Retired Sep. 1, 1992.
Major General John A. Corder is commander of the U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Warfare Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The center employs approximately 1,800 military and civilian personnel at 16 different locations throughout the United States. General Corder is responsible for management of operational test and evaluation, and tactics development and evaluation for the tactical air forces in the areas of electronic combat; armament and avionics; chemical defense, command, control and communications; reconnaissance; aircrew training devices; and readiness matters. The general also oversees the U.S. Air Force Air Ground Operations School and the TAC wargaming center called Blue Flag, and is responsible for TAC air-to-air and air-to-ground weapon systems evaluation programs.
General Corder was born in 1939 in Salem, Ore., and graduated from high school in Albany, Ore., in 1957. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska in 1970 and a master's degree in business administration from Auburn University in 1971. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1963, Air Command and Staff College in 1971, and National War College in 1975.
The general entered the Air Force in March 1959. He received his commission and navigator wings through the aviation cadet program at Harlingen Air Force Base, Texas, in April 1960. After completing B-52 upgrade training at Mather Air Force Base, Calif., and survival training at Stead Air Force Base, Nev., he was assigned as a B-52 navigator with the 7th Bombardment Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, in January 1961.
In March 1964 General Corder entered pilot training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, and upon graduation in April 1965, was assigned to the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, as an F-4 pilot. He then served in the Tactical branch, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, from May 1967 to March 1968. During this tour of duty, he flew 250 combat hours (140 sorties, including 100 missions over North Vietnam) in the F-4D. He then was assigned to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., serving in the Fighter Concepts and Doctrine Division of the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center.
Upon graduation from Air Command and Staff College in August 1971, he was assigned as an action officer in the Fighter Tactics Branch of the Tactical Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. In August 1974 he entered the National War College. After graduating in June 1975, he was assigned as chief of requirements, plans and programs, in the Air Force section of the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Mission to Turkey.
From August 1976 to July 1978 General Corder was base commander at Nellis Air Force Base. He then became deputy commander for operations and commandant of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School within the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, also at Nellis. He transferred to Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, in March 1979 as director of tactical operations. In October 1979 he was named director of inspection for the Pacific Air Forces inspector general team. The general was appointed vice commander of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Clark Air Force Base, Philippines, in August 1980 and became commander in February 1981. He was assigned as commander of the Defense General Supply Center, Richmond, Va., in August 1983.
In June 1985 General Corder returned to Air Force headquarters as director of electronic combat in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research, Development and Acquisition. The general was assigned as commander of the 65th Air Division, U.S. Air Forces in Europe's Electronic Combat Air Division, Lindsey Air Station, West Germany, in August 1987. In April 1988 he became deputy chief of staff for operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany. He assumed his present command in January 1989.
From November 1990 until March 1991 General Corder was deputy commander of operations for the Central Command Air Forces in the Persian Gulf. He was responsible for the planning and execution of 2,500 to 3,000 sorties per day during Desert Storm. This involved approximately 2,400 Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, plus aircraft from nine other allied nations.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours. His military awards and decorations include the Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to major general April 1, 1988, with same date of rank.