Retired Oct. 1, 2001.
General Michael E. Ryan is Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. As Chief, he serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipage of 700,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he and the other service chiefs function as military advisers to the secretary of defense, National Security Council and the president.
The general entered the Air Force after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1965. He has commanded at the squadron, wing, numbered air force and major command levels. He flew combat in Southeast Asia, including 100 missions over North Vietnam. He also served in staff assignments at the major command level, Headquarters U.S. Air Force and the Joint Staff. As Commander of 16th Air Force and Allied Air Forces Southern Europe in Italy, he directed the NATO air combat operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina which directly contributed to the Dayton Peace Accords.
Before assuming his current position, the general was Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe, with headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
1965 Bachelor of science degree, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1969 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1970 Fighter Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
1976 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1976 Master's degree in business administration, Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.
1984 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1988 National Security Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1. June 1965 - September 1966, student, undergraduate pilot training, 3625th Student Squadron, Air Training Command, Craig Air Force Base, Ala.
2. September 1966 - October 1967, F-4 pilot, 16th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
3. October 1967 - August 1968, F-4 pilot and aircraft commander, 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand
4. August 1968 - January 1971, F-4 aircraft commander, 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.
5. January 1971 - July 1973, exchange officer instructing in Mirage III fighters, 2nd Operational Conversion Unit, Australian Air Force Base, Williamtown, Australia
6. July 1973 - September 1974, instructor pilot and flight commander, 311th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
7. September 1974 - August 1975, wing weapons officer, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (F-4s), Kunsan Air Base, South Korea
8. August 1975 - July 1976, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
9. July 1976 - April 1979, staff officer, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
10. April 1979 - August 1981, commander, 61st Tactical Fighter Squadron; then assistant deputy commander for operations (F-16s), 56th Tactical Fighter Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
11. August 1981 - August 1983, chief, CHECKMATE group; then deputy assistant director for Joint and National Security Matters, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
12. August 1983 - June 1984, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
13. June 1984 - June 1986, commander, 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan
14. June 1986 - June 1988, executive to the chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
15. June 1988 - July 1991, deputy chief of staff, plans; then deputy chief of staff, operations, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
16. July 1991 - May 1993, vice director for strategic plans and policy, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
17. May 1993 - September 1994, assistant to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
18. September 1994 - April 1996, commander, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe (NATO), Naples, Italy, and commander, 16th Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Aviano Air Base, Italy
19. April 1996 - October 1997, commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
20. October 1997 - September 2001, chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,130 including 153 combat missions
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-33, F-4C/D/E, Mirage III, Aermacchi 326, F-16A/B/C/D and C-20
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with five oak leaf clusters
Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars
Aeronautical Grand Meritorious Cross, Chile
Korean Order of National Security Merit, First Class
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan
Decoration of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Japan
Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand
Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Legion of Merit for Aerial Inter-American Confraternity in the Grade of Officer, SICOFAA
Grand Cross of Aeronautical Merit, Spain
Meritorious Service Medal (Military), Singapore
Order of Aeronautical Merit, Brazil
French National Order of the Legion of Honor (Rank of Commander)
Order of the Orange-Nassau (Rank of Commander)
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Jun 9, 1965
First Lieutenant Dec 9, 1966
Captain Jun 13, 1968
Major Jun 1, 1976
Lieutenant Colonel Apr 1, 1979
Colonel Jul 1, 1981
Brigadier General May 1, 1988
Major General Jan 1, 1991
Lieutenant General May 10, 1993
General Apr 4, 1996