Retired Aug. 1, 1989.
Lieutenant General Buford Derald (preferred) Lary is inspector general of the U.S. Air Force, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. He is responsible to the secretary of the Air Force for inspection, investigative, counterintelligence and complaint programs. He is responsible to the Air Force chief of staff for safety, security (to include antiterrorism) and operational readiness.
General Lary was born in 1933, in Gatesville, Texas, and graduated from Mission (Texas) High School. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Baylor University in 1954 and a master's degree in the same field from the University of Oklahoma in 1970. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1961, Air Command and Staff College in 1967 and the Royal College of Defence Studies, London, England, in 1974.
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Baylor University in May 1954. He then attended pilot training at Marianna Air Base, Fla., and Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, where he earned his pilot wings in July 1955. After completing ground control intercept school at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., in October 1955, he was assigned to Itazuke Air Base, Japan, as a weapons controller and, later, direction center chief. In October 1957 he was assigned to Plattsburgh Air Force Base, N.Y., where he served as a B-47 pilot with the 380th Bombardment Wing until July 1966. He represented the wing at the 1958 Strategic Air Command Bombing and Navigation Competition.
In June 1967 General Lary completed the Air Command and Staff College. From August to December 1967 he served as an RF-4C reconnaissance pilot at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. In December 1967 the general was assigned to the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as an RF-4C pilot and flew 151 combat missions. He also served as the squadron's operations officer.
General Lary completed work on his master's degree at the University of Oklahoma in July 1970 and then was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as an action officer and branch chief in the Plans Directorate. In December 1973 he entered the Royal College of Defence Studies, the first of four assignments in England. In December 1974 he was assigned to the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Royal Air Force Station Alconbury, England, as deputy commander for resources management. He transferred to Zweibrucken Air Base, West Germany, in October 1975 as deputy commander for operations of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, and became the wing's vice commander in June 1976.
The general returned to England in March 1977 as commander of the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Alconbury, and in March 1979 assumed command of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath. In June 1980 General Lary became the assistant deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany.
Upon his return to the United States in April 1981, General Lary became deputy director for legislative liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. He was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense, in June 1982. In July 1983 the general was named senior military assistant to the deputy secretary of defense, serving Paul Thayer and William H. Taft IV. He was assigned as the deputy commander for air defense, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., in July 1985. In December 1985 he was named commander, 1st Air Force, Tactical Air Command, and later, commander of the Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Region, with consolidated headquarters at Langley Air Force Base. He assumed his present duties in July 1987.
General Lary is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours. He has flown a wide variety of aircraft which have included the B-47, RF-4, F-5, F-111, F-15 and the F-16. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.
He was promoted to lieutenant general Aug. 1, 1987, with same date of rank.
General Lary's hometown is Mission, Texas.