Retired Oct. 1, 2003.
Gen. Lester L. Lyles is Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The command conducts research, development, test and evaluation, and provides acquisition management services and logistics support necessary to keep Air Force weapons systems ready for war.
General Lyles entered the Air Force in 1968 as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program. He has served in various assignments, including Program Element Monitor of the Short-Range Attack Missile at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in 1974, and as Special Assistant and Aide-De-Camp to the Commander of Air Force Systems Command in 1978. In 1981 he was assigned to Wright-Patterson AFB as Avionics Division Chief in the F-16 Systems Program Office. He has served as Director of Tactical Aircraft Systems at AFSC headquarters and as Director of the Medium-Launch Vehicles Program and Space-Launch Systems offices.
General Lyles became AFSC headquarters' Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements in 1989, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements in 1990. In 1992 he became Vice Commander of Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill AFB, Utah. He served as Commander of the center from 1993 until 1994, then was assigned to command the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., until 1996. General Lyles became the Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization in 1996. In May 1999, he was assigned as Vice Chief of Staff at Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He assumed his current position in April 2000.
1968 Bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
1969 Master of science degree in mechanical and nuclear engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology Program, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
1980 Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Va.
1981 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
1985 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1991 National and International Security Management Course, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1. February 1969 - November 1971, propulsion and structures engineer, Standard Space-Launch Vehicles Program Office, Los Angeles Air Force Station, Calif.
2. November 1971 - July 1974, propulsion engineer, Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
3. July 1974 - April 1975, Program Element Monitor for the Short-Range Attack Missile, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
4. April 1975 - March 1978, Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
5. March 1978 - January 1980, Special Assistant and Aide-De-Camp to the Commander, Headquarters AFSC, Andrews AFB, Md.
6. January 1980 - June 1980, Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Va.
7. June 1980 - January 1981, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
8. January 1981 - June 1981, Chief, Avionics Division, F-16 Systems Program Office, Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
9. June 1981 - July 1984, Deputy Director for Special and Advanced Projects, F-16 Systems Program Office, Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
10. August 1984 - June 1985, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
11. June 1985 - June 1987, Director of Tactical Aircraft Systems, Headquarters AFSC, Andrews AFB, Md.
12. June 1987 - April 1988, Director, Medium-Launch Vehicles Program Office, Headquarters Space Systems Division, Los Angeles AFS, Calif.
13. April 1988 - August 1989, Assistant Deputy Commander for Launch Systems, Headquarters Space Systems Division, Los Angeles AFS, Calif.
14. August 1989 - July 1992, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements, then Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements, Headquarters AFSC, Andrews AFB, Md.
15. July 1992 - November 1994, Vice Commander, then Commander, Ogden ALC, Hill AFB, Utah
16. November 1994 - August 1996, Commander, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
17. August 1996 - May 1999, Director, Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.
18. May 1999 - April 2000, Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
19. April 2000 - present, Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
Master Missileman Badge
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
1990 Astronautics Engineer of the Year, National Space Club
1994 Roy Wilkins Renown Service Award for outstanding contributions to military equal opportunity policies and programs, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
1999 Sociedad de Ingenieros Award, New Mexico State University
1999 Hiram Hadley Founder's Award of Excellence, New Mexico State University
2000 Gen. Bernard A. Schriever Award
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Feb 2, 1968
First Lieutenant Aug 2, 1969
Captain Feb 2, 1971
Major Nov 1, 1979
Lieutenant Colonel Dec 1, 1982
Colonel Dec 1, 1985
Brigadier General May 1, 1991
Major General Aug 6, 1993
Lieutenant General Nov 16, 1994
General Jul 1, 1999