Retired Nov. 1, 1988.
Brigadier General Joel M. McKean is commander of Chanute Technical Training Center, Chanute Air Force Base, Ill. Chanute is the oldest major technical training center in Air Training Command.
General McKean was born in 1932, in Pittsburgh, and graduated from Clearfield (Pa.) High School in 1951. He received a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from Gettysburg (Pa.) College in 1960 and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1970. He is a graduate of the National War College and the Institute of Higher Defense Studies (Capstone Course), Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. In 1984 he completed the Harvard University Senior Executives Program in National and International Security. He was awarded an honorary doctor of public service degree by Park College in 1986.
He entered active military duty in September 1953 as an aviation cadet at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. In May 1954 he received his commission and observer wings at Mather Air Force Base, Calif., where he served as an instructor of aircraft performance engineering until his release from active duty in August 1958.
Recalled to active duty in May 1962, General McKean served as a Titan II crew member until 1966. As a deputy crew commander he was on duty to see the first Titan II missile assume alert and he later was the first deputy to be upgraded to crew commander in the Titan II program. In 1966 he was chosen to continue graduate studies through the Air Force Institute of Technology at the University of Pittsburgh. General McKean received his doctorate in 1970, and presented his work under Air Force sponsorship at the Fourth International Congress of Logic in Bucharest, Romania, in 1971. As a member of the mathematics faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1968 until 1972, General McKean held the rank of associate professor and was chairman of the upper division courses as well as the curriculum committee.
In January 1972 he transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and served as missile and, later, bomber branch chief in the Future Force Structure Analysis Division of the Plans Directorate. He was assigned to the Strategic Negotiations Division, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in August 1974. The general served as expert and adviser to the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the U.S. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks delegation and in 1976 was the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the Standing Consultative Commission.
During 1977 and 1978 General McKean attended the National War College and also participated in the National Defense University research program as a research associate. He published a monograph on Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II ratification issues and participated in the 1978 National Security Seminar as rapporteur. From June 1978 to January 1979 General McKean served as chief of the Strategic Bomber Division, Directorate of Programs and Analysis, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He was then asked to become executive secretary of the U.S. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks delegation and was serving in this position when the treaty was signed later that year. Upon his return to the United States, General McKean became deputy military adviser to the director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Washington, D.C.
The general returned to Air Force headquarters in May 1980 and served as chief of the Strategic Arms Limitation Office, under the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Readiness, until moving to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. General McKean became assistant (for interagency matters) to the special assistant to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense in February 1981, and served as the Defense Department point of contact within the interagency for matters to be considered by the National Security Council and the Cabinet Councils. In November 1982 he was assigned as senior military adviser to the director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Washington, D.C.
He served as assistant deputy director for force development and strategic plans, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., from July 1984 to August 1985, when he became deputy director. He assumed his present duties in October 1986.
The general holds the aeronautical rating of performance engineer and wears the Command Missile Badge. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal. He also was awarded the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency's Meritorious Honor Award.
He was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 1, 1984, with same date of rank.