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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Holland


Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: R.

Date of Birth: 21 January 1946

Rank: General

Years Served:
Charles R. Holland

Graduate, U.S. Air Force Academy, Class of 1968

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Charles R. Holland

General, U.S. Air Force

Charles R. Holland was born on 21 January 1946.

Holland was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in 1968 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Early commands in his career included a squadron and two Air Force wings. He served as Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command, was Commander of the Special Operations Command, Pacific, commanded the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, FL, and was the Vice Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

On 1 December 2000, Holland was promoted to the four-star rank of General and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command (USCINCSOC).

General Holland retired from the Air Force on 1 November 2003. During his service, he became a Command Pilot with over 5,000 flying hours and more than 100 combat missions, including 79 in an AC-130 Gunship in Southeast Asia. The aircraft flown include: C-130, C-37, AC-130, HC-130, MC-130, MH-53, MH-60, H-3, H-1 and T-39.


1968 Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

1974 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL

1975 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

1976 Master of Science degree in Business Management, Troy State University, Ramstein AB, West Germany

1978 Master of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH

1982 National Security Management Course, by correspondence

1986 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC

1990 Program for Senior Officials in National Security, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

1998 National and International Security Management Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


August 1968 - August 1969, student, undergraduate pilot training, Reese AFB, TX.

September 1969 - November 1969, student, initial C-130E pilot qualification training, Sewart AFB, TN.

November 1969 - September 1972, C-130E pilot, 347th and 772nd tactical airlift squadrons, Dyess AFB, TX.

October 1972 - January 1973, student, AC-130E combat crew training, Hurlburt Field, FL.

January 1973 - January 1974, AC-130E/H Aircraft Commander, Instructor Pilot, and Standardization and Evaluation Pilot, 16th Special Operations Squadron, Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand.

February 1974 - January 1976, Air Operations Staff Officer, Directorate of Airlift, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, West Germany.

January 1976 - April 1977, Joint Training Exercise Plans Officer, Military Airlift Center Europe, Ramstein AB, West Germany.

May 1977 - December 1978, astronautical engineering graduate student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.

January 1979 - May 1983, Chief, Space Shuttle Flight Operations Branch, later, Deputy Director for Policy Planning, later, Executive to the Commander, Space Division, Los Angeles Air Force Station, CA.

June 1983 - August 1983, student, C-130E requalification course, Little Rock AFB, AR.

September 1983 - June 1985, Commander, 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron, Clark AB, Philippines.

July 1985 - June 1986, student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC.

June 1986 - June 1987, Deputy Chief, Airlift and Training Division, Directorate of Operational Requirements, Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington.

June 1987 - June 1988, Chief, Airlift and Training Division, Directorate of Strategic, Special Operations Forces and Airlift, Military Deputy for Acquisition, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Washington.

June 1988 - June 1991, Vice Commander, later, Commander, 1550th Combat Crew Training Wing, Kirtland AFB, NM.

June 1991 - June 1993, Commander, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, FL.

June 1993 - June 1995, Deputy Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC.

June 1995 - June 1997, Commander, Special Operations Command, Pacific at Camp H.M. Smith, HI.

July 1997 - August 1999, Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, FL.

August 1999 - October 2000, Vice Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany.

October 2000 - October 2003, Commander, Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, FL.

Medals and Awards

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

Defense Superior Service Medal (3 Awards)

Legion of Merit (2 Awards)

Distinguished Flying Cross

Meritorious Service Medal (3 Awards)

Air Medal (5 Awards)

Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2 Awards)

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device (2 Awards)

Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (3 Awards)

Combat Readiness Medal

National Defense Service Medal with Service Star

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Service Star

Vietnam Service Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal with Service Star

Air Force Overseas Ribbon-Short

Air Force Overseas Ribbon-Long (3 Awards)

Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon (8 Awards)

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

&Air Force Training Ribbon

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait)


Command Pilot Badge
Basic Missileman Badge


General Holland is married to the former Nancy Sammons and has two sons, USAF Major Charles M. Holland and Justin Holland.

Honoree ID: 743   Created by: MHOH




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