert C. Oaks RobertOaks.jpg 1 Jul 1990   4 1959 (USAFA) 31 (1936–       )
127 George Lee Butler GEN George L Butler.jpg 25 Jan 1991   3 1961 (USAFA) 30 (1939–       )
128 Jimmie V. Adams Jimmie V Adams.jpg 13 Feb 1991   2 1958 (AFROTC) 33 (1936–       )
129 Michael P. C. Carns GEN Carns Michael Patrick Chamberlain.jpg 16 May 1991   3 1959 (USAFA) 32 (1937–       )[15]
130 James B. Davis General James Burr Davis.JPEG 24 Jul 1991   2 1958 (USNA) 33 (1935–       )
131 Chuck Horner Chuck Horner (color).jpg 1 Jul 1992   2 1958 (AFROTC) 34 (1936–       )
132 Ronald Fogleman Ronald R. Fogleman.jpg 1 Sep 1992   5 1963 (USAFA) 29 (1942–       )
133 Charles G. Boyd Charles G Boyd.jpg 1 Dec 1992   3 1960 (cadet) 32 (1938–       )
134 Henry Viccellio Jr. Henry C. Viccellio, Jr..JPEG 1 Dec 1992   5 1963 (USAFA) 29 (1940–       )
135 Robert L. Rutherford Robert L Rutherford.jpg 1 Feb 1993   3 1961 (AFROTC) 32 (1938–2013)
136 Thomas S. Moorman, Jr. Thomas S Moorman Jr.jpg 1 Aug 1994   3 1962 (AFROTC) 32 (1940–       )
137 James L. Jamerson James L Jamerson.jpg 1 Sep 1994   4 1963 (USAFA) 31 (1941–       )
138 Joseph W. Ashy Joseph ashy.jpg 13 Sep 1994   2 1962 (Texas A&M) 32 (1940–       )
139 John G. Lorber John G Lorber.jpg 12 Oct 1994   3 1964 (USAFA) 30 (1941–       )
140 Billy J. Boles Brig. Gen. Billy J. Boles, USAF.JPEG 1 Jul 1995   2 1962 (AFROTC) 33 (1938–       )
141 Joseph Ralston Joseph Ralston, official military photo.jpg 1 Jul 1995   8 1965 (AFROTC) 30 (1943–       ) U.S. Special Envoy for Countering the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), 2006–present. Son-in-law of Air Force four-star general Russell E. Dougherty.
142 Richard E. Hawley Richard E Hawley.jpg 1 Aug 1995   4 1964 (USAFA) 31 (1942–       )
143 Eugene E. Habiger Eugene E Habiger.jpg 1 Mar 1996   2 1963 (OTS) 33 (1939–       ) Director of Security and Emergency Operations, U.S. Department of Energy, 1999–2001.
144 Michael E. Ryan Michael Ryan, official military photo.jpg 4 Apr 1996   5 1965 (USAFA) 31 (1941–       ) Son of Air Force four-star general John D. Ryan.
145 Walter Kross Walter Kross.jpg 1 Aug 1996   2 1964 (OTS) 32 (1942–       )
146 Howell M. Estes III Howell M Estes III.jpg 1 Oct 1996   2 1965 (USAFA) 31 (1941–       ) Son of Air Force four-star general Howell M. Estes Jr.
147 Lloyd W. Newton Lloyd W Newton.jpg 1 Apr 1997   3 1966 (AFROTC) 31 (1942–       )
148 George T. Babbitt, Jr. George T Babbitt.jpg 1 Jun 1997   3 1965 (AFROTC) 32 (1942–       ) Director, Defense Logistics Agency, 1996–1997.
149 Ralph Eberhart Eberhart re.jpg 1 Aug 1997   7 1968 (USAFA) 29 (1946–       )
150 Richard Myers Richard Myers official portrait 2.jpg 1 Sep 1997   8 1965 (AFROTC) 32 (1942–       ) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2005.
151 John A. Gordon John A Gordon.jpg 31 Oct 1997   3 1968 (AFROTC) 29 (1946–       ) U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, 1993–1994; U.S. Undersecretary of Energy for Nuclear Security, 2000–2002; Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, 2002–2003; Homeland Security Advisor, 2003–2004.
152 John P. Jumper John-P-Jumper.jpg 17 Nov 1997   8 1966 (VMI) 31 (1945–       )
153 Charles T. Robertson, Jr. Charles T Robertson Jr.jpg 1 Sep 1998   3 1968 (USAFA) 30 (1946–       )
154 Patrick K. Gamble Patrick Gamble.jpg 1 Oct 1998   3 1967 (Texas A&M) 31 (1945–       ) President, University of Alaska System, 2010–present.
* Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. GEN Davis, Benjamin O.jpg 9 Dec 1998  
  • (retired)
0 1936 (USMA) 62 (1912–2002)[16] Director of Aviation Security, 1970–1971; U.S. Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs, 1971–1975.
155 Lester Lyles Lester L Lyles.jpg 1 Jul 1999   4 1968 (AFROTC) 31 (1946–       ) Director, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, 1996–1999.
156 Gregory S. Martin Gregory S Martin.jpg 1 Jun 2000   5 1970 (USAFA) 30 (1948–       )[17]
157 John W. Handy John w handy.jpg 1 Jul 2000   5 1967 (OTS) 33 (1944–       )
158 Hal M. Hornburg Hal M Hornburg.jpg 1 Aug 2000   4 1968 (Texas A&M) 32 (1945–       )
159 Charles R. Holland Holland cr.jpg 1 Dec 2000   3 1968 (USAFA) 32 (1946–       )
160 William J. Begert William J Begert.jpg 1 May 2001   3 1968 (USAFA) 33 (1946–       )
161 Robert H. Foglesong Robert Foglesong.jpg 5 Nov 2001   4 1972 (AFROTC) 29 (1945–       ) President, Mississippi State University, 2006–2008.
162 Donald G. Cook General Donald G Cook.jpg 17 Dec 2001   4 1969 (AFROTC) 32 (1946–       )
163 Lance W. Lord Lance W Lord.jpg 19 Apr 2002   4 1968 (AFROTC) 34 (1946–       )
164 Charles F. Wald Charles F Wald.jpg 1 Jan 2003   4 1971 (AFROTC) 32 (1948–       )
165 T. Michael Moseley Moseley official photo 6.jpg 1 Oct 2003   5 1971 (Texas A&M) 32 (1949–       ) Resigned, 2008.
166 Paul V. Hester Hester pv.jpg 1 Aug 2004   3 1971 (AFROTC) 33 (1947–       )
167 Michael V. Hayden Michael Hayden, CIA official portrait.jpg 21 Apr 2005   3 1969 (AFROTC) 36 (1945–       )[18] Director, National Security Agency, 1999–2005.
168 Ronald Keys Ronald Keys.jpg 27 May 2005   2 1967 (AFROTC) 38 (1945–       )
169 William R. Looney III William Looney.jpg 1 Aug 2005   3 1972 (USAFA) 33 (1949–       )
170 Bruce A. Carlson Bruce Carlson.jpg 1 Sep 2005   3 1971 (AFROTC) 34 (1949–       ) Director, National Reconnaissance Office, 2009–present.
171 Norton A. Schwartz Norton A Schwartz 2008 2.jpg 1 Oct 2005   7 1973 (USAFA) 32 (1951–       )
172 John D. W. Corley General John Corley, official Air Force photo.jpg 1 Nov 2005   4 1973 (USAFA) 32 (1951–       )
173 Lance L. Smith Lance L Smith.jpg 7 Nov 2005   2 1970 (OTS) 35 (1946–       )
174 Duncan McNabb Mcnabb dj5.jpg 1 Dec 2005   6 1974 (USAFA) 31 (1952–       )
175 William T. Hobbins William T Hobbins.jpg 1 Feb 2006   2 1969 (OTS) 37 (1946–       )
176 Kevin P. Chilton Kevin P. Chilton.jpg 26 Jun 2006   5 1976 (USAFA) 30 (1954–       ) First astronaut to attain rank of general.
177 Victor E. Renuart, Jr. Victor E. Renuart Jr. 2010.jpg 23 Mar 2007   3 1972 (OTS) 35 (1949–       )
178 Arthur Lichte Gen Arthur J. Lichte.jpg 7 Sep 2007   2 1971 (AFROTC) 36 (1949–       )
179 C. Robert Kehler USAF General C. Robert Kehler.jpg 12 Oct 2007   6 1975 (AFROTC) 32 (1952–       )
180 Carrol Chandler Gen Carrol H. Chandler.jpg 30 Nov 2007   4 1974 (USAFA) 33 (1952–       )
181 Roger A. Brady Gen Roger A. Brady.jpg 9 Jan 2008   2 1968 (AFROTC) 40 (1946–       )
182 Stephen R. Lorenz Gen Stephen Lorenz.jpg 2 Jul 2008   2 1973 (USAFA) 35 (1951–       )
183 William M. Fraser III Fraser TRANSCOM HighRes.jpg 9 Oct 2008   6 1974 (Texas A&M) 34 (1952–       )[19]
184 Craig R. McKinley General Craig R McKinley.jpg 17 Nov 2008   4 1974 (AFROTC) 34 (1952–       )
185 Donald J. Hoffman General Donald J Hoffman.jpg 21 Nov 2008   4 1974 (USAFA) 34 (1952–       )
186 Douglas M. Fraser DouglasFraserUSAF.jpg 25 Jun 2009   3 1975 (USAFA) 34 (1953–       )
187 Gary L. North Gen Gary L. North 2012.JPG 19 Aug 2009   3 1976 (AFROTC) 33 (1954–       )
188 Raymond E. Johns, Jr. General Raymond E. Johns, Jr.jpg 20 Nov 2009   3 1977 (USAFA) 32 (1954–       )
189 Edward A. Rice Jr. General Edward A Rice.jpg 17 Nov 2010   3 1978 (USAFA) 32 (1956–       )
190 Mark A. Welsh III Gen Mark A. Welsh III CSAF.jpg 13 Dec 2010   4 1976 (USAFA) 34 (1953–       )
191 William L. Shelton Gen William L Shelton.jpg 5 Jan 2011   3 1976 (USAFA) 35 (1953–       )
192 Philip M. Breedlove Breedlove 2013 HR.jpg 14 Jan 2011   3 1977 (AFROTC) 34 (1955–       )
193 Gilmary M. Hostage III General Gilmary M. Hostage III.jpg 13 Sep 2011   3 1977 (AFROTC) 34 (1955–       )
194 Janet C. Wolfenbarger Wolfenbarger jc4.jpg 5 Jun 2012   2 1980 (USAFA) 32 (1958–       ) First woman to achieve the rank of general in the Air Force.
195 Larry O. Spencer Gen Larry O. Spencer VCSAF.jpg 27 Jul 2012   2 1980 (OTS) 32 (1954–       )
196 Herbert J. Carlisle General Herbert J. Carlisle.jpg 2 Aug 2012   2 1978 (USAFA) 34 (1957–       )
197 Paul J. Selva Selva Transcom.jpg 29 Nov 2012   2 1980 (USAFA) 32 (1958–       )
198 Frank Gorenc General Frank Gorenc, USAF.jpg 2 Aug 2013   1 1979 (USAFA) 34 (1957–       )
199 Robin Rand Gen Robin Rand.JPG 10 Oct 2013   1 1979 (USAFA) 34 (1958–       )
200 Darren W. McDew McDew2014.JPG 05 May 2014   0 1982 (VMI) 32 (1961–       )
201 John E. Hyten Hyten AFSPC 2014.JPG 15 Aug 2014   0 1981 (AFROTC) 33 (1959–       )
202 Lori J. Robinson General Lori J. Robinson, USAF.jpg 16 Oct 2014  
  • Commander, Pacific Air Forces/Air Component Commander for U.S. Pacific Command/Executive Director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff (COMPACAF/AIRCDRUSPACCOM/EXDIRPACOPS), 2014–present.
0 1982 (AFROTC) 32 (1960–       )

Timeline[edit]

Four-star positions[edit]

1940 – present[edit]

The modern rank of general was established by the Officer Personnel Act of 1947, which authorized the President to designate certain positions of importance to carry that rank. Officers appointed to such positions bear temporary four-star rank while so serving, and are allowed to retire at that rank if their performance is judged satisfactory.[20] The total number of active-duty four-star generals in the Air Force is limited to a fixed percentage of the number of Air Force general officers serving at all ranks.[21]

Within the Air Force, the chief of staff (CSAF) and vice chief of staff (VCSAF) are four-star generals by statute. Other four-star generals occupy positions of designated importance; historically, these have included the commanders responsible for strategic bombers and nuclear missiles (SAC/STRATCOM); tactical air combat (TAC/ACC); air transport (MAC/TRANSCOM); North American aerospace defense (NORAD); the Air Force formations in Europe and the Pacific; and other training, readiness, and materiel organizations.

The Air Force also competes with the other services for a number of joint four-star positions, such as the chairman (CJCS) and vice chairman (VCJCS) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Other joint four-star positions have included unified combatant commanders and certain NATO staff positions.

Billy J. Boles John G. Lorber Joseph W. Ashy James L. Jamerson Thomas S. Moorman, Jr. Robert L. Rutherford Henry Viccellio, Jr. Charles G. Boyd Ronald R. Fogleman Charles A. Horner James B. Davis Michael P.C. Carns Jimmie V. Adams George L. Butler Robert C. Oaks John M. Loh Ronald W. Yates Donald Y. Kutyna Charles C. McDonald Hansford T. Johnson James P. McCarthy Michael J. Dugan Merrill A. McPeak John A. Shaud Alfred G. Hansen Bernard P. Randolph William L. Kirk Monroe W. Hatch, Jr. Jack I. Gregory Thomas C. Richards Robert H. Reed Duane H. Cassidy John L. Piotrowski John T. Chain, Jr. Robert D. Russ Earl T. O'Loughlin Charles L. Donnelly, Jr. Robert W. Bazley Robert T. Herres Larry D. Welch Lawrence A. Skantze James E. Dalton Andrew P. Iosue Billy M. Minter Jerome F. O'Malley James V. Hartinger James P. Mullins Thomas M. Ryan, Jr. Robert T. Marsh Charles A. Gabriel Richard L. Lawson Robert C. Mathis William Y. Smith Bennie L. Davis John W. Pauly James A. Hill Wilbur L. Creech Alton D. Slay Bryce Poe II James E. Hill James R. Allen Lew Allen, Jr. William G. Moore, Jr. John W. Roberts Robert E. Huyser Daniel James, Jr. F. Michael Rogers William J. Evans William V. McBride Louis T. Seith Louis L. Wilson, Jr. Robert J. Dixon Richard H. Ellis Samuel C. Phillips George J. Eade Timothy F. O'Keefe Paul K. Carlton George B. Simler Russell E. Dougherty John W. Vogt David C. Jones John D. Lavelle Theodore R. Milton Lucius D. Clay, Jr. Jack J. Catton John C. Meyer Seth J. McKee Joseph R. Holzapple George S. Brown Horace M. Wade Jack G. Merrell William W. Momyer Thomas Patrick Gerrity Joseph J. Nazzaro Maurice A. Preston David A. Burchinal James Ferguson (general) Raymond J. Reeves William S. Stone Bruce K. Holloway Kenneth B. Hobson William H. Blanchard John D. Ryan Howell M. Estes, Jr. Hunter Harris, Jr. Gabriel P. Disosway Joe W. Kelly Jacob E. Smart Robert M. Lee John P. McConnell Mark E. Bradley Dean C. Strother John K. Gerhart Bernard A. Schriever Walter C. Sweeney, Jr. William F. McKee Truman H. Landon Frederic H. Smith, Jr. Emmett O'Donnell, Jr. Samuel E. Anderson Charles P. Cabell Leon W. Johnson Frank F. Everest Thomas S. Power Laurence S. Kuter Orval R. Cook Earle E. Partridge Edwin W. Rawlings Thomas D. White Otto P. Weyland Lauris Norstad Curtis E. LeMay Benjamin W. Chidlaw John K. Cannon Nathan F. Twining Muir S. Fairchild Hoyt S. Vandenberg Carl A. Spaatz George C. Kenney Joseph T. McNarney Henry H. Arnold

Lori Robinson John E. Hyten Darren W. McDew Robin Rand Frank Gorenc Paul J. Selva Herbert J. Carlisle Larry O. Spencer Janet C. Wolfenbarger Gilmary M. Hostage III Philip M. Breedlove William L. Shelton Mark A. Welsh III Edward A. Rice, Jr. Raymond E. Johns, Jr. Gary L. North Douglas M. Fraser Donald J. Hoffman Craig R. McKinley William M. Fraser III Stephen R. Lorenz Roger A. Brady Carrol H. Chandler C. Robert Kehler Arthur J. Lichte Victor E. Renuart, Jr. Kevin P. Chilton William T. Hobbins Duncan J. McNabb Lance L. Smith John D.W. Corley Norton A. Schwartz Bruce Carlson William R. Looney III Ronald E. Keys Michael V. Hayden Paul V. Hester T. Michael Moseley Charles F. Wald Lance W. Lord Donald G. Cook (general) Robert H. Foglesong William J. Begert Charles R. Holland Hal M. Hornburg John W. Handy Gregory S. Martin Lester L. Lyles Patrick K. Gamble Charles T. Robertson, Jr. John P. Jumper John A. Gordon Richard B. Myers Ralph E. Eberhart George T. Babbitt, Jr. Lloyd W. Newton Howell M. Estes III Walter Kross Michael E. Ryan Eugene E. Habiger Richard E. Hawley Joseph W. Ralston

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dates of rank are taken, where available, from the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force registers of active and retired commissioned officers, or from the World Almanac and Book of Facts. The date listed is that of the officer's first promotion to general.
  2. ^ Positions listed are those held by the officer when promoted to general. Dates listed are for the officer's full tenure, which may predate promotion to four-star rank or postdate retirement from active duty.
  3. ^ a b The number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Date of rank" column from the last year in the "Position" column. Time spent between active-duty four-star assignments is not counted, nor is time spent on special duty as an unassigned general of the Army or general of the Air Force.
  4. ^ Sources of commission are listed in parentheses after the year of commission and include: the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA); the United States Military Academy (USMA); the United States Naval Academy (USNA); Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university; Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) at a civilian university; ROTC or AFROTC at a senior military college such as Texas A&M University (Texas A&M), the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), or Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI); Air Force Officer Training School (OTS); Officer Candidate School (OCS); the aviation cadet program (cadet); the Army National Guard (ARNG); the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF); and direct commission (direct).
  5. ^ a b The number of years in commission before being promoted to four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Commission" column from the year in the "Date of rank" column.
  6. ^ Notes include years of birth and death; awards of the Medal of Honor, Congressional Gold Medal, Presidential Medal of Freedom, or honors of similar significance; major government appointments; university presidencies or equivalents; familial relationships with other four-star officers or significant government officials such as U.S. Presidents, cabinet secretaries, U.S. Senators, or state governors; and unusual career events such as premature relief or death in office.
  7. ^ Nomination as chairman, Civil Aeronautics Board withdrawn, 1948.
  8. ^ Retired as general, 31 July 1961; recalled as general, Sep 1961; retired as general, 30 Apr 1965.
  9. ^ Relieved, Apr 1972, and retired as major general.
  10. ^ Appointed Commander, Military Airlift Command (COMAC), effective 12 September 1972; died in air crash, 9 Sep 1972; posthumously promoted to general with date of rank 16 Aug 1972.
  11. ^ Transferred from Royal Canadian Air Force, 1943.
  12. ^ Transferred from Army National Guard, 1952.
  13. ^ Transferred from Signal Corps Reserve, 1920; resigned, 1930; recalled 1940; reverted to inactive reserve, 1946; retired as lieutenant general, Feb 1959; advanced to general on the retired list, 4 April 1985.
  14. ^ Retired as major general, Aug 1947; advanced to lieutenant general on the retired list, 29 June 1948; advanced to general on the retired list, 26 Apr 1985.
  15. ^ Nomination as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) withdrawn, 1995.
  16. ^ Retired as lieutenant general, Feb 1970; advanced to general on the retired list, 9 December 1998.
  17. ^ Nomination as Commander, U.S. Pacific Command (CDRUSPACOM) withdrawn, 2004.
  18. ^ Retired as general, 1 July 2008; remained Director, Central Intelligence Agency (DCIA) as civilian.
  19. ^ First nomination as Commander, U.S. Transportation Command (CDRUSTRANSCOM) withdrawn, 2008.
  20. ^ 10 USC 601, Positions of importance and responsibility: generals and lieutenant generals; admirals and vice admirals 
  21. ^ 10 USC 525, Distribution of commissioned officers on active duty in general officer and flag officer grades 

References[edit]

  • United States Air Force (1951–1970, 1972, 1974, 1979), Air Force Register, Washington D.C.: Department of the Air Force  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • World Almanac and Book of Facts (New York: World Almanac Education Group, Inc.), 1946–1947, 1977, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2004, 2006  Check date values in: |date= (help)


See also[edit]