Retired June 1, 1991.
Lt. Gen. Donald L. Cromer is commander of Space Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. He is responsible for managing the research, design, development and acquisition of space launch, command and control, and satellite systems.
General Cromer was born in Grand Junction, Colo., in 1936, and graduated from Lewis and Clark High School, Spokane, Wash. He attended Washington State University and graduated with a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1959. He earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Denver in 1969. The general completed Squadron Officer School in 1967 and was a distinguished graduate of Air Command and Staff College in 1973. He also attended the executive program at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and the National Security Management Course at Harvard University.
Upon graduation from the academy in June 1959, he was commissioned in the Air Force. He then was assigned to Strategic Air Command's 549th Strategic Missile Squadron (Atlas D) at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., as a guidance control officer and deputy missile combat crew commander. From January 1963 to August 1965 he served as an engineer analyst in the 4000th Aerospace Applications Group at Offutt.
The general was assigned to Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla., and worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on the Project Gemini Manned Spacecraft Program as a spacecraft test conductor. In December 1967 he returned to SAC headquarters in the Future Systems Division, Directorate of Plans. From December 1969 to August 1972 General Cromer served as chief of the Payload Branch, Satellite Data Systems Program Office, Space and Missile Systems Organization, Los Angeles Air Force Station (now Los Angeles Air Force Base).
In June 1973 he was assigned to the Directorate of Space, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as program element monitor for the Satellite Data System and Defense Dissemination System programs. He then became project director, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Fort Belvoir, Va.
From May 1977 to June 1978 General Cromer served as deputy for Defense Meteorological Satellite Systems and director of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Office, Space Division, Los Angeles Air Force Station. He later was assigned as director of advanced technology for the secretary of the Air Force's Special Projects Office there. In May 1982 he became director of space systems, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. He returned to Los Angeles Air Force Station in June 1984 as deputy commander for launch and control systems, Space Division, and in January 1985 became vice commander.
In June 1986 General Cromer became commander of the Space and Missile Test Organization, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. He was responsible for the management of test, launch and on-orbit control activities of Air Force space and ballistic missile systems. He also was responsible for the Western Space and Missile Center at Vandenberg, the Eastern Space and Missile Center at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., and the Consolidated Space Test Center at Onizuka Air Force Base, Calif. He assumed his present command in June 1988.
The general's military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, and Joint Service Commendation Medal. He wears the Master Missile and Master Space badges.
He was promoted to lieutenant general July 1, 1988, with same date of rank.