Retired Sep. 1, 1992.
Major General Gerald A. Daniel is commander of 16th Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with headquarters at Torrejon Air Base, Spain. He is responsible for U.S. air forces in Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey.
General Daniel was born in Fort Knox, Ky., in 1939. He graduated from Bolton High School, Alexandria, La., in 1957, and attended Baylor University from 1957 to 1958. The general earned a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1962 and a master's degree in political science from Auburn University in 1973. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1968, Air Command and Staff College in 1973, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1978.
On graduating from the academy, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., for pilot training. He received his pilot wings in August 1963 and was assigned as an F-4 pilot with the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 12th Tactical Fighter Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. From November 1965 to October 1966 General Daniel served with the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, Republic of Vietnam.
After completing upgrade training in the F-4D at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., he was assigned to the 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., as assistant squadron operations officer. He served as standardization and evaluation flight examiner with the 334th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson from October 1967 until December 1968, when he became assistant chief of standardization and evaluation for the wing. During the Pueblo crisis General Daniel participated in the Combat Fox response force from January to July 1968, while a member of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing spending time at Kunsan and Kwang-ju air bases, South Korea.
In July 1969 he was assigned to Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where he served as operations briefing officer to the commander in chief and as a staff officer in current operations and operations plans. General Daniel attended Air Command and Staff College from August 1972 to July 1973. He then completed F-4 recurrency training at George Air Force Base, Calif. From December 1973 to July 1974 he served as a flight commander with the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 432nd Tactical Fighter and Reconnaissance Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.
The general then was assigned as a staff officer in the Tactical Fighter Division, Directorate of Operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. In July 1976 he became executive officer to the deputy chief of staff for plans and operations. He entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in August 1977 and, upon graduation in June 1978, was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va. There he served as a staff officer in plans, operations and personnel. In August 1981 General Daniel was assigned as deputy commander for operations, 363rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and in November 1982 became vice commander of the wing.
He assumed command of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson, in May 1984. The general transferred to Headquarters 9th Air Force at Shaw in March 1986 as special assistant to the commander. In July 1986 he became inspector general at Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany. He transferred to Lindsey Air Station, West Germany, in April 1988 as commander of the 65th Air Division. He assumed his present command in January 1989.
General Daniel is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours, including 414 combat hours. He has flown F-16s, T-33s, T-39s and six variants of the F-4. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He assumed the grade of major general March 9, 1989.