Retired Sep. 1, 1991.
Major General John P. Schoeppner Jr. is commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
General Schoeppner was born in 1938, in Pittsburgh and graduated from Pittsburgh's North Catholic High School in 1956. He received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1960 and a master's degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Colorado in 1962. The general is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College and the program for national and international security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and a distinguished graduate of both the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and Air War College.
Commissioned as a distinguished graduate through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program, General Schoeppner entered active duty in August 1960. His initial assignment was to graduate school at the University of Colorado through the Air Force Institute of Technology program, with a directed duty assignment to Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., where he served as a design engineer and project manager for nuclear weapons blast effects simulation tests. He completed pilot training at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, and then F-105 combat crew training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in February 1967. He then was assigned to the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, where he served as flight commander and participated in the United States' response to North Korea's attack on the USS Pueblo. In August 1969 he transferred to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, where he flew 151 combat missions in F-105s and served as deputy chief, tactics and standardization, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing.
Returning to the United States in July 1970, he was assigned to the 3246th Test Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where he was responsible for all weapons testing on the A-7D. After graduating from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in June 1972, General Schoeppner remained on the staff as an instructor and chief of the Training Resources Branch. Subsequent assignments at Edwards included operations assistant for joint test force activities, chief of maintenance quality control, and deputy commander of the 6512th Test Squadron.
After completing Air War College in July 1978, General Schoeppner was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., where he served as chief of the Tactical Requirements Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition. He was responsible for advocating through the planning, programming and budgeting cycle all operational requirements for fighter aircraft, including the need for an advanced tactical fighter. His duties included membership on the Air Staff Program Review and Force Structure committees. He also was the U.S. representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Tri-Service Group on Air Defense. He then was appointed acting deputy for general purpose forces, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition.
The general returned to Eglin Air Force Base in June 1981, and served as vice commander and, later, as commander of the 3246th Test Wing. In July 1984 he became vice commander of the Armament Division, also at Eglin. In November 1985 he was assigned as deputy director for operations in the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. He served there until January 1987 when he became deputy chief of staff, plans and programs, Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Still at Air Force Systems Command headquarters, he was named deputy chief of staff, systems, in October 1987. He assumed his present command in July 1988.
The general is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours, including 360 combat hours. He has flown A-7D's, T-38s, F-104s, F-105s, F-15s and various fighter-type aircraft. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to major general June 1, 1988, with same date of rank.