Retired Feb. 28, 1990.
General Robert T. Herres is vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
General Herres was born in 1932, in Denver, where he attended East High School. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1954. The general earned master's degrees in electrical engineering and public administration from the Air Force Institute of Technology and The George Washington University, respectively. He completed Air Command and Staff College in 1965 and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1971.
After pilot training, the general's early assignments were in fighter-interceptors, first as a pilot and then as an air electronics maintenance officer. Upon graduation from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1960 he transferred to Europe, where he served as a technical intelligence analyst and, later, as a flying training supervisor.
Upon completion of Air Command and Staff College in 1965, General Herres joined the Air University staff to instruct in weapons employment planning until entering training at the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
In August 1967 General Herres was assigned to the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program at the Space Systems Division of Air Force Systems Command in Los Angeles as a crewmember and chief of the Flight Crew Division. After program cancellation in 1969, the general returned to the Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, where he served as deputy chief of staff for plans and requirements. He left Edwards in August 1970 to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
The general became vice commander of the 449th Bombardment Wing at Kincheloe Air Force Base, Mich., in June 1971 and commander the following year. In April 1973 he was assigned to Southeast Asia for duty as commander of the 310th Strategic Wing, U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield, Thailand. He returned to Kincheloe in September 1973 to resume command of the 449th Bombardment Wing.
From March 1974 to June 1979 General Herres served in various aspects of the command and control systems field at Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Electronic Systems Division of Air Force Systems Command and Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
General Herres became commander of Air Force Communications Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in June 1979; assumed command of SAC's 8th Air Force at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., in July 1981; and became the director for command, control and communications systems, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., in October 1982. He was assigned to Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., as commander in chief of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and Aerospace Defense Command, and commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command in July 1984. He became the first commander in chief of the U.S. Space Command upon activation of the unified command in September 1985. He assumed his present position in February 1987.
General Herres is a command pilot and is qualified for the Senior Missile, Air Traffic Controller and Space badges. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to general Aug. 1, 1984, with same date of rank.