Retired Aug. 1, 1995.
Chaplain (Major General) Donald J. Harlin is the chief of chaplains, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. As a member of the special staff of the chief of staff, he advises on all matters that pertain to the religious and moral welfare of Air Force personnel. Also, he is responsible for establishing an effective total chaplain program that will meet the religious needs of all members of the Air Force.
Chaplain Harlin was born in New York City and graduated from Flushing (N.Y.) High School in 1953. He earned a bachelor of science degree in theology from Nyack College in 1958, a master of divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1961 and a doctor of divinity degree from Nyack College in 1991. He completed Air Command and Staff College in 1975. He is an ordained clergyman of the American Baptist Churches, United States of America. His civilian pastoral experience was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Hazleton, Pa.
The chaplain entered the Air Force in November 1965 and was assigned as a Protestant chaplain with the 862nd Combat Support Group, Minot Air Force Base, N.D. In July 1967 he transferred to the 12th Combat Support Group, Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, South Vietnam, as Protestant chaplain and remained there until July 1968. He then moved to the 1094th Support Squadron, Manzano Base, N.M., as base chaplain. In April 1970 he became Protestant chaplain for the 4900th Air Base Group, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
Chaplain Harlin was a Protestant chaplain with the 6135th Air Base Group, Naha Air Base, Japan, from June 1971 until January 1973, when he transferred to the 824th Combat Support Group, Kadena Air Base, Japan, in the same position. In December 1973 he was assigned as a Protestant chaplain attached to the 1143rd Air Base Squadron, with duty at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. He was named as an instructor with the Air Force Chaplain School, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in July 1977.
In July 1980 he transferred to Osan Air Base, South Korea, where he was the installation staff chaplain with the 51st Combat Support Group. Upon his return to the United States in July 1981, Chaplain Harlin served successively as chief, Budget and Logistics Division; chief, Personnel Division; and command chaplain at the Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. He returned to Maxwell in June 1983 as command chaplain of the Air University, and commandant of the Air Force Chaplain School. Chaplain Harlin became command chaplain at Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., in November 1985. From December 1988 until November 1991 he was deputy chief of chaplains at Air Force headquarters. He assumed his present position in December 1991.
His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters. He received the award of Outstanding Military Chaplain of the American Baptist Churches, United States of America, in 1977. He was promoted to major general July 1, 1992, with same date of rank.