Brigadier General Thomas C. (T.C.) Pinckney Jr., is Asia and Pacific Region, Office Director, East of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs).
General Pinckney was born in Charleston, S.C., in 1930. He graduated from Charleston High School in 1946 and entered The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina, earning a bachelor of arts degree in English and his commission upon graduation in June 1949. He received a master of arts degree in international relations from Syracuse University in 1959, and graduated from the National War College in 1971.
He entered on active military duty in June 1951 and, upon completion of pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, served with the Far East Air Forces at Naha and Kadena air bases, Okinawa, flying F-94B and F-86D aircraft. In January 1955 he was reassigned to Air Defense Command at Travis Air Force Base, California, and, while serving there, attended the Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
General Pinckney attended Syracuse University, N.Y., under the Air Force Institute of Technology Program from September 1957 until January 1959. Subsequently, he was assigned to the Air Force Academy, Colo., in the Department of Political Science, where he taught international relations, and concluded his tour of duty as director of the course in defense policy.
Leaving the academy in the summer of 1964, General Pinckney began an assignment at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in the Arms Policy Branch of the Deputy Directorate of Plans for Policy. As an action officer there, he dealt primarily with Joint Staff papers on arms control issues. From February 1966 until August 1967, he participated in the State/Defense Exchange Program, being assigned to the Office of Political-Military Affairs, Department of State.
After completion of training in the F-4C in June 1968, General Pinckney was assigned to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing at Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, where he served as operations officer for the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron, and later as wing executive officer. During his one-year tour of duty in Vietnam, he flew 189 combat missions.
General Pinckney returned to Washington, D.C., in July 1969, and was assigned to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, where during the following year he wrote speeches, articles, and congressional statements for Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr.
After attending the National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., from August 1970 to June 1971, General Pinckney was assigned to the staff of the National Security Council in the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Although his duties covered a wide variety of topics, his primary continuing areas of responsibility were Southeast Asian programs, particularly those in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand; worldwide Security Assistance programs; and the President's Annual Review of Foreign Policy.
Following his tour of duty at the White House, General Pinckney served as vice commander of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, from September 1973 until April 1974, when he assumed command of the wing. He was appointed special assistant to the chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, in July 1975.
General Pinckney assumed his present duties as director, East Asia and Pacific Region, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) in September 1977.
He is a command pilot with more than 3,400 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with gold star.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general July 1, 1975, with same date of rank.