|Terry Lee Gabreski|
Lieutenant General Terry L. Gabreski
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1974 – 2010|
|Commands held||Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center|
|Battles/wars||Operation Allied Force|
Terry Lee (Walter) Gabreski was the second woman to hold the rank of Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force (USAF). She was the Vice Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, which conducts research, development, test and evaluation, and provides acquisition management and logistics support necessary to keep Air Force weapon systems ready for war. She is the daughter of retired Air Force Brigadier General Alonzo Walter and the daughter-in-law of World War II and Korean War fighter ace Colonel Gabby Gabreski. She was the U.S. Air Force's highest-ranking active duty woman until retiring on 1 January 2010, succeeded by Lt. Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger.
Education and personal
Gabreski was born Terry Lee Walter in 1952, the daughter of United States Air Force Brigadier General Alonzo J. Walter, Jr., then a test pilot, and Doris Walter, who had also been a commissioned officer. After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in history at Louisiana State University, where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta, Gabreski joined the USAF, attended Air Force Officer Training School, and was commissioned a second lieutenant on 10 September 1974. She later received a Master of Public Administration degree from Golden Gate University in 1978. Gabreski also attended the Executive Program for Senior Officials in National Security which was conducted in 1994 by the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass and the General Manager Program, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass in 2002.
In 1983 she was selected as the USAF Aircraft Maintenance Company Grade Officer of the Year and was awarded the Eugene M. Zuckert Management Award in 1999 as recognition for her top-level Air Force management skills.
In 1989 she married USAF Lt. Col. Donald Francis Gabreski, son of World war II and Korean War ace, Col. Francis S. Gabreski, and they had two sons, born in 1992 and 1995 after she had attained the rank of colonel. On her retirement Gabreski noted that she applied three times for pilot training but had been turned down each time because being only five feet tall, she could not meet minimum height requirements for the T-38 Talon trainer.
Prior to her final assignment, General Gabreski also served as commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base (December 2003 - August 2005), which was the first Air Force installation to implement National Security Personnel System (NSPS), as Director of Logistics, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio (August 2001 - December 2003) and as Director of Maintenance for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics at Headquarters U.S. Air Force (January 2000 - August 2001).
Other than these assignments she directed two aircraft maintenance units, served as a squadron maintenance supervisor in three units, commanded three maintenance squadrons and a logistics group and served at the Air Staff, Secretary of the Air Force and Joint Staff levels.
Gen. Gabreski also served as one of the original female Air Training Officers charged with mentoring the first female cadets of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Then-Lt. Gabreski served in this role from January 1976 to September 1977 for the Class of 1980 female cadets.
Operational activities and achievements
During Operation Allied Force in the 1999 air war against Yugoslavia, General Gabreski directed logistics efforts as the A-4 for the air war across the entire theater. Prior to her position as Vice Commander of AFMC, she was Commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, Okla. She holds a master aircraft maintenance badge and a basic parachute rating.
Awards and Decorations
|Master Maintenance Badge|
|Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge|
|Headquarters Air Force Badge|
|Air Force Distinguished Service Medal|
|Defense Superior Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Meritorious Service Medal with silver and two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Joint Service Commendation Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Air Force Commendation Medal|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Air Force Recognition Ribbon with bronze oak leaf cluster|
|National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|Korea Defense Service Medal|
|Humanitarian Service Medal|
|Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon|
|Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon|
|Air Force Longevity Service Award with silver and bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with bronze service star|
|Air Force Training Ribbon|
Effective dates of promotion
|Lieutenant General||August 1, 2005|
|Major General||December 1, 2002|
|Brigadier General||March 1, 1999|
|Colonel||December 1, 1992|
|Lieutenant Colonel||July 1, 1988|
|Major||August 1, 1984|
|Captain||September 10, 1978|
|First Lieutenant||September 10, 1976|
|Second Lieutenant||September 10, 1974|
- "Columbus Ohio to celebrate Air Force Heritage Week". United States Air Force. Air Force Link. Retrieved 15 May 2007.. Her spouse is Col. Donald F. Gabreski.
- "Critical mission: assessing spiral 1.1 of the national security personnel system". Department of the Air Force (United States Senate). 2006-09-20. Archived from the original on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
- Langlois, Kelli. "Grad makes history following father's military footsteps". Louisiana State University. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
- "Biography: Lieutenant General Terry Walter Gabreski". United States Air Force (Air Force Link). May 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
- "Member Details: Terry Walter Gabreski". Delta Delta Delta Fraternity. 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
- "ASC award winners Eugene M. Zuckert Management Award". 2002-01-11. Retrieved 2007-06-24.
- Rolfsen, Bruce (November 20, 2009). "Trailblazer comes to end of 35-year career". Military Times. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- USAF Biography: Lieutenant General Terry L. Gabreski
- Columbus, Ohio, to celebrate 'Air Force Heritage Week' National Guard Bureau
- AFMC vice addresses Aerospace Summit crowd Official newspaper of Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center
- Air Force Materiel Command Website