Retired May 1, 1994.
Brigadier General James L. Vick is vice commander of Air Combat Command's 8th Air Force, with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
General Vick was born July 27, 1943, in Sturgis, Mich., and graduated from Fairfax (Va.) High School in 1961. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in June 1965 and a master of science degree in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1974. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1970, Air Command and Staff College in 1978, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1984.
The general completed undergraduate pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in December 1966. He then served as an F-4D pilot systems operator at Ramstein Air Base, West Germany, and later at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. He upgraded to F-4D aircraft commander and, from November 1969 to October 1970, was assigned to Phu Cat Air Base, South Vietnam, where he flew 156 combat missions.
After returning to the United States, General Vick transitioned to B-52Gs as an aircraft commander and was stationed at Loring Air Force Base, Maine, until May 1973. There he flew an additional 120 combat missions in B-52Ds during two Arc-Light tours from June 1972 through April 1973.
From June 1973 to December 1974 General Vick attended the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Upon graduation, he remained there as a flight test manager in the Air Force Avionics Laboratory and the Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories headquarters.
After completing Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in August 1978, General Vick returned to flying duties with the 68th Bombardment Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. During this tour, he served as an aircraft commander, instructor pilot, flight commander and operations officer with the 51st Bombardment Squadron. He was transferred to Blytheville Air Force Base, Ark., in September 1980 as commander of the 340th Bombardment Squadron.
In October 1981 he was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., as chief of the Tactical Aircrew Training Branch and in June 1982 became chief of the Aircrew Training Division. The division was responsible for standardization and training management of SAC's B-52, FB-111, SR-71, U-2, RC-135 and accelerated co-pilot enrichment aircrew members. He left SAC headquarters in July 1983 to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. Upon graduation in June 1984, he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as chief of the Bomber Division, Air Force Studies and Analyses.
He was transferred to Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y., as vice commander, 416th Bombardment Wing, in April 1986 and became commander in January 1987. The general was assigned as chief of staff, 15th Air Force, March Air Force Base, Calif., in August 1988. In July 1989 he became inspector general, again at SAC headquarters. He served in that position until July 1990, when he was assigned as commander of the Air Force District of Washington, Boiling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. He assumed his current position in September 1992.
The general is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours, 939 of which were flown on 276 combat missions in Vietnam piloting F-4D Phantoms and B-52Ds. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 15 oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to brigadier general March 1, 1990, with same date of rank.