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First Name: Michael

Last Name: Carns

Birthplace: Junction City, KS, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Patrick Chamberlain

Date of Birth: 23 June 1937

Rank: General

Years Served: 1961-1994
Michael Patrick Chamberlain Carns

Graduate, U.S. Air Force Academy, Class of 1959

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Michael Patrick Chamberlain Carns

General, U.S. Air Force

Michael Patrick Chamberlain Carns was born on 23 June 1937 in Junction City, KS. After graduating from St. John's College High School, Washington, DC, in 1955, he went to the U.S. Air Force Academy and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1959.

After graduating from the Academy, Carns completed primary pilot training in March 1960 at Graham Air Base in Florida and basic pilot training in September 1960 at Laredo AFB, TX.

Following pilot training, Carns served as a Flight Instructor at Laredo AFB. In 1961, he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, Air Reserve Records Center, Denver, CO, then Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, 4th Air Force Reserve Region, Randolph AFB, TX, followed by duty as Air Operations Officer at the same base.

Carns completed an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1967. After getting his MBA, he was assigned to the 476th Tactical Fighter Squadron, George AFB, flying F-4 Phantom IIs. He transferred to the 40th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Eglin AFB, again flying F-4s in January 1968. From August 1968 to September 1969, he was assigned to the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand, where he flew 200 combat missions in the F-4E.

Carns returned to the U.S. in September 1969 and he was assigned to Air Force Headquarters as a Plans and Programs Officer, and later, as Aide-de-Camp to the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff. This was followed by tours at Madrid-Torrejón Airport in Spain, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Belgium, and RAF Bentwaters in England.

After completing the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1977, Carns was assigned to the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, RAF Bentwaters, as Deputy Commander for Operations.

Carns returned to the U.S. in March 1979 and took Command of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, Myrtle Beach AFB. He moved to Nellis AFB in October 1980 as Commander of the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing. In June 1982, he became Director of Operations, J-3, Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, later re-designated U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB. He became Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB in July 1984, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Intelligence in June 1985. In July 1986, he assumed Command of 13th Air Force, Clark Air Base in the Philippines. In June 1987, he was assigned as Deputy Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Staff, U.S. Pacific Command at Camp H.M. Smith, HI. In September 1989, he became Director of the Joint Staff, Washington, DC.

On 16 May 1991, Carns was promoted to the rank of four-star General and became the Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.

General Carns retired from the Air Force in September 1994.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Distinguished Service Medal

Silver Star Medal

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit (4 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Medal (11 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal

Philippines Outstanding Achievement Medal


Command Pilot Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

In Retirement

After retiring from the Air Force, Carns served as the Managing Director of a small healthcare firm for one year, followed by over four years as Executive Director of a New York-based policy research firm that specialized in Pacific Rim security in the areas of international capital flows and international energy demands.

He is currently the Vice Chairman of PrivaSource, Inc., a small software firm specializing in the security and de-identification of large, sensitive databases, in Weston, MA. Carns is also currently serving on the Board of Directors for VirtualAgility, Inc.

Honoree ID: 542   Created by: MHOH




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