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First Name: Jack

Last Name: Gregory

Birthplace: Somerset, KY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Irvin

Date of Birth: 02 July 1931

Rank: General

Years Served:
Jack Irvin Gregory


Jack Irvin Gregory

General, U.S. Air Force

Jack Irvin Gregory was born on 2 July 1931 in Somerset, KY, where he graduated from Somerset High School in 1949.

In 1952, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kentucky. After college, he convinced his high school sweetheart to marry him; something which he later said was his proudest achievement.

Military Career

He began his military career in June 1953 with a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Gregory entered primary pilot training at Columbus AFB, MS, and received his wings in July 1954 at Greenville AFB, MS. His first operational assignment began in December 1954, when he was assigned to the Far East Air Forces, flying F-86 Sabres at Suwon Air Base, South Korea, and Misawa Air Base, Japan. After returning to the U.S. in December 1957, he instructed in F-86s at Perrin AFB, TX, until August 1963.

After graduation from Air Command and Staff College and a receiving a Master's degree in Public Administration from George Washington University in 1964, he was assigned to the 337th Fighter Group, Portland International Airport, OR, flying F-102 Delta Daggers. The following year, Gregory was stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, flying F-4C Phantom IIs with the 4454th Combat Crew Training Squadron.

In May 1966, he was assigned to the 53rd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Bitburg Air Base, West Germany, as an F-4D Phantom II Flight Commander. In August 1968, he became Operations Officer of the 23rd Tactical Fighter Squadron at Bitburg and remained in that position when the Squadron moved to Spangdahlem Air Base, West Germany.

In September 1969, Gregory transferred to the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, where he served first as Operations Officer, and then became Commander of the F-4D Phantom II combat unit. During this tour of duty, he completed more than 250 combat missions.

From November 1970 to August 1973, he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington, DC, working International Political Military Affairs for Southeast Asia, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations. After graduation from the Air War College in June 1974, Gregory was assigned as Deputy Commander for Operations of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Homestead AFB, FL, flying F-4E Phantom IIs.

In July 1975, he became Vice Commander of the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing at Moody AFB, GA, and was named Wing Commander in August 1976. During this period, Gregory led the conversion of that Air Training Command base to a Tactical Air Command asset. Three new F-4E Phantom II tactical fighter squadrons were activated and brought to combat-ready status.

In October 1978, he was assigned to Command what is now the 831st Air Division at George AFB, CA, where he was responsible for the Wild Weasel air suppression defense flying F-4C Phantom IIs, F-4Es, F-105G Thunderchiefs and F-4Gs. He became Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at Tactical Air Command Headquarters, Langley AFB, VA, in March 1980 and also served as Director of Operations for the Air Force Forces of the Rapid Deployment Force.

In June 1981, Gregory transferred to Nellis AFB, NV, as Commander of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Fighter Weapons Center. While there, he converted the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds, to the F-16A/B Fighting Falcons. He also was responsible for the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, the Aggressors, Red Flag exercises, fighter testing and tactics development programs, and the operations of A-10 Warthogs, F-15 Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-4 Phantom IIs, F-111 Aardvarks, F-5 Freedom Fighters, A-7 Corsair IIs and T-38 Talons.

Gregory became Commander of the 12th Air Force at Bergstrom AFB, TX, in June 1983. In that position he was responsible for 13 tactical wings made up of 50,000 personnel and 1,100 aircraft, including F-4E/G Phantom IIs, F-15A/B Eagles, F-16A/B/C/D Fighting Falcons, F-5B/D/E Freedom Fighters, RF-4C Phantom IIs, A-10 Warthogs, F-111A/D Aardvarks, EF-111 Ravens, T-38 Talons, OA-37 Dragonflys and OV-10 Broncos. He also held advisory, evaluation and inspection responsibilities for Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Tactical Air Command-gained units, which included an additional 25,000 personnel and 550 aircraft.

In June 1985, he was assigned as the Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces Korea, with headquarters in Seoul. He concurrently held the position of Deputy Commander, United Nations Command; Chief of Staff of the Republic of Korea and U.S. Combined Forces Command; Commander of the Republic of Korea and U.S. Air Component Command; and Senior U.S. Representative to the Committee for the Status of Forces Agreement.

In a September 1986 realignment, Lieutenant General Gregory assumed Command of the newly-activated 7th Air Force at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, while also serving as Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces Korea; Deputy Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command; Commander of Air Component Command; and Commander of U.S. Air Forces Korea. He assumed his final command as the Commander of the Pacific Air Forces in December 1986 and was promoted to the rank of four-star General on 1 January 1987.

General Gregory retired from the Air Force on 1 August 1988. During his service, he became a Command Pilot with over 7,000 flying hours.

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal

Distinguished Service Medal

Legion of Merit (2 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross (3 Awards)

Bronze Star Medal

Meritorious Service Medal (2 Awards)

Air Medal (14 Awards)

Air Force Commendation Medal (2 Awards)


Command Pilot Badge


General Gregory received the Order of the Sword on 21 June 1988. The Order of the Sword is an honor awarded within the U.S. Air Force. It is defined in the Airman's Guide as a "special program where noncommisioned officers of a command recognize individuals they hold in high esteem and wish to honor. Those selected for induction are usually honored during a formal ceremony at a dining-in."


General Gregory's son is the Chief of Staff, Air Force Flight Test Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Edwards Air Force Base, CA.

Honoree ID: 727   Created by: MHOH




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