Retired Sep. 1, 1989. Died Nov. 27, 2003.
Major General Frank J. Kelly Jr. is director of operations, J-3, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
General Kelly was born in 1937, in Jersey City, N.J., and graduated from St. Peter's Prep in 1954. He earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Omaha in 1968 and a master's degree in management from Webster College in 1977. He completed Air Command and Staff College in 1975, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1980 and the Executive Program in Business Administration at Columbia University in 1983.
He entered active duty in July 1955 as a private in the Army. During 1955 and 1956 he served with the 82nd Airborne Division, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and 101st Air Division.
In March 1958 General Kelly entered aviation cadet training at Harlingen Air Force Base, Texas, graduating as a second lieutenant and navigator in March 1959. He entered undergraduate pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., in January 1963 and received his wings in February 1964. His first operational assignment was as a C-130E pilot with the 464th Troop Carrier Wing at Pope Air Force Base, N.C. While at Pope, he participated in both the Congo and Dominican Republic operations. From September 1965 to July 1966 General Kelly flew C-47s in Southeast Asia. After returning to the United States, he was assigned to the 29th Military Airlift Squadron, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., as a C-130 aircraft commander.
General Kelly was assigned to the 8th Infantry Division, Bad Kreuznach, West Germany, in January 1968 as the 322nd Airlift Division tactical airlift liaison officer. Later, he served in that same position with U.S. Air Forces in Europe. During this tour of duty, General Kelly completed the German Airborne School and U.S. Army Jumpmaster School.
In April 1972 he returned to Pope Air Force Base, serving first as chief of wing standardization and evaluation; then as operations officer, 40th Tactical Airlift Squadron; and later as commander, 39th Tactical Airlift Squadron. He transferred to the Air Staff in April 1978 as chief, Pacific/East Asia Plans Division. From August 1979 to July 1980 he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He then moved to Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., as director of programming and policy.
From September 1981 until October 1983 he was assigned to the 435th Tactical Airlift Wing, Rhein-Main Air Base, West Germany, first as vice commander, then as wing commander. General Kelly then returned to Military Airlift Command headquarters as assistant deputy chief of staff for plans. In May 1985 General Kelly was assigned as deputy commander, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. He assumed his present duties in May 1988.
The general is a command pilot and senior parachutist. He has flown numerous fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and also holds an airline transport pilot rating. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Army Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to major general June 1, 1988, with same date of rank.