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First Name: John

Last Name: Gordon

Birthplace: Jefferson City, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Alexander

Date of Birth: 22 August 1946

Rank: General

Years Served: 1968-2000
John Alexander Gordon


John Alexander Gordon

General, U.S. Air Force

John Alexander Gordon was born on 22 August 1946 in Jefferson City, MO.

Gordon entered the Air Force through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Missouri in 1968.

His early assignments were in research, development and acquisition where he was involved in improving the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and in developing and acquiring the Peacekeeper ICBM. He was a long-range planner at Strategic Air Command and served with the U.S. State Department in the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs. Later, he commanded the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, the only Peacekeeper ICBM unit.

He has served with the National Security Council in the areas of defense and arms control, including the oversight and completion of the START II negotiations. He then became a senior member of the Secretary of Defense's staff and later, the Director of Operations, Air Force Space Command, responsible for overseeing and developing policy and guidance for the command's operational missions. He also has served as Special Assistant to the Air Force Chief of Staff for long-range planning, where he was responsible for restarting and integrating a long-range planning process into the Air Force.

On 31 October 1997, Gordon was promoted to the rank of four-star General and assigned as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI). Prior to his assignment to the Deputy Director position, he was Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support, CIA.

General Gordon retired from the Air Force on 1 August 2000.


1968 Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, with honors, University of Missouri

1970 Master of Science degree in Physics, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

1972 Master of Arts degree in Business Administration, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas

1975 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence

1978 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

1986 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL


July 1968 - June 1970, graduate student, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, and Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.

June 1970 - June 1974, physicist, Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM.

June 1974 - April 1976, research associate, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM.

April 1976 - February 1979, long-range planner, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, NE.

February 1979 - August 1980, Staff Officer, Research and Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC.

August 1980 - May 1982, Executive Assistant to the Undersecretary of the Air Force, Washington.

May 1982 - January 1983, deputy director, Office of Policy Analysis, Department of State, Washington.

January 1983 - July 1985, Office Director for Strategic Nuclear Policy, and Director for Defense and Arms Control Matters, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, Department of State, Washington.

July 1985 - July 1986, student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL.

July 1986 - June 1987, Assistant Deputy Commander for Maintenance, 44th Strategic Missile Wing, Ellsworth AFB, SD.

June 1987 - May 1989, Vice Commander, then Commander, 90th Strategic Missile Wing, Francis E. Warren AFB, WY.

May 1989 - January 1993, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council, Washington.

January 1993 - June 1994, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense and Chief of Staff for Policy, Department of Defense, Washington.

June 1994 - September 1995, Director of Operations, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO.

September 1995 - September 1996, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff for long-range planning, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington.

September 1996 - October 1997, Associate Director of Central Intelligence for military support, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington.

October 1997 - 2000, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal (2 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal


Weapons Director Badge
Master Missile Operations Badge


On 16 September 2004, Gordon was inducted into the Naval Postgraduate School Hall of Fame.

Promotion Dates

Second Lieutenant - 4 June 1968

First Lieutenant - 4 December 1969

Captain - 4 June 1971

Major - 1 September 1979

Lieutenant Colonel - 1 November 1981

Colonel - 1 December 1985

Brigadier General - 1 June 1992

Major General - 25 May 1995

Lieutenant General - 20 September 1996

General - 31 October 1997

In Retirement

Following his Air Force retirement, Gordon was chosen as the first administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and also Under Secretary of Energy, responsible for the U.S. nuclear weapons program, a position he filled from June 2000 to June 2002.

He next served as the Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, then assumed duties as Homeland Security Advisor from June 2003 to June 2004.

In October 2005, John A. Gordon was appointed to the VirtualAgility, Inc. Board of Advisors. Gordon joined the board of EDO Corporation in early 2007, and also serves on the Board of Trustees of Analytic Services, Inc.

Honoree ID: 726   Created by: MHOH




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