Retired Aug. 1, 1993.
Maj. Gen. Donald G. Hard is director of space and strategic defense initiative programs, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C. He provides program management direction for development and procurement of Air Force surveillance, communications, navigation and weather satellites, space launch vehicles, anti-satellite weapons and ground-based and airborne strategic radars, communications and command centers. He also represents the Air Force in the Strategic Defense Initiative program and is authorized to accept SDI program execution responsibilities on behalf of the Air Force.
General Hard was born in 1940, in Sunderland, Vt., where he graduated from high school in 1958. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1962, studied graduate engineering at the University of Illinois from 1962 until 1963, and received a master's degree in business administration and management from California State University in 1978. He completed Air Command and Staff College in 1975, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1976. The general attended the Harvard University National and International Security program for Senior Executives, and is an MIT Seminar XXI fellow.
Upon graduation from the academy in June 1962, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. In July 1963 General Hard was assigned to Headquarters Space Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, Los Angeles Air Force Station, Calif., where he served as operations planning officer for the DynaSoar and Manned Orbiting Laboratory programs.
The general entered undergraduate pilot training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, and received pilot wings in December 1967. After completing C-130 training at Sewart Air Force Base, Tenn., and Pope Air Force Base, N.C., he was assigned to the 776th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Taiwan, with duty in Southeast Asia.
General Hard was assigned to the 6594th Test Group, Air Force Systems Command, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, from November 1969 to June 1974. He then transferred to Sunnyvale Air Force Station, Calif., where he served as an orbital operations officer. In September 1975 he became chief of the Launch Operations Planning Branch, Office of Special Projects, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Los Angeles Air Force Station.
He transferred to Yokota Air Base, Japan, in June 1978 and served first as assistant operations officer with the 345th Tactical Airlift Squadron and, later, as deputy commander for operations with the 316th Tactical Airlift Group.
In October 1980 General Hard was assigned to the Office of Space Systems, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., where he served as deputy director for policy and security, and deputy for space shuttle policy. He served as director of operations support integration for the deputy commander for space operations, Space Division headquarters, from July 1982 to January 1983, when he became director of plans, Space Division.
The general commanded the 6594th Test Group at Hickam from May 1984 to May 1985. He then returned to Sunnyvale as commander of the Air Force Satellite Control Facility.
From July 1986 to February 1987 General Hard was vice director of the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Special Projects, Los Angeles Air Force Station. He then served as deputy commander for launch and control systems, Space Division headquarters. In November 1987 the general was assigned as director of space systems, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. In January 1989 he became deputy director of operations, and in September 1989 he became deputy director of plans, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Air Force headquarters. He assumed his present position in March 1990.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. He also wears the Master Space Badge.
He was promoted to major general Feb. 1, 1991, with same date of rank.