Retired Sep. 1, 1979. Died July 20, 1983.
Major General (Dr.) Robert L. Thompson Jr. is the assistant surgeon general for dental services, Office of the Surgeon General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Thompson was born in Uvalde, Texas, in 1923. He graduated from Uvalde High School in 1940, attended Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va., and received his doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Texas School of Dentistry. Following graduation, General Thompson was in private dental practice in El Campo, Texas, from August 1946 to May 1949.
General Thompson entered on active military duty in May 1949 as a dental officer with the U.S. Air Force at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, where he served as the assistant base dental surgeon and received his regular commission in 1950. In June 1951 he was assigned as base, and assistant base dental surgeon, during the reactivation of Amarillo Air Force Base, Texas.
From June 1952 to July 1955, General Thompson served as dental surgeon with the Caribbean Air Command, at Albrook Air Force Base, Canal Zone. In July 1955 he was assigned to Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, where he was base dental surgeon until June 1960 when he was transferred to the Office of the Surgeon General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, as staff officer for dental personnel. In June 1965 General Thompson returned to Randolph Air Force Base, where he established the Office of Assistant Surgeon General for Dental Affairs at the Air Force Military Personnel Center.
General Thompson volunteered for duty in Southeast Asia in 1966, and was responsible for establishing a cadre group and expanding this group into a functional dental service for the Republic of Vietnam. After serving 14 months as 7th Air Force dental surgeon, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, he was reassigned to Randolph Air Force Base, where he served from September 1967 to July 1970 as command dental surgeon for Air Training Command.
In August 1970 General Thompson returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force for duty as deputy assistant surgeon general for dental services in the Office of the Surgeon General and served in this capacity until September 1975, when he was appointed assistant surgeon general for dental services, and promoted to the rank of brigadier general.
During the past 19 years, General Thompson has been extensively involved in personnel plans and personnel programs, to include policies in dental standards for procurement, specialty requirements affecting dental education programs and professional programs and management resources.
His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with oak leaf cluster, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal with service star, Vietnamese Service Medal with two service stars, Air Force Longevity Service Award ribbon with five oak leaf clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship ribbon, Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
General Thompson is a Fellow of the American College of Dentistry; a member, as well as a delegate, to the American Dental Association and the American Association of Dental Schools; a member of the Federation Dentaire Internationale and consultant to its military section; and a member of Psi Omega professional fraternity. He is 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Alzafar Shrine Temple.
He was promoted to the grade of major general on July 1, 1978, with date of rank Sept. 1, 1974.