Retired March 1, 1974.
Major General John O. Moench is the director, Plans, Policy and Program Formulation, Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs).
General Moench was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1921, and is a 1939 graduate of Valparaiso High School, Valparaiso, Ind. He has a bachelor of science degree in military science and a master's degree in political science from the University of Maryland. He began his military career in May 1942, entered pilot training the following October, and received his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant in August 1943.
He then was assigned to the 479th Bombardment Squadron at Avon Park, Fla. Subsequent assignments were to MacDill Army Air Field, Fla., and Lake Charles Army Air Field, La. He was assigned in May 1944 to the 323d Bombardment Group, Ninth Air Force, and served in the European Theater of Operations as a pilot and later assistant group operations officer, flying 60 combat missions in the B-26 Marauder.
General Moench returned to the United States in August 1945 to become assistant chief, Aircraft Section, Air Materiel Command, at Wright Field, Ohio. This was followed by a three-year tour of duty at U.S. Air Force Headquarters where he held several positions including assistant for materiel in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Materiel; and staff plans officer in the Office of the Assistant for Programming, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.
From March 1951 to December 1953, General Moench was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, as programs officer, Requirements Division, and later to U.S. European Command as plans officer, Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans. Following a six-month course at the Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., he returned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force in Washington, D.C., as chief, International Standardization Branch, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Development. In August 1958 he was selected to attend the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base.
In July 1959 General Moench began his third overseas tour of duty when he went to the Pacific area. He served in Korea as commander, 6175th Air Base Group, Kunsan Air Base, and later as director, Plans and Programs, 314th Air Division, Osan Air Base. In June 1960 he transferred to Pacific Air Forces headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, serving successively as director of policy in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans; and assistant to the deputy chief of staff for plans and operations.
In June 1963 General Moench again returned to the Pentagon for assignment to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as assistant to the deputy chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Special Studies Group; in June 1964 he was assigned to the Strategic Plans and Policy Division, Joint Staff.
General Moench returned for a second Pacific assignment, in April 1966, to serve on the staff of the commander in chief, U.S. Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Hawaii, as chief, Plans and Policy Branch. In August 1968 he assumed the position of deputy chief of staff for plans, at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
In January 1971 General Moench began his fourth assignment in Washington, D.C., this time in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as the director, Plans, Policy and Program Formulation, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) responsible for the foreign military assistance plans and policy of the Department of Defense.
He is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem.
He was promoted to the grade of major general effective Aug. 1, 1970, with date of rank Feb. 1, 1966.