Retired July 1, 1982.
General David C. Jones is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he serves as the senior military adviser to the president, the National Security Council and the secretary of defense. Through the commanders of the unified and specified commands, he is also responsible for executing the decisions of the National Command Authorities regarding worldwide readiness and employment of combat forces of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
Drawing from a widely varied career, General Jones brings to his position a wealth of experience and knowledge of national security affairs, the diverse U.S. Defense Establishment, and our defensive alliances with other nations. His assignments have included operational and command positions in strategic, tactical, and training units, as well as service in staff positions with major headquarters in the United States and overseas.
Prior to his current appointment, General Jones served four years as chief of staff of the U. S. Air Force, responsible for administering, training and equipping a worldwide organization of men and women employing the world's most advanced defense systems. Concurrently, he was a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In combat, the general was assigned to a bombardment squadron during the Korean War and accumulated more than 300 hours on missions over North Korea. In 1969, he served in the Republic of Vietnam as deputy commander for operations and then as vice commander of the Seventh Air Force.
His intimacy with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance and its complex multinational defense structure is based on a range of assignments that cover the spectrum of planning and operational responsibilities. Having served as inspector, operator, planner and commander in chief of United States Air Forces in Europe, he has dealt with every facet of the diversified missions of military forces committed to the defense of Europe. Concurrent with duty as commander in chief, USAFE, he was commander of the Fourth Allied Tactical Air Force and led the way toward establishing the integrated air headquarters in NATO's Central Region, Allied Air Forces, Central Europe.
The general was born in Aberdeen, S.D. He graduated from high school in Minot, N.D., in 1939 and attended the University of North Dakota and Minot State College until the outbreak of World War II. He entered the Army Air Corps, beginning aviation cadet training in April 1942, and received his commission and pilot wings in February 1943. A graduate of the National War College, the general was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1974, an honorary doctorate of laws degree from Lousiana Tech University in 1975, and an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree from Minot State College, Minot, N.D., in 1979.
He was appointed chief of staff, U. S. Air Force on July 1, 1974 and received his appointed as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on June 21, 1978.