Retired Sep. 1, 1971.
Brigadier General Robert Francis Long is the special assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for environmental services in the Department of Defense.
General Long was born in Boston, Mass., in 1919. After graduating from Boston Public Latin School, he entered Boston College where he received a bachelor of science degree in physics in 1941. He did graduate work in physics at Boston College, 1941-1942, meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1942, and electronics at Ohio State University, 1946-1947. In 1952 he received a master's degree (equivalent) in advanced engineering management from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology. He also is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
General Long entered the Army Air Corps in March 1942 as an aviation cadet and was commissioned a second lieutenant in November 1942. His first assignment was as staff weather officer with the 44th Bombardment Group in the European Theater of Operations, from 1943 to 1944. From 1944 to 1945, he served as staff weather officer with Headquarters Eighth Air Force.
From 1945 to 1946, he was chief of operations and training in the 2102d Weather Group at Mitchel Field, N.Y. In September 1946 he entered graduate school at Ohio State University to study electronics. Following his studies, he served from August 1947 to December 1950 as chief of the Maintenance Division and executive officer to the deputy chief of staff for materiel, Headquarters Air Weather Service, Washington, D.C.
In January 1951 General Long entered the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, graduating in 1952, He went to Headquarters Air Research and Development Command where he was chief of the Geophysics Division and deputy director of research. He left ARDC in July 1956 to become commander of the 7th Weather Group in Alaska. He was reassigned in 1958 to Headquarters Air Weather Service at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., as deputy chief of staff for operations.
Following completion of studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces from August 1960 to June 1961, General Long became commander of the 4th Weather Group (later the 6th Weather Wing) at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. In that capacity, he also served as staff meteorologist for the Office of Aerospace Research, the Air Force Systems Command, and the Research and Technology Division of AFSC.
In October 1965 he became commander of the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories at L.G. Hanscom Field, Bedford, Mass., the largest Air Force center for in-house research in the environmental and physics sciences and an element of the Office of Aerospace Research, Washington, D.C.
He was named special assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for environmental services in July 1968.