Retired Aug. 1, 1992.
Brigadier General Frederick A. "Rick" Zehrer III is commander, Standard Systems Center, Gunter Air Force Base, Ala. The center provides centralized management for the acquisition and life-cycle support of Air Force standard computer systems. With its subordinate units, the center designs, develops, acquires, produces, maintains and manages computer systems for the Air Force, Department of Defense and other federal agencies worldwide. In this role, the center supports all major commands and bases around the world.
General Zehrer was born in 1941, in Greenwich, Conn. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College in 1962 and a master of science degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas in 1974. The general completed Squadron Officer School in 1970, Armed Forces Staff College in 1975, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1976 and Australian Joint Services Staff College in 1979. He graduated from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business Advanced Management Program in 1987.
He received his commission as a distinguished graduate through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program and, in July 1962, was assigned to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, as a personnel officer. After completing pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., he was awarded pilot wings in February 1965. The general remained at Williams as a T-38 instructor through April 1969.
He completed F-4 training at Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., in April 1969 and then was assigned as an F-4D combat crew member with the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phu Cat Air Base, South Vietnam. In April 1970 he transferred to the operations staff, Headquarters 7th Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam.
Upon leaving Southeast Asia, General Zehrer attended F-111 combat crew training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. In May 1971 he was assigned to the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station, Upper Heyford, England. He served first as wing flight examiner and in July 1973 became chief of safety. After attending Armed Forces Staff College in August 1975, he was assigned as a personnel staff officer at Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. He later became chief of the Rated Officer Assignments Branch.
In June 1977 General Zehrer returned to operational flying in T-38s at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, where he was commander of the 86th Flying Training Squadron. Upon graduation from the Australian Joint Services Staff College in June 1979, he moved to Headquarters Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, as deputy chief, Current Operations Division, J-3. In June 1981 he became commander of the 20th Combat Support Group, Royal Air Force Station, Upper Heyford. He remained there as deputy commander for operations, 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, from August 1982 to July 1983. He then transferred to Kapaun Air Station, West Germany, as director of inspection, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, until March 1984, when he was assigned to Aviano Air Base, Italy, as commander of the 40th Tactical Group. In June 1985 he became the first commander of the 66th Electronic Combat Wing, Sembach Air Base, West Germany. General Zehrer then was assigned as commander, European Communications Division, Air Force Communications Command, Kapaun Air Station, in June 1988. In July 1989 he transferred to Scott Air Force Base, Ill., where he served as vice commander, Air Force Communications Command. He assumed his present command in July 1991.
The general is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours, primarily in T-38, F-4, F-5, F-16, F-111 and EF-111 aircraft. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 1. 1989, with same date of rank.