Retired July 1, 1992.
Major General James J. LeCleir is director, Inter American Defense College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
General LeCleir was born in 1941, in Chippewa Falls, Wis., where he graduated from McDonell Memorial High School in 1959. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in business management from Empire State College in 1974 and a master of science degree in personnel counseling and guidance from Troy State University in 1977. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1969, Air Command and Staff College in 1972, Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1973 and the Air War College in 1977.
The general enlisted in the Air Force in 1960. After completing basic military training he entered the aviation cadet navigation program at Harlingen Air Force Base, Texas. Upon graduation he was commissioned in 1961 and assigned to Mather Air Force Base, Calif., for advanced navigator-bombardier training. The general navigated B-52B's with the Strategic Air Command at Castle and March Air Force bases, Calif., logging nearly 1,600 flying hours between 1962 and 1966.
He completed pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., in June 1967. The general remained in the Air Training Command as a T-38 instructor pilot at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas. In January 1971 he transitioned to the A-37 and was assigned to South Vietnam as a member of the Air Force Advisory Team One, Da Nang Air Base. He served as the standardization and evaluation adviser to the 1st Air Division, Vietnamese air force, and flew more than 200 combat missions.
General LeCleir returned to SAC in May 1972 and flew FB-111s with the 380th Bombardment Wing, Plattsburgh Air Force Base, N.Y. Two years later he was assigned to the Royal Air Force Exchange Program. After completing the Vulcan Bomber Initial Qualification Course at Royal Air Force Station Scampton, England, he remained there as an instructor. The general completed Air War College in June 1977 and then was assigned as chief of Plans Division, Operations Directorate (J-3), Headquarters U.S. Southern Command. In June 1980 he returned to SAC as assistant deputy commander for operations, 509th Bombardment Wing, Pease Air Force Base, N.H. A year later he became deputy commander for operations at Pease.
In July 1982 General LeCleir completed C-141 conversion training and was assigned to Military Airlift Command under the SAC-MAC Exchange Program as vice commander of the 438th Military Airlift Wing, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. He served a brief tour of duty as deputy chief of staff for operations, 21st Air Force, McGuire, before taking command of the 438th Military Airlift Wing in June 1983.
In August 1985 General LeCleir became commander of MAC's 834th Airlift Division, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He returned to Panama in August 1987 as director of plans, policy and political-military affairs (J-5), U.S. Southern Command. The general became assistant deputy chief of staff, operations, Military Airlift Command headquarters, in August 1989, and deputy chief of staff, operations, in April 1990. He became deputy director of logistics programs, Office of the Chief of Staff for Logistics and Engineering, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in October 1990. He assumed his present position in July 1991.
The general is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours as a pilot and navigator in the B-52, T-38, A-37, FB-111, KC-135, C-130, C-141 and C-21. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters. He also wears the Basic Parachutist Badge.
He was promoted to major general May 1, 1990, with same date of rank.