Retired July 1, 1986.
Brigadier General Edsel R. Field is assistant deputy chief of staff for plans, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
General Field was born in 1931, in McGregor, Minn. He graduated from McGregor Public High School in 1948. The general earned a bachelor of general education degree in mathematics from the University of Omaha in 1964 and a master's degree in business administration from Kent (Ohio) State University in 1968. He is a distinguished graduate of the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1974 and completed the Executive Management Program at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., in 1982.
Following his enlistment in the U.S. Air Force, in October 1954, General Field was accepted in the aviation cadet program. He was a distinguished graduate of the navigator flying training program and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force in April 1956. The general then flew as an instructor navigator with the 19th Bombardment Wing at Homestead Air Force Base, Fla.
After completing pilot training, General Field received his wings at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in September 1959. He was then assigned to Dover Air Force Base, Del., where he flew C-124s, served as a pilot flight examiner with the 20th Air Transport Squadron and flying training officer for the 436th Military Airlift Wing.
From July 1968 to September 1969, he flew as a C-123 pilot flight examiner with the 310th Air Commando Squadron, Phan Rang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. Following his return from Southeast Asia, he transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., where he served as a plans and programs officer, Programs and Resources Division, Office of Air Force Reserve. Upon graduation from the Air War College in 1974, General Field was retained on the faculty and served as chief of Defense Systems Management Studies. In June 1976 he joined the 438th Military Airlift Wing at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. He served initially as assistant deputy commander for operations and in July 1977 became the wing's deputy commander for operations.
He was named commander of the 438th Military Airlift Group when that unit was formed at McGuire Air Force Base in October 1978. From April 1979 to April 1980, he was vice commander of the 438th Military Airlift Wing. General Field then took command of the 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and became commander of the U.S. Air Force Airlift Center and 317th Tactical Airlift Wing, Pope Air Force Base, N.C., in February 1981. In February 1983 he became deputy commander, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. He assumed his present duties in May 1985.
The general is a command pilot with more than 9,600 flying hours, including 983 combat hours, in more than 30 different aircraft. He wears the U.S. Army Parachute Badge. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with "V" device and oak leaf cluster, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Humanitarian Service Medal with "3" device and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm.
He was promoted to brigadier general July 1, 1983, with same date of rank.