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First Name: John

Last Name: Corley


Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Donald Wesley

Date of Birth: 1951

Rank: General

Years Served: 1973-2009
John Donald Wesley Corley

Graduate, U.S. Air Force Academy, Class of 1973


John Donald Wesley Corley

General, U.S. Air Force

John Donald Wesley Corley was born in 1951.

Corley entered the Air Force after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1973. He earned his wings at Reese AFB, TX, in 1974. He has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels. His staff positions comprise a mix of operational and joint duties in Tactical Air Command, Headquarters U.S. Air Force and the Joint Staff.

As Combined Air Operations Center Director during Operation Enduring Freedom, the General orchestrated more than 11,000 combat missions striking more than 4,700 targets, including 250 attacks against the Al Qaida and Taliban leadership. He directed the safe recovery of isolated personnel during the largest combat search and rescue mission in 50 years.

On 1 November 2005, Corley was promoted to the rank of four-star General and named as the 32nd Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force (VCSAF). In 2007, he was assigned as Commander, Air Combat Command (COMACC).

General Corley retired from the Air Force on 1 November 2009. During his service, he became a Command Pilot with over 3,100 flight hours in A/OA-10, F-5E/F, F-15A/B/C/D, T-38 and EC-130E/H aircraft.


1973 Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

1978 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence

1984 Master's degree in Business Administration, University of the Philippines, Manila

1985 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

1986 College of Naval Command and Staff, Newport, RI

1986 Master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval War College, Newport, RI

1993 U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

1999 Russian and U.S. General Officer Executive Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

2002 Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


October 1973 - November 1974, student, undergraduate pilot training, Reese AFB, TX

December 1974 - December 1978, T-38 Instructor Pilot and flight examiner, 64th Flying Training Wing, Reese AFB, TX

January 1979 - July 1982, F-15 Instructor Pilot and flight examiner, 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, NM

August 1982 - July 1985, F-5 Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, C Flight, 26th Aggressor Squadron, Clark AB, Philippines

August 1985 - August 1986, student, College of Naval Command and Staff, Newport, RI

September 1986 - May 1988, Chief Analyst, Advanced Tactical Fighter, Air Force Center for Studies and Analysis, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC

June 1988 - March 1990, Chief Analyst, Commander's Action Group, Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, VA

April 1990 - April 1991, Operations Officer, 7th Fighter Squadron, Holloman AFB, NM

May 1991 - July 1992, Commander, 8th Fighter Squadron, Holloman AFB, NM

August 1992 - July 1993, student, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

August 1993 - July 1995, Deputy Commander, later, Commander, 33rd Operations Group, Eglin AFB, FL

August 1995 - June 1997, Chief, Western Hemisphere Division, Directorate of Strategic Plans and Policy, J-5, the Joint Staff, Washington.

June 1997 - May 1999, Commander, 355th Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

June 1999 - September 2000, Director of Studies and Analysis, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany

September 2000 - March 2003, Director of Global Power Programs, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington.

March 2003 - August 2005, Principal Deputy, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, and Military Director, U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington.

September 2005 - September 2007, Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington.

October 2007-September 2009, Commander, Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, VA, and Air Component Commander for U.S. Joint Forces Command

Promotion Dates

Second Lieutenant - 6 June 1973

First Lieutenant - 6 June 1975

Captain - 6 June 1977

Major - 1 November 1984

Lieutenant Colonel - 1 September 1989

Colonel - 1 February 1994

Brigadier General - 1 August 1999

Major General - 1 April 2002

Lieutenant General - 1 May 2003

General - 1 November 2005

Medals and Awards

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star Medal

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster

Combat Readiness Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze service star

Kosovo Campaign Medal with bronze star

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Overseas Service Ribbon

Air Force Longevity Service Award

USAF Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

Air Force Training Ribbon

Inter-American Defense Board Medal

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)


Command Pilot Badge
Parachutist Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

Honoree ID: 698   Created by: MHOH




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