Retired Feb. 1, 1994.
Major General David J. Pederson is deputy director for operations, (National Military Command System), Operations Directorate, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
General Pederson was born in 1940, in Rochester, N.Y. He graduated from Churchville-Chili Central High School and then entered the University of Rochester in 1957. He transferred to the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering science in 1962, and a master of science degree in management from the University of Arkansas in 1973. The general completed Squadron Officer School in 1966, Air Command and Staff College in 1972, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1975 and Air War College in 1979.
Upon graduation from the academy, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and in June 1962 entered pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas, graduating in August 1963. He then completed KC-135 training at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., and was assigned to the 306th Air Refueling Squadron, McCoy Air Force Base, Fla., in December 1963. During this tour, the general upgraded to KC-135 aircraft commander and participated in numerous temporary duty assignments to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield and Don Muang International Airport, Thailand.
In July 1969 he was assigned to the 7th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, where he flew RF-4Cs. He was transferred to the 14th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in March 1970 as an RF-4C commander and flew more than 150 combat missions, including 35 over North Vietnam. While assigned to Thailand, he also served as command post senior controller.
The general moved to Ramstein Air Base, West Germany, in March 1971. There, he flew RF-4Cs with the 38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and served as an emergency actions officer with the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. He then served as an operations briefing officer and later as a command briefer at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe. While assigned to the various staff organizations, he flew the T-39 as an instructor pilot.
He returned to the United States in December 1974 and was assigned to Rickenbacker Air Force Base, Ohio. During this tour, he requalified in the KC-135 and served as an operations officer, 301st Air Refueling Squadron, and later as a mission development officer, 301st Air Refueling Wing. In April 1977 the general became commander of the 32nd Air Refueling Squadron. After completing Air War College in June 1979, he served as an action officer, and later as chief of the Overseas Bases and Units Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Evaluation, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Pederson was assigned to March Air Force Base, Calif., from February 1982 to February 1984, serving as assistant deputy commander and, later, deputy commander for operations, 22nd Bombardment Wing. He then served as vice commander of the 319th Bombardment Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. In November 1984 General Pederson transferred to Mather Air Force Base, Calif., where he commanded the 320th Bombardment Wing until April 1986. He then became director of training, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. In February 1987 he assumed command of SAC's 42nd Air Division, Eaker Air Force Base, Ark. The division was relocated to Grand Forks in June 1988. In October 1989 he became commander of the 3rd Air Division, Strategic Air Command, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He assumed his current position in June 1991.
The general is a command pilot with more than 7,000 flying hours in the KC-135, RF-4C, T-39, KC-10, EC-135 and B-52. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with seven service stars, Air Force Overseas Ribbon-Short, Air Force Overseas Ribbon-Long, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with five oak leaf clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was promoted to major general Feb. 1, 1991, with same date of rank.