Norton A. Schwartz
|Norton Allan Schwartz|
Schwartz circa 2008
December 14, 1951|
Toms River, New Jersey
|Service/||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1973–2012|
Chief of Staff of the Air Force|
U.S. Transportation Command
Eleventh Air Force
U.S. Special Operations Command-Pacific
16th Special Operations Wing
36th Airlift Squadron
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (4)|
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (3)
Norton Allan Schwartz (born December 14, 1951) is a retired United States Air Force general who served as the 19th Chief of Staff of the Air Force from August 12, 2008 until his retirement in 2012. As Chief of Staff, he served as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of nearly 700,000 active-duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Schwartz functioned as a military adviser to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President. He previously served as Commander, United States Transportation Command from September 2005 to August 2008.
Schwartz grew up in Toms River, New Jersey, the son of a typewriter salesman. The first Jewish Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Schwartz was a member of the U.S. Air Force Academy Jewish choir before his 1973 graduation. In 2004, Schwartz was awarded the Jewish Community Center's Military Leadership Award. In accepting the award, Schwartz said he was "proud to be identified as Jewish as well as an American military leader."
Schwartz graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1973. He is an alumnus of the National War College, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a 1994 Fellow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Seminar XXI. He has served as Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command Pacific, as well as Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region and the 11th Air Force.
Schwartz is a USAF Command Pilot with more than 4,400 flying hours in a variety of aircraft. He has flown C-130 Hercules and MC-130 Combat Talon I and Combat Talon II aircraft and MH-53 Pave Low III and Pave Low IV, and MH-60 Black Hawk and Pave Hawk special ops helicopters. His operational background goes back to the final days of the Vietnam War; at the time, he was a crew member taking part in the 1975 airlift evacuation of Saigon. By 1991 he was chief of staff of the Joint Special Operations Task Force for Northern Iraq during the first Gulf War. He participated as a crew member in the 1975 airlift evacuation of Saigon, and in 1991 served as Chief of Staff of the Joint Special Operations Task Force for Northern Iraq in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In 1997, he led the Joint Task Force that prepared for the noncombatant evacuation of U.S. citizens in Cambodia.
Schwartz is the first Air Force Chief of Staff with a background as an Air Force transport and special operations airplane and helicopter pilot and not with a background as a fighter or bomber pilot. It is speculated that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates picked him for that reason.
- 1973 Bachelor of Science degree in political science and international affairs, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
- 1977 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
- 1983 Master of Business Administration degree, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
- 1984 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia
- 1989 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- 1994 Fellow, Seminar XXI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- August 1973 – September 1974, student, undergraduate pilot training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
- October 1974 – January 1975, student, C-130 initial qualification training, Little Rock AFB, Arkansas
- February 1975 – October 1977, C-130E aircraft commander, 776th and 21st Tactical Airlift Squadrons, Clark Air Base, Philippines
- October 1977 – December 1977, student, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
- December 1977 – October 1979, C-130E/H flight examiner, 61st Tactical Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Arkansas
- October 1979 – November 1980, intern, Air Staff Training Program, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Operations and Readiness, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- November 1980 – July 1983, MC-130E flight examiner, 8th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida
- July 1983 – January 1984, student, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia
- January 1984 – April 1986, action officer, Directorate of Plans, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- May 1986 – June 1988, Commander, 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron, McChord AFB, Washington
- August 1988 – June 1989, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- July 1989 – July 1991, Director of Plans and Policy, Special Operations Command Europe, Patch Barracks, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany
- August 1991 – May 1993, Deputy Commander for Operations and Commander, 1st Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Florida
- May 1993 – May 1995, Deputy Director of Operations, later, Deputy Director of Forces, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- June 1995 – May 1997, Commander, 16th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida
- June 1997 – October 1998, Commander, Special Operations Command, Pacific, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii
- October 1998 – January 2000, Director of Strategic Planning, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- January 2000 – September 2000, Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Florida
- September 2000 – October 2002, Commander, Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region and 11th Air Force, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.
- October 2002 – October 2004, Director for Operations, the Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
- October 2004 – August 2005, Director, the Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D. C.
- September 2005 – September 2008, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Illinois
- August 2008 – August 2012, Chief of Staff, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- Rating: command pilot.
- Flight hours: more than 4,400.
- Aircraft flown: C-130E/H, MC-130E/H/P, HC-130, AC-130H/U, YMC-130, MH-53 and MH-60.
Awards and decorations
|Air Force Command Pilot Badge|
|Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge|
|Headquarters Air Force Badge|
Effective dates of promotion
|General||October 1, 2005|
|Lieutenant General||January 18, 2000|
|Major General||March 4, 1999|
|Brigadier General||January 1, 1996|
|Colonel||February 1, 1991|
|Lieutenant Colonel||March 1, 1985|
|Major||November 1, 1982|
|Captain||June 6, 1977|
|First Lieutenant||June 6, 1975|
|Second Lieutenant||June 6, 1973|
- "Parallels H-Sphere Account has been suspended". www.u2sr71patches.co.uk.
- Levin, Carl (December 7, 2017). "Nominations Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Second Session, 110th Congress: Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services, U. S. Senate". DIANE Publishing – via Google Books.
- "Gen. Norton Schwartz biography". USA Today. Associated Press. June 9, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
- "General Norton A. Schwartz". Air Force Link. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
- National Journal, Decision Makers. Archived September 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "New Chief Aims To Restore Air Force's Reputation". NPR. August 26, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- "Jewish General To Pilot Evangelical-Friendly Air Force". The Jewish Daily Forward. June 12, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
- "Schwartz a Chief to Mend Fences", Defense Tech, June 13, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- Schwartz, Norton A., Suzie Schwartz, and Ronald Levinson. Journey: Memoirs of an Air Force Chief of Staff. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2018. ISBN 1510710337
- Losey, Stephen (May 11, 2018). "Former Air Force chief of staff talks RPAs, budget cuts and his regrets about shrinking the force".
- Krzyż Komandorski Orderu Zasługi Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej dla dowódcy USAF – prezydent.pl
Timothy J. Keating
| Director of the Joint Staff
Walter L. Sharp
John W. Handy
| Commander, United States Transportation Command
Duncan J. McNabb
| Chief of Staff of the Air Force