Retired Jan. 1, 2000.
Lieutenant General John B. Sams Jr. is commander of 15th Air Force, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The command is responsible for approximately 50 percent of the Air Force's air mobility assets and mission. The 15th Air Force provides rapid and flexible Global Reach for America from six major Air Force bases in the United States and several other locations throughout the Pacific - active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard. More than 70,000 people operate and support airlift, tanker and aeromedical aircraft as part of 15th Air Force.
The general was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1967 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at The Citadel. He has served as an aircraft commander, instructor pilot and flight examiner in numerous aircraft including the C-7A, B-52 and E-4A/B. During the Vietnam conflict, he flew more than 700 hours in 100 missions as a C-7A pilot. He served as an operations and staff officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff; as both the director of bomber operations and as director of conventional plans at Strategic Air Command; and as director of forces, Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He commanded the 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron, 7th Bombardment Wing (Heavy), the Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education at Air University, 60th Airlift Wing, and the Tanker Airlift Control Center at Headquarters Air Mobility Command. The general also commanded the air mobility forces for Operation Provide Hope flying support to Russia and the republics of the former Soviet Union in February 1992. Before assuming his current position, he was vice commander of Air Mobility Command.
1967 Bachelor of arts degree, The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.
1973 Squadron Officer School
1977 Master's degree in personnel management, Central Michigan University
1981 Distinguished graduate, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1985 Distinguished graduate, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1988 Advanced Management Program, Emory University
1994 Advanced School for Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1995 Seminar XXI Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1. December 1967 - January 1969, student, undergraduate pilot training, Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
2. January 1969 - March 1971, T-29 pilot, 3541st Navigator Training Squadron, Mather Air Force Base, Calif.
3. March 1971 - February 1972, squadron operations officer, 483rd Tactical Airlift Wing, Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, South Vietnam
4. April 1972 - August 1972, B-52 combat crew training, Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
5. August 1972 - November 1974, instructor pilot, 449th Bombardment Wing, Kincheloe Air Force Base, Mich.
6. November 1974 - January 1976, inspection plans officer, Air Staff Training Program, Norton Air Force Base, Calif.
7. January 1976 - August 1977, pilot, 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
8. August 1977 - June 1980, chief of standardization and evaluation and E-4B test pilot, 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
9. July 1980 - May 1981, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
10. May 1981 - October 1982, operations and staff officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
11. October 1982 - August 1984, commander, 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
12. August 1984 - June 1985, student, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
13. June 1985 - January 1987, assistant deputy commander for operations, and later, deputy commander for operations, 5th Bombardment Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.C.
14. January 1987 - May 1988, director of bomber operations, later, director of conventional plans, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
15. July 1988 - July 1990, commander, 7th Bombardment Wing (Heavy), Carswell Air Force Base, Texas
16. July 1990 - July 1991, commander, Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
17. July 1991 - July 1993, commander, 60th Airlift Wing, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
18. July 1993 - July 1994, commander, Tanker Airlift Control Center, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
19. July 1994 - February 1995, director of forces, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
20. February 1995 - August 1996, director for plans and policy, U.S. Atlantic Command, Norfolk, Va.
21. August 1996 - July 1998, vice commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
22. July 1998 - present, commander, 15th Air Force, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 5,300
Aircraft flown: T-29, C-7A, B-52, B-1, KC-135, E-4A/B, C-141 and C-5
Pilot wings from: Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Dec 13, 1967
First Lieutenant Jun 7, 1969
Captain Dec 7, 1970
Major Aug 18, 1978
Lieutenant Colonel Jun 3, 1981
Colonel Nov 1, 1986
Brigadier General Jun 1, 1992
Major General Sep 28, 1994
Lieutenant General Oct 1, 1996