Gilmary M. Hostage III

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gilmary Michael Hostage III
General Gilmary M. Hostage III.jpg
General Gilmary Michael Hostage III
commander, Air Combat Command
Born (1955-04-29) April 29, 1955 (age 64)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of the Air Force.svg United States Air Force
Years of service1977–2014
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands heldU.S. Air Combat Command U.S. Air Forces Central
Battles/warsGulf War
War on Terror
Cold War
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service ribbon.svg Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg Distinguished Flying Cross

Gilmary Michael "Mike" Hostage III, (born April 29, 1955) is a retired United States Air Force four-star general who last served as the commander, Air Combat Command from September 13, 2011 to October 2014. He previously served as commander, United States Air Forces Central, Southwest Asia.[1] He retired from the Air Force after over 37 years of service.

As the commander of Air Combat Command, he is responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense. ACC operates more than 1,000 aircraft, 22 wings, 13 bases, and more than 300 operating locations worldwide with 79,000 active-duty and civilian personnel. When mobilized, the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve contribute more than 700 aircraft and 51,000 people to ACC. As the Combat Air Forces lead agent, ACC develops strategy, doctrine, concepts, tactics, and procedures for air- and space-power employment. The command provides conventional and information warfare forces to all unified commands to ensure air, space and information superiority for warfighters and national decision-makers. ACC can also be called upon to assist national agencies with intelligence, surveillance and crisis response capabilities.

As the Air Component Commander for U.S. Central Command, Hostage was responsible for developing contingency plans and conducting air operations in a 20-nation area of responsibility covering Central and Southwest Asia.

General Hostage entered the air force through Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps from Duke University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, and a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours. He has flown combat missions in multiple aircraft, logging more than 600 combat hours in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.

In May 2012, press reports have indicated Hostage ordered pilots to fly the F-22 Raptor despite problems with its oxygen system.[2] Hostage has said that some of the problems the pilots encountered were simply limits of the human body, but that UAVs were not suitable for the AirSea Battle concept of the Pacific Pivot.[3][4]

Hostage has put forward the concept of a "combat cloud" for how manned and unmanned systems will work together in the USAF of the future.[5]

In 2014 Hostage said that his plans to retire the A-10 fleet would put greater demands on USAF pilots and that their readiness was crucial.[6] He also doubted the usefulness of the planned Combat Rescue Helicopter in a serious conflict against modern air defenses, and that it might be better to just use the V-22.[7]


  • 1973 High School Diploma, Georgetown Preparatory School, North Bethesda, MD
  • 1977 Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
  • 1984 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • 1985 Air Command and Staff College, by seminar
  • 1993 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • 1999 National Security Management Course, Syracuse University, N.Y.
  • 2003 Combined Force Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • 2004 Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • 2007 Combined Force Maritime Component Commander Course, Newport, R.I.


Summary of Joint Assignments[edit]

  • June 1993 - June 1995, political-military planner, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as a colonel
  • July 2001 - August 2002, Commander, 363rd Air Expeditionary Wing, Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia, as a brigadier general
  • June 2006 - March 2008, Director of Requirements and Integration (J8), Headquarters U.S. Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, Va., as a major general

Flight Information[edit]

  • Rating: Command pilot
  • Flight hours: More than 4,000
  • Aircraft flown: T-38, F-15A/B/C/D, F-16A/B/C/D/CJ, E-3B/C AWACS, MC-12W, F-22, and T-6A

Awards and decorations[edit]

COMMAND PILOT WINGS.png Air Force Command Pilot Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit (with four bronze oak leaf clusters)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal (with two bronze oak leaf clusters)
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Medal (with one silver and one bronze oak leaf cluster)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal (with three bronze oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal (with one bronze oak leaf cluster)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (with valor device and three bronze oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (with three bronze oak leaf clusters)
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal (with one bronze service star)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Southwest Asia Service Medal (with one bronze service star)
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon with oak leaf cluster
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)
Air Force Training Ribbon
Noribbon.svg Foreign Operations Missions Medal (United Arab Emirates)[8]
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Effective dates of promotion[edit]



 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Air Force document "General Gilmary M. Hostage III Biography".

  1. ^ Unknown (October 1, 2010). "Biographies: GENERAL GILMARY MICHAEL HOSTAGE III". United States Air Force. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  2. ^ Some Pilots Refuse to Fly as Stealth Jet’s Oxygen Problems Worsen, by David Axe, Danger Room, Wired Magazine, 6 May 2012
  3. ^ "F-22 making case for UAVs?"
  4. ^ "USAF: Current unmanned aircraft irrelevant in the Pacific."
  5. ^ "Why Air Force Needs Lots Of F-35s: Gen. Hostage On The 'Combat Cloud'."
  6. ^ Everstine, Brian (15 September 2014). "ACC, PACAF focused on Pacific pivot". Gannett. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  7. ^ Whittle, Richard (September 17, 2014). "A Freed Hostage: ACC Commander's Parting Shots". Breaking Media, Inc. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  8. ^ Air Combat Command Public Affairs (16 November 2011). "COMACC receives Foreign Operations Missions Medal". United States Air Force. Retrieved 26 September 2017.