Military Bios

Major General Howard M. Estes Jr.:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Aug. 1, 1980.  
Major General Howard M. Estes Jr. is deputy chief, Central Security Service and deputy director for programs and resources, National Security Agency, Fort George G. Meade, Md.
He was born in Tulare, Calif., in 1928, and graduated from Stockton (Calif.) High School in 1945. In March 1945 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., in June 1946. He graduated from the academy in 1950 with a bachelor of science degree and a commission as second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He received master of science degrees in aeronautical engineering and instrumentation engineering in 1958 and a doctorate in instrumentation engineering in 1961 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., in 1965 and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1969.
His first assignment was as training officer with the 3701st Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in June 1950. This was followed by navigation training at Ellington Air Force Base, Texas. In November 1951 he was assigned to Strategic Air Command as a strategic reconnaissance crew navigator in RB-50s and served successively at Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico; Forbes Air Force Base, Kan.; and Biggs Air Force Base, Texas.
In July 1954 General Estes was transferred to South Korea and assigned to the 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron as a tactical reconnaissance crew navigator in RB-26s. In November 1954 he moved to Japan with the squadron and was executive officer until June 1955. He was then assigned to the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group as group adjutant and later as a squadron commander. In August 1956 he entered graduate school at the University of Michigan.
General Estes served successively from January 1960 to August 1964, as instructor, assistant professor and associate professor of mechanics at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. He left to attend the Armed Forces Staff College. In February 1965 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as a staff development engineer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development. In August 1968 he entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
In June 1969 General Estes began a series of assignments in Air Force Systems Command when he assumed command of the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Two years later he became deputy director of laboratories at Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. During 1972 he attended the advanced management program at the Harvard School of Business Administration, Cambridge, Mass. In February 1973 he transferred to the Space and Missile Systems Organization in Los Angeles where he become deputy for re-entry systems and in July 1974 assumed duties as deputy for space defense systems.
In September 1975 General Estes was assigned to Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He served as deputy chief of staff, data automation; deputy chief of staff, comptroller; and deputy chief of staff, plans and programs. In June 1978 he was assigned as deputy chief, Central Security Service and deputy director for field management and evaluation until assuming his present duties in August 1979.
He is a master navigator and wears the Senior Missileman Badge. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to major general Feb. 24, 1978, with date of rank July 1, 1974.


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