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First Name: Richard

Last Name: Myers

Birthplace: Kansas City, MO, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Middle Name: Bowman

Date of Birth: 01 March 1942

Rank: General

Years Served: 1965 - 2005
Richard Bowman Myers

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Richard Bowman Myers

General, U.S. Air Force

Richard Bowman Myers was born on 1 March 1942 in Kansas City, MO. He graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School in 1960. He graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1965 where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

Military Career

Myers was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force by Detachment 270 of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at KSU. He received pilot training in 1965-66 at Vance AFB, OK.

During his career, Myers commanded at all levels and served in significant staff positions throughout the Air Force. His largest commands included U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force at Yokota Air Base, Japan; Pacific Air Forces at Hickam AFB, Hawaii; and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Space Command and Air Force Space Command at Peterson AFB, Colo.

On 1 September 1997, Myers was promoted to the four-star rank of General and assigned as Commander, Pacific Air Forces (COMPACAF). In 1998 he was named Commander-in-Chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command (CINCNORAD); Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Space Command (USCINCSPACE); and Commander, Air Force Space Command (COMAFSPC).

In March 2000 he was named as Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS). He was the Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) during the 11 September 2001, terror attacks because CJCS General Henry H. Shelton was enroute to Europe. However, at the time the Pentagon was attacked, Myers was on Capitol Hill. He did leave Capitol Hill and spent the remainder of the day at the Pentagon. His office was not damaged during the attack.

On 1 October 2001, Myers officially became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS). During his tenure he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council during the earliest stages of the War on Terror. This included planning of the War in Afghanistan and the planning and execution of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

On 27 September 2005, only three days before leaving his post as Chairman, Myers said of the war in Iraq, "the outcome and consequences of defeat are greater than World War II." His rise to Chairman and his actions in office are chronicled in Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's book, State of Denial, as well as his own book "Eyes on The Horizon."

General Myers retired from the Air Force on 30 September 2005. During his service, he became a Command Pilot with over 4,100 flying hours in these aircraft: T-33 Shooting Star, C-37, C-21, F-4 Phantom, F-15 Eagle and F-16 Viper. Myers logged 600 combat hours in the F-4.


1965 Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Kansas State University
1977 Master's degree in Business Administration, Auburn University, AL.
1977 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL.
1981 U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA.
1991 Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.


1. June 1965 - June 1966, student, undergraduate pilot training, Vance AFB, OK.
2. June 1966 - August 1968, F-4D pilot, 417th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany
3. August 1968 - April 1969, F-4 pilot, 417th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, ID.
4. April 1969 - December 1969, F-4 pilot, F-4 Replacement Training Unit, Homestead AFB, FL.
5. December 1969 - November 1970, F-4D pilot, 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand
6. December 1970 - March 1971, F4-C pilot, 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Yokota AB, Japan
7. March 1971 - August 1973, F-4 weapons and tactics officer and flight commander, 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan
8. August 1973 - July 1976, instructor pilot and flight commander, 414th Fighter Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV.
9. July 1976 - June 1977, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL.
10. June 1977 - June 1980, operational test and evaluation staff officer, Directorate of Operations, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington.
11. June 1980 - June 1981, student, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA.
12. June 1981 - October 1981, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC.
13. October 1981 - November 1983, operations officer, later, Commander, 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC.
14. November 1983 - January 1984, Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations, 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC.
15. January 1984 - October 1984, Deputy Director of Personnel Plans and Programs, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, VA.
16. October 1984 - September 1985, Team Chief, Inspector General Team, Headquarters TAC, Langley AFB, VA.
17. September 1985 - September 1986, Commandant, U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB, NV.
18. September 1986 - June 1987, Commander, 325th Tactical Training Wing, Tyndall AFB, FL.
19. June 1987 - February 1989, Commander, 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, VA.
20. February 1989 - June 1989, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Headquarters TAC, Langley AFB, VA.
21. June 1989 - January 1990, Inspector General, Headquarters TAC, Langley AFB, VA.
22. January 1990 - June 1990, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Headquarters TAC, Langley AFB, VA.
23. June 1990 - December 1991, Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements, Headquarters TAC, Langley AFB, VA.
24. December 1991 - November 1993, Director of Fighter, Command and Control, and Weapons Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington.
25. November 1993 - June 1996, Commander, U.S. Forces Japan and Commander, 5th Air Force, Yokota AB, Japan
26. July 1996 - July 1997, Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington.
27. July 1997 - July 1998, Commander, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, HI
28. Aug 1998 - February 2000, Commander in Chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command; Commander, Air Force Space Command; and Department of Defense Manager, Space Transportation System Contingency Support, Peterson AFB, CO.
29. March 2000 - October 2001, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington.
30. October 2001 - September 2005, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington.

Promotion Dates

Second Lieutenant 3 February 1965
First Lieutenant 5 December 1966
Captain 13 June 1968
Major 1 September 1976
Lieutenant Colonel 1 December 1979
Colonel 1 September 1984
Brigadier General 1 April 1990
Major General 1 September 1992
Lieutenant General 12 November 1993
General 1 September 1997

Medals and Awards

Defense Distinguished Service Medal (4 Awards)
Distinguished Service Medal (2 Awards)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross (2 Awards)
Meritorious Service Medal (4 Awards)
Air Medal (19 Awards)
Commemorative Medal of the Minister of First Degree (Slovakia)
Distinguished Service Order (Military) (Singapore)
Order of Military Merit "Jose Maria Cordova" (Colombia)
Commander of the Order of Military Merit (Canada)
Order of the Cross of the Eagle First Class (Estonia)
Order of the Balkan Mountain, 2nd Class (Bulgaria)
Badge of the Commander of the Military Forces (Paraguay)
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Paulownia Flowers (Japan)
Order of the National Security Merit Tongil Medal (Republic of Korea)
Medal of Military Merit "Antonio Narino" (Colombia)
National Order "Steaua Romaniei," Grand Officer (Romania)
Italian Grand Officer (Italy)
French Legion of Honor (France)
Meritorious Service Cross (Canada)
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure (Japan)
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal


Command Pilot
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge


• Air Force's Gray Eagle since 1999

• On 9 November 2005, Myers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our Nation's highest civilian Award. The citation reads:

"For four decades, General Richard Myers has served our Nation with honor and distinction. He flew some 600 combat hours in the Vietnam War. He later served as Commander in Chief of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Myers played a central role in our Nation's defense while devoting himself to the well-being of the men and women who wear the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces. The U.S. honors General Richard Myers for his dedication to duty and country and for his contributions to the freedom and security of our Nation. "

• On 26 July 2011, Myers was inducted into the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Distinguished Alumni in a ceremony at Maxwell AFB, AL, officiated by Lt. Gen. Allen G. Peck, Commander, Air University.


"We train our people to obey the Geneva Conventions, it's not even a matter of whether it is reciprocated - it's a matter of who we are."

In Retirement

In 2006, General Myers accepted a part-time appointment as a Foundation Professor of Military History at Kansas State University. That same year, he was also elected to the Board of Directors of Northrop Grumman Corporation, the world's third largest defense contractor. On 13 September 2006, he also joined the Board of Directors of United Technologies Corporation. He also resides on the boards of Aon Corporation, John Deere, the USO and holds the Colin L. Powell Chair for National Security, Leadership, Character and Ethics at the National Defense University. He also has advised the Defense Health Board and served on the Army War College Board of Visitors.


General Myers and his wife, the former Mary Jo Rupp, have three children: two daughters and a son. General Myers appeared on Mad Money with Jim Cramer on 16 March 2009.

Honoree ID: 799   Created by: MHOH




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