Retired April 1, 1984.
Brigadier General Raymond C. Preston Jr. is director of program integration, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Preston was born in 1934, in Salina, Kan., and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of science degree in industrial management and engineering in 1956. He earned a master of science degree in industrial management from that institution in 1960. The general was a distinguished graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1974 and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan Senior Executive Management program in 1977.
A distinguished Reserve Officers' Training Corps graduate, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in June 1956 and entered navigation training at Harlingen Air Force Base, Texas, in July 1957. He completed his tour of duty there in March 1961 as a weather instructor. He was then assigned to curriculum development at the Officer Training School, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, until September 1964.
General Preston completed the industrial management/procurement program at the Boeing Company, Seattle, under the education with industry program in July 1965. He then became chief, Procurement/Product ion Division in the CH-47, 0-2 and OV-10 programs at the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
In August 1967 he began a tour of duty as squadron navigator and executive officer, 776th Tactical Airlift Squadron, Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Taiwan. He flew more than 400 combat missions in C-130E's over the Republic of Vietnam during this assignment.
The general returned to Aeronautical Systems Division in October 1968, serving as chief, Procurement/Production Division, F-111 Systems Program Office, until August 1971. He then was assigned as executive officer to the vice commander, Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
Following graduation from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in July 1974, he became executive secretary for the Air Force Council at U.S. Air Force headquarters. From June 1975 to February 1977, General Preston was chief, Programs Division, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary (Security Assistance) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) at the Pentagon.
He returned to Air Force Systems Command headquarters in April 1977 as assistant deputy chief of staff, procurement and manufacturing, a post he held until being named Air Force Systems Command chief of staff in 1978. From March 1979 to August 1981, the general served as deputy general manager of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Airborne Early Warning and Control Program Management Agency, Brunssum, Netherlands. He assumed his present duties in August 1981.
The general is a master navigator with more than 5,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to brigadier general Sept. 1, 1979, with date of rank Aug. 27, 1979.