Retired Aug. 1, 1997.
Major General Charles D. Link is special assistant to the chief of staff for the National Defense Review, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
After graduating from high school, General Link enlisted in the Air Force and served as a jet engine and aircraft mechanic until he attended the last Air Force Officer Candidate School class, 63-D. Upon completion, he was commissioned in June 1963. He then served as an aircraft maintenance officer until entering pilot training in January 1967 at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz. After receiving pilot wings, he attended F-4 training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., then OV-10 forward air controller training at Hurlburt Field, Fla. In March 1969, he was assigned as a forward air controller for the 1st Brigade, 1st Air Cavalry Division, Tay Ninh, South Vietnam.
In addition to operational commands at wing and numbered air force levels, the general has served as deputy director for political-military affairs, J-5, the Joint Staff, and director of plans and policy, J-5, U.S. European Command. Prior to his current assignment, he was special assistant to the chief of staff for roles and missions, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
1975 Bachelor of science degree in social studies, Troy State University
1975 Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1984 National War College, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1. August 1957 - June 1963, enlisted status, regular Air Force
2. June 1963 - March 1964, student, Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course, Chanute Air Force Base, Ill.
3. March 1964 - March 1965, commander, 647th Mobile Training Detachment, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
4. May 1965 - January 1967, commander, 531st Field Training Detachment, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
5. January 1967 - August 1968, student, undergraduate pilot training, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.
6. August 1968 - July 1969, student, U.S. Air Force Operational Training Course, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
7. July 1969 - November 1970, forward air controller, 1st Air Cavalry Division, Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam
8. November 1970 - August 1974, pilot and later flight commander, chief of standardization and evaluation division and operations officer, 23rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Spangdahlem Air Base, West Germany
9. August 1974 - September 1975, student, Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
10. September 1975 - June 1980, international politico-military affairs officer and later, executive officer to the director of plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
11. June 1980 - August 1983, director of combat operations, 603rd Tactical Air Control Center, later deputy commander for operations, 51st Composite Wing, and commander, 51st Combat Support Group, Pacific Air Forces, Osan Air Base, Korea
12. August 1983 - July 1984, student, National War College, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
13. July 1984 - September 1985, commander, 51st Tactical Fighter Wing, PACAF, Osan Air Base, Korea
14. September 1985 - June 1987, deputy assistant director for Joint and National Security Council Matters, later director, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
15. July 1987 - July 1989, assistant deputy director, politico-military affairs, later deputy director, J-5 the Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
16. July 1989 - May 1990, commandant, Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
17. May 1990 - July 1991, commandant, Air War College, and vice commander, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
18. July 1991 - August 1993, commander, 3rd Air Force, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England
19. August 1993 - July 1994, director, plans and policy, J-5, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany
20. July 1994 - November, 1995, special assistant to the chief of staff for roles and missions, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
21. November 1995 - November 1996, assistant deputy chief for plans and operations, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
22. November 1996 - present, special assistant to the chief of staff for the National Defense Review, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with two silver oak leaf clusters and a bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
Presidential Unit Citation with bronze oak leaf cluster
Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze service stars
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Jun 21, 1963
First Lieutenant Dec 21, 1964
Captain Mar 13, 1967
Major Jan 1, 1972
Lieutenant Colonel Nov 1, 1977
Colonel Nov 1, 1980
Brigadier General Sep 1, 1987
Major General Jul 1, 1990