Larry O. Spencer
|Larry O. Spencer|
General Larry O. Spencer, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff
|Born||1954 (age 61–62)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1971–2015 (44+ years)|
Larry O. Spencer is a United States Air Force general who served in many command, comptroller, and other leadership roles during the course of his career. He retired 1 October 2015 with more than 44 years of distinguished service to the United States.
Spencer was born in Washington, District of Columbia. He later moved with his family to Seat Pleasant in Prince George's County, Maryland, a suburb just outside Washington. Spencer attended Central High School in Prince George's County, where he participated in academic and varsity sports programs that helped him develop leadership and personal discipline.
General Spencer is married to Ora M. Spencer. Together they have three children; Larry Oneil Spencer II, Derrick Lajuane Spencer, and Shannon Christine Spencer.
In 1971, Spencer walked into a recruiting office in Suitland, Maryland and signed up for the Air Force. His first job as an airman was as an administrative clerk at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina. He was then sent to Taiwan, where he was promoted to airman first class. After his overseas assignment, the Air Force sent Spencer to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, a Strategic Air Command base.
As Spencer’s period of enlistment came to an end, he was offered a football scholarship at Clemson University. However, he decided to re-enlist and focused his attention on getting his bachelor’s degree while he continued to serve in the Air Force. He began taking weekend classes from Southern Illinois University. In 1979, he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering technology. Spencer then applied and was accepted into Officer Training School. He finished the training program as a distinguished graduate and was commissioned a second lieutenant in February 1980.
Air Force officer
As a second lieutenant, Spencer was assigned to the financial management career field. His first officer assignment in 1980 was as a cost analyst for the Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. During that three-year tour Spencer served as the chief of the headquarters cost analysis branch. In 1982, he was transferred to the Pentagon. He served on the Air Staff for four years, first as a cost analyst and then a budget officer.
In August 1986, Spencer was reassigned to Military Airlift Command headquarters at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. He served three years there, first as a budget officer and then as an executive officer. He attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia from July 1989 until January 1990. After graduating from that military education program, he was selected to his first command. Spencer was commander of the 4th Comptroller Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina for three years. During his tenure as commander, the 4th Comptroller Squadron was selected as the best comptroller unit in the Air Force, first in 1991 and then again in 1992. This was the first time a comptroller squadron had received best in the Air Force recognition two years in a row.
In August 1993, Spencer was selected to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair, receiving a Master of Science degree from the college in June 1994. This was followed by an assignment to the White House Military Office, where he was the first Air Force officer to serve as assistant chief of staff. Spencer was then selected for group command. He served as commander of the 72nd Support Group at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma from August 1996 to January 1998. He was promoted to colonel during that assignment. As a result of his successful tour as a group commander, Spencer was selected for a wing command. He took command of the 75th Air Base Wing at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, serving there from February 1998 until July 1999. His next assignment was at Headquarters Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, where he served as the command’s comptroller from September 1999 until June 2003.
Flag rank service
Spencer was transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio in June 2003, where he became director of mission support at Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command. In this role, Spencer was responsible for overseeing installation support for the command. This included civil engineering, communications, force protection, and base morale and welfare services. These functions supported daily operations at 10 installations across the United States. Spencer was promoted to brigadier general in July 2004. In August 2005, he was transferred to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base, where he served as the center’s vice commander for one year.
In August 2006, Spencer returned to the Pentagon to serve as director of budget operations and personnel in the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller. In August 2007, he was promoted to major general. He became the Air Force’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget in October of that year. During his tour as deputy assistant secretary for budget, Spencer received the Eugene M. Zuckert Management Award. The award cited his leadership in developing the President's 2008 budget and his work to secure the 2007 and 2008 supplemental appropriations needed to fund war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. During this period, Spencer also served on the Army and Air Force Exchange Service board of directors and the Air Force Aid Society board of directors.
Spencer was promoted to lieutenant general in April 2010, prior to moving to the Pentagon’s Joint Staff as director of Force Structure, Resources and Assessment (also known as "J8"). In this position, he was responsible for overseeing the developing defense weapon systems, conducting studies and analysis of military force structure and requirements, and evaluating military programs and resourcing strategies for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Spencer also served as chairman of the Joint Capabilities Board and secretary for the Joint Requirements Oversight Council. In 2010, US Black Engineer and Information Technology Magazine honored Spencer with the Black Engineer of the Year Career Achievement in Government Award.
On 11 May 2012, the President nominated Spencer for promotion to General and recommended him for appointment as Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. The United States Senate confirmed his nomination and appointment as Vice Chief on 24 May 2012. He was officially promoted to four-star general 27 July 2012, the same day he assumed the duties of Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. As Vice Chief of Staff, Spencer directs the Air Staff and is the Air Force’s representative on the Joint Requirements Oversight Council and several other joint service boards. He also assists the Chief of Staff of the Air Force with the organizing, training, and equipping of 690,000 active-duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and civilian personnel who make up the United States Air Force. Spencer retired from the Air Force on 1 October 2015.
After retiring from the Air Force in 2015, Spencer became president of the Air Force Association. In that position, he oversees the association's professional staff and manages the organization’s day-to-day operations. He is also the publisher of Air Force Magazine, the association’s professional journal.
In June 2015, the Air Force created a new award to recognize innovation and efficiency within the Service, naming it in honor of Spencer. The General Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award is an outgrowth of two programs Spencer created as Vice Chief of Staff, The Make Every Dollar Count and Airmen Powered by Innovation programs encouraged airmen bring new ideas into Air Force operations, helping to create a culture of innovation throughout the Air Force.
This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/104756/general-larry-o-spencer.aspx". The following four sections are from this Public Domain source.
- 1979 Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering technology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
- 1980 Officer Training School (distinguished graduate), Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
- 1983 Squadron Officer School (distinguished graduate), Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
- 1987 Master of Science in business management, Webster College, St. Louis, Missouri
- 1990 Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, Virginia
- 1994 Master of Science in resource strategy (distinguished graduate), Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- 2005 Logistics Technology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- 2005 Black Sea Region Seminar, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- 2007 Systems Acquisition Management Course, Defense Acquisition University, Fort Belvoir, Virginia
- 2011 Pinnacle, Joint, Coalition and Interagency Studies program, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- February 1980 – July 1982, Chief, Cost Analysis Branch, Headquarters Air Force Reserve, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
- July 1982 – August 1986, cost and budget officer, Headquarters United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
- August 1986 – July 1989, budget officer and executive officer, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
- July 1989 – June 1990, student, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, Virginia
- June 1990 – August 1993, commander, 4th Comptroller Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina
- August 1993 – June 1994, student and research fellow, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- June 1994 – August 1996, assistant chief of staff, White House Military Office, Washington, D.C.
- August 1996 – January 1998, commander, 72nd Support Group, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma
- February 1998 – July 1999, commander, 75th Air Base Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah
- September 1999 – June 2003, command comptroller, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia
- June 2003 – August 2005, director of mission support, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
- August 2005 – August 2006, vice director, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma
- August 2006 – October 2007, director of budget operations and personnel, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
- October 2007 – March 2010, deputy assistant secretary for budget, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
- April 2010 – July 2012, director of force structure, resources and assessments, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
- July 2012 – August 2015, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Headquarters United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Awards and decorations
Some of General Spencer’s most prestigious decorations include:
|Basic Maintenance and Munitions Badge|
|Master Acquisition and Financial Management Badge|
|Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge|
|Headquarters Air Force Badge|
|Presidential Service Badge|
|Defense Distinguished Service Medal|
|Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster|
|Defense Superior Service Medal|
|Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Meritorious Service Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Commendation Medal|
|Air Force Achievement Medal|
|Joint Meritorious Unit Award with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with three bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Good Conduct Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Recognition Ribbon with one bronze oak leaf cluster|
|National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Medal|
|Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon|
|Air Force Longevity Service Award with two silver oak leaf clusters|
|Air Force Training Ribbon with one bronze oak leaf cluster|
Effective dates of promotion
|General||27 July 2012|
|Lieutenant General||3 April 2010|
|Major General||29 August 2007|
|Brigadier General||1 July 2004|
|Colonel||1 January 1998|
|Lieutenant Colonel||1 April 1992|
|Major||1 December 1988|
|Captain||14 February 1984|
|First Lieutenant||14 February 1982|
|Second Lieutenant||14 February 1980|
- General Spencer served as a USAF NCO for around 9 years before being commissioned in 1980.
- "General Larry O. Spencer". Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- "Brigadier General Larry O. Spencer (United States Air Force)", biographies, United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., 1 January 2004.
- "Alumni Spotlight: Gen. Larry O. Spencer", Office of Communication, Prince George's County Public Schools, 24 August 2012.
- Losey, Stephen, "Soon to retire, Vice Chief Gen. Larry Spencer never forgot his roots as one-striper", Air Force Times, Sightline Media Group, Springfield, Virginia, 4 August 2015,
- "Lieutenant General Larry O. Spencer", biographies, United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., May 2012.
- "Budget leader earns service's top management award", Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs, United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., 1 July 2008.
- "Board of Directors", Army and Air Force Exchange Service Annual Report 2008, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Dallas Texas, 1 May 2009, p. 19.
- "Board of Trustees", Air Force Aid Society 2009 Annual Report, Air Force Aid Society, Arlington, Virginia, June 2009.
- "Black Engineer of the Year Career Achievement in Government Award Winner Named to Vice Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, Pentagon", US Black Engineer and Information Technology Magazine, Career Communications Group, Baltimore, Maryland, 26 May 1012.
- "General Officer Announcements", News Release, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), United States Department of Defense, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., 11 May 2012.
- "Nominations Confirmed (Non-Civilian)", Air Force PN1583, United States Senate, Capitol, Washington, D.C., 24 May 2012.
- "Executive Business, PN1583", On The Senate Floor, United States Senate, Capitol, Washington, D.C., 24 May 2012.
- "In the Air Force, To be General, Lt Gen Larry O. Spencer", Confirmations, Congressional Record (Volume 158, Number 76), United States Senate, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 24 May 2012, pp. S3660-S3661.
- "Air Force Association Announces General Larry Spencer, Retiring Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, as New President", PR Newswire, New York, New York, 22 April 2015.
- Gen. Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award unveiled, Air Force News Release, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information, United States Air Force, 30 June 2015.
Gen. Philip M. Breedlove
|Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
27 July 2012 - 17 August 2015
Gen. David L. Goldfein