Chuck Horner

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Charles A. Horner
Chuck Horner (color).jpg
General Charles A. Horner
Born (1936-10-19) October 19, 1936 (age 83)
Davenport, Iowa, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service1958–1994
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands heldSpace Command
United States Air Forces Central Command
9th Air Force
Battles/warsVietnam War
Gulf War
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal (3)
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Air Medal (11)
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal (4)
Other workauthor
LT. GEN. Charles A. Horner 1991

Charles Albert "Chuck" Horner (born October 19, 1936) is a retired USAF Four-Star General. He was born in Davenport, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa, as part of the Air Force ROTC program. On June 13, 1958, Horner was commissioned into the Air Force Reserve. During the Vietnam War, he flew in combat as a Wild Weasel pilot and received the Silver Star. During Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, he commanded the American aerial forces, as well as those of the American allies. During the Desert Shield phase of the conflict, Horner briefly served as Commander-in-Chief — Forward of U.S. Central Command; while General Schwarzkopf was still in the United States. He currently serves on the board of directors for the US Institute of Peace.

Military biography[edit]

General Charles A. Horner was Commander in Chief of North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Space Command; and Commander of Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado from 1992 - 1994. He was responsible for the aerospace defense of the United States and Canada, and the exploitation and control of space for national purposes through a network of satellites and ground stations around the world.[1]

General Horner, an Iowa native, entered the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He was commissioned in the Air Force Reserve on June 13, 1958, just before his graduation from the University of Iowa and was awarded pilot wings in November 1959 and was resworn with a regular Air Force commission in 1962.[2] He has commanded a tactical training wing, a fighter wing, two air divisions and a numbered Air Force. While Commander of 9th Air Force, he also commanded U.S. Central Command Air Forces, in command of all U.S. and allied air assets during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.[1]

General Horner is a command pilot with more than 5,300 flying hours in a variety of fighter aircraft. During the Vietnam War he flew 41 combat missions over North Vietnam in the F-105 during a tour. He later flew more than 70 combat missions as an F-105 Wild Weasel pilot, deliberately drawing anti-aircraft fire to identify and destroy North Vietnamese defenses.[1]

Other work[edit]

He co-wrote Every Man a Tiger with Tom Clancy. In 2004, Horner served on a Pentagon team that looked into detainee abuse.

The U.S. Air Force awards a General Charles A. Horner "Tiger Award" to one officer and one enlisted individual assigned to the Fourteenth Air Force annually (.pdf). He currently resides in Lake Lorraine, Florida.

Gen. Horner is on the Honorary Capital Campaign Committee for the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association. They are committed to build The National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial at 23rd Streets and Constitution Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C. by 2021. This will be the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm.



Flight information[edit]

Awards and decorations[edit]

COMMAND PILOT WINGS.png U.S. Air Force Command Pilot Badge
USAF - Occupational Badge - Space and Missile.svg Basic Space and Missile Operations Badge
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver Star with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with ten oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal ribbon.svg Aerial Achievement Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal
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 one bronze service star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with two service stars
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with service star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with three service stars
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon
Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Longevity Service Award with one silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
The Khalifiyyeh Order of Bahrain, 1st class.png Khalifiyyeh Order of Bahrain, Grand Cross
King Faisal Award, 2d Class Ribbon.png King Faisal Order, Officer
Grand Cross Military Merit Order UAE.png United Arab Emirates Military Merit Order, Grand Cross
Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg Legion of Honour, Officer (France)
MSC ribbon-military.png Meritorious Service Cross, Military Division (Canada)
Bronze star
Medal of Merit (Nicaragua) with bronze star
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon, with 60- clasp.svg Vietnam Campaign Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) ribbon.svg Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) ribbon.svg Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Other achievements[edit]

  • 1991 U.S. News Trophy
  • 1991 History of Aviation Award
  • 1991 Maxwell A. Kriendler Memorial Award
  • 1991 Aviation Achievement Award
  • 1991 Air Force Order of the Sword
  • 1991 Aviation Week and Space Technology's Aerospace Laureate
  • 1992 National Veteran's Award

Promotion dates[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Biographies : General Charles A. Horner, United States Air Force, archived from the original on 2009-07-10.
  2. ^ Clancy & Horner 1999, p. 38