Retired Aug. 1, 1993. Died Jan. 1, 2005.
Lt. Gen. Martin J. Ryan Jr. is commander of Air Combat Command's 8th Air Force, with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
General Ryan was born in 1936, in White Plains, N.Y. He graduated from St. Rose High School, Carbondale, Pa., in 1955 and earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Nebraska in 1975. The general completed Armed Forces Staff College in 1970, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1973, Air War College in 1979 and the University of Pittsburgh's Management Program for Executives in 1983.
The general entered the Air Force in August 1959 as an aviation cadet. After completing primary pilot training at Bartow Air Base, Fla., and basic flight training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and received wings in November 1960. After combat crew training at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., and Walker Air Force Base, N.M., he was assigned to Loring Air Force Base, Maine. Subsequent assignments included Plattsburgh Air Force Base, N.Y.; Homestead Air Force Base, Fla.; and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; flying B-52s as aircraft commander and instructor pilot.
After graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College in 1970, General Ryan was assigned to the 315th Tactical Airlift Wing, Phan Rang Air Base, South Vietnam. During this tour he flew more than 800 combat hours in the UC-123. In September 1971 General Ryan was assigned as an operations staff officer at Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He became operations officer for the 2nd Bombardment Squadron, March Air Force Base, Calif., in September 1975, and in November 1976 assumed command of the unit. He entered the Air War College in August 1978, and upon graduation in May 1979, was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as chief of the Strategic Forces Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Programs and Evaluation. In November 1979 he became deputy director for strategic forces, command, control and communications.
In February 1981 General Ryan was assigned as vice commander of the 19th Bombardment Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The general became vice commander of the 7th Bombardment Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, in January 1982 and in April 1982 assumed command of the wing. He was transferred to the 45th Air Division, Strategic Air Command, Pease Air Force Base, N.H., in November 1983 and served as commander. In June 1986 he became director of force structure, resource and assessment, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. The general was assigned as vice commander of 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, in June 1988. He became deputy commander in chief and chief of staff, U.S. Atlantic Command, Norfolk, Va., in August 1989. In May 1991 he was assigned as commander of SAC's 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base. He assumed his current command in June 1992.
The general is a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours, including 833 combat hours. He has flown the B-1, B-52, FB-111, KC-135, T-33, T-38, T-39 and UC-123. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and oak leaf cluster, Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with service star, Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars, Air Force Overseas Ribbon-Short, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six oak leaf clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Air Service Medal-Honor Class, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was promoted to lieutenant general June 1, 1991, with same date of rank.