Paul V. Hester

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This article is about the US Air Force General. For the Australian musician, see Paul Hester.
Paul V. Hester
Hester pv.jpg
General Paul V. Hester
Born (1947-10-21) October 21, 1947 (age 69)
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1970-2007
Rank General
Commands held Pacific Air Forces
Battles/wars Vietnam War

General Paul V. Hester (born October 21, 1947) was the Commander, Pacific Air Forces, and Air Component Commander for the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii from July 2004 to November 2007. He had responsibility for Air Force activities spread over half the globe in a command that supports 55,500 Air Force people serving principally in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Japan and South Korea.

General Hester was commissioned through the ROTC program at the University of Mississippi. He earned his wings in December 1971 at Columbus AFB, Mississippi. A command pilot and combat veteran, the general has more than 200 combat hours in Southeast Asia and has accumulated more than 2,900 flight hours during his career. Additionally, he has served as an instructor in the A-7, F-4 and F-15 in operational and training units. General Hester has commanded the 94th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker's famed "Hat in the Ring Gang", 18th Operations Group, 35th Fighter Wing, 53rd Wing and U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force at Yokota Air Base. Prior to assuming his current position, the general was Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

General Hester's staff tours include duty in the Directorate of Plans, as a member of the Commander's Action Group at Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Chief of the Air Force's Legislative Liaison Office at the U.S. House of Representatives, Division Chief in J-5 of the Joint Staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Director of Air Force Legislative Liaison for the Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Most recently he was the Air Component Commander and force provider to Joint Task Force-536 during Operation Unified Assistance in support of the South Asia tsunami relief effort.



  1. January 1971 - December 1971, student, pilot training, Columbus AFB, Mississippi
  2. January 1972 - December 1972, A-7D pilot, 333rd Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
  3. January 1973 - July 1973, A-7D aircraft commander, 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand
  4. August 1973 - August 1974, A-7D aircraft commander, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
  5. September 1974 - December 1976, aide-de-camp and F-4 instructor, later, F-15 instructor, 311th, 555th and 461st Tactical Fighter Training Squadrons, Luke AFB, Arizona
  6. January 1977 - June 1979, F-15 instructor and flight examiner, 525th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bitburg AB, West Germany
  7. July 1979 - July 1980, student, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
  8. August 1980 - August 1983, action officer, Forces Division, Directorate of Plans, later, member, Commander's Action Group, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, Virginia
  9. September 1983 - November 1986, F-15 instructor and assistant operations officer, 27th Tactical Fighter Squadron, later, operations officer and Commander, 94th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB, Virginia
  10. December 1986 - July 1989, Chief, Legislative Liaison Office, U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for Legislative Liaison, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
  11. August 1989 - June 1990, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
  12. July 1990 - July 1992, Vice Commander, 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, later, Commander, 18th Operations Group, Kadena AB, Japan
  13. August 1992 - June 1993, Senior Defense Fellow, Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  14. July 1993 - July 1994, Chief, Weapons Technology Control Division, J-5, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
  15. August 1994 - November 1995, Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Vienna, Austria
  16. November 1995 - February 1997, Commander, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa AB, Japan
  17. February 1997 - December 1997, Commander, 53rd Wing, Eglin AFB, Florida
  18. December 1997 - August 1999, Director, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  19. September 1999 - November 2001, Commander, U.S. Forces Japan, and Commander, 5th Air Force, Yokota AB, Japan
  20. January 2002 - July 2004, Commander, AFSOC, Hurlburt Field, Florida
  21. July 2004 - November 2007, Commander, Pacific Air Forces, and Air Component Commander for the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, Hickam AFB, Hawaii

Flight information[edit]

Awards and decorations[edit]

COMMAND PILOT WINGS.png US Air Force Command Pilot Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Defense Superior Service Medal
Width-44 crimson ribbon with a pair of width-2 white stripes on the edgesBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Width-44 crimson ribbon with two width-8 white stripes at distance 4 from the edges.Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Meritorious Service Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal
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 stripesBronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png National Defense Service Medal with two bronze service stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with one service star
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters
Silver oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg Air Force Longevity Service Award with silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
JPN Zuiho-sho 1Class BAR.svg Japanese Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal Ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal

Other Achievements[edit]

Effective dates of promotion[edit]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "[1]".