Retired May 1, 1985.
Major General John B. Marks is commander of Electronic Security Command and director of the Joint Electronic Warfare Center, both located at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas.
General Marks was born in 1928, in New Orleans. He graduated from Napoleonville (La.) High School in 1946 and from Southwestern Louisiana Institute in 1950 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. In 1964 he earned a master of science degree in business administration from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He graduated from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1964.
The general was commissioned through the Air Force Officer Candidate School in December 1951 and received his wings as an electronic warfare officer in October 1952. He attended flying training at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., from January to October 1952.
As a member of an RB-50 aircrew, he flew 35 missions during the Korean War. Following this tour of duty, General Marks was assigned to 15th Air Force, March Air Force Base, Calif., in 1954, and then to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in 1956. While there he served as an electronic intelligence analyst, a penetration planner and a reconnaissance systems evaluator. During this period he was active in the plans and analyses of U-2 aircraft operations. In 1963 General Marks attended Air Command and Staff College and upon completion returned to SAC headquarters.
The general was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., in July 1966 as an electronics engineer staff officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development. His responsibilities included the development of signal intelligence equipment. In July 1968, during this assignment, General Marks became chief of the Electronic Reconnaissance System Developments Branch.
In April 1970 he transferred to European Command headquarters at Vaihingen, Germany, as chief of the Electronic Warfare Division, J-3, Operations Directorate. For the next three years General Marks worked with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and United States forces to strengthen allied capabilities in electronic warfare. His duties included active participation with Mid-East countries in supporting their efforts to recognize electronic warfare's defensive and offensive roles.
He became deputy chief of staff, intelligence, for Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in August 1973. Following the Mid-East war in 1973, he reorganized the directorate and was instrumental in developing an exchange with the Israeli air force which led to an effective foreign equipment evaluation program.
These accomplishments resulted in General Marks' assignment as commander of Air Force, Systems Command's Foreign Technology Division in July 1975. During his tour of duty, the Foreign Technology Division played a very important role in defining the weapon systems capabilities of the Soviet Union and other countries. This work was especially important to the United States' participation in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.
From January 1977 to April 1980, the general served as director for intelligence, J-2, Headquarters Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii. General Marks then returned to Air Force headquarters and was assigned as assistant chief of staff for intelligence. He assumed his present command in July 1983.
General Marks is rated as a master observer (electronic warfare) with more than 3,500 hours in RB-36s, RB-47s, RB-50s, B-52s and EB-66s. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to major general May 1, 1980, with date of rank July 1, 1976.
General Marks' hometown is Napoleonville, La.