Retired March 1, 1988.
Brig. Gen. Richard S. Beyea Jr., is commander of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, a separate operating agency of the Air Force, with headquarters at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C. The office is responsible for providing independent professional investigative services to commanders of all Air Force activities about fraud, counterintelligence and major criminal matters by using a worldwide network of agents stationed at all major Air Force installations and at a variety of special operating locations. He also serves as the air staff assistant inspector general for special investigations.
General Beyea was born in Atlanta in 1935 and graduated from Highland Park High School in Dallas in 1953. From 1953 to 1954, he attended Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., with a bachelor of science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in 1958. The general received his master's degree in special studies (criminal justice) from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1974. Along with specialized training, he has completed Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and National War College, both located at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
After graduation from West Point, General Beyea was assigned to Graham Air Force Base, Fla. He then transferred to Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, and in 1959 he attended the U.S. Air Force Special Investigations School, located in Washington, D.C. He became an investigating officer and later served as commander of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 1902 at Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
In April 1962 he took command of Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 2453 at Royal Air Force Station Fairford, England. From June 1964 to October 1965, while in England, General Beyea served as commander of Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 6298 at Royal Air Force Station Alconbury. He then returned to the United States and was assigned to the Counterespionage Branch, Counterintelligence Division at Headquarters Air Force Office of Special Investigations. In 1968 he reported to Bangkok, Thailand, as chief of the Counterespionage Operations Branch, Air Force Office of Special Investigations District 51. He served there until 1970.
From June to December 1970, he participated in the Son Tay prisoner rescue attempt as security and counterintelligence officer for the Joint Contingency Task Group. He was then named chief, European Branch, Counterintelligence Division at Air Force Office of Special Investigations headquarters until December 1972. General Beyea then served as headquarters squadron commander, executive to the commander, chief of liaison and special actions officer, and in September 1975 was named Air Force Office of Special Investigations chief of staff. The general transferred to Kadena Air Base, Japan, in August 1978 as deputy commander of the 18th Combat Support Group, and subsequently became base commander. He assumed his present command in June 1980.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal with service star, Vietnam Service Medal with eight service stars, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Korean National Police Medal, Philippine Intelligence Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He assumed the grade of brigadier general Dec. 24, 1982, with date of rank Oct. 1, 1982.