Retired Sep. 1, 1993.
Brigadier General Benard W. Gann is deputy commander of the Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Canadian Forces Base, North Bay, Ontario. Also, he is commander of the 4722nd Support Squadron Tactical Air Command, and the senior U.S. military officer in Canada.
General Gann was born in 1939, in Nacogdoches, Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree in finance and economics from Baylor University in 1962 and a master of science degree in counseling and guidance from Troy State University in 1975. He completed Air Command and Staff College in 1975, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1976 and Air War College in 1983.
The general was commissioned in the Air Force in 1963 as a distinguished graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Baylor University. He completed undergraduate pilot training in T-37s and T-38s at Webb Air Force Base, Texas, in May 1964. In September 1964 he completed pilot instructor training at James T. Connally Air Force Base, Texas, and was assigned to Craig Air Force Base, Ala., as a T-37 instructor pilot.
In November 1969 General Gann was assigned to Pleiku Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as adviser and trainer for members of the South Vietnamese air force. Upon his return to the United States in November 1970, he was assigned as a B-52 aircraft commander with the 5th Bombardment Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D. He served as a B-52H flight examiner and instructor pilot and as chief, Standardization and Evaluation Division, during his tour of duty at Minot.
After attending Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., General Gann was assigned to the 19th Bombardment Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., in June 1975. He served as an organizational maintenance squadron maintenance supervisor and later as the 19th Avionics Maintenance Squadron commander. In August 1977 the general transferred to the Air Force Manpower and Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and served successively as a personnel staff officer; chief, bomber assignments; and chief, bomber/tanker assignments. In April 1981 he returned to the Strategic Air Command as 51st Bombardment Squadron commander, 68th Bombardment Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
After graduating from Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in June 1983, General Gann was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Directorate of Operations, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., as chief of the Aircrew Training Division. In June 1984 he was assigned to the 43rd Strategic Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as deputy commander for operations. He became vice wing commander in May 1985. The general returned to Minot Air Force Base in May 1986 as commander of the 5th Bombardment Wing. In August 1988 he was reassigned to Andersen as the 43rd Bombardment Wing commander. In August 1989 General Gann became director of strategy, programs and policy, J-5, U.S. Southern Command, Panama, where he served during Operation Just Cause/Promote Liberty. He assumed his present position in August 1991.
The general is a command pilot with more than 5,900 flying hours in the T-37, 0-2A, KC-135 and B-52, including more than 600 hours of combat flying time. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Vietnamese Air Honor Medal, Vietnamese Staff Service Medal and other foreign awards.
He was promoted to brigadier general May 1, 1989, with same date of rank.