Retired June 1, 1993.
Major General Michael J. Butchko Jr. is commander of the Air Force Development Test Center, Air Force Systems Command, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The center plans, conducts and reports on testing of U.S. and allied non-nuclear munitions, electronic combat and supporting systems; operates the largest air base in the Free World, providing host support to 50 tenant units; and supports the largest single base mobility commitment in the Air Force.
General Butchko was born in 1940 in Moundsville, W.Va., and graduated from Morgantown (W.Va.) High School. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1962, a master's degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1973 and a master's degree in public administration from Auburn University in 1981. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1967, Armed Forces Staff College in 1974, Defense Systems Management College in 1977 and Air War College in 1981.
The general entered active duty in June 1962. From August 1962 to September 1963 he attended pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas. After he completed KC-135A pilot training at Castle Air Force Base, Calif., he was assigned to the 914th Air Refueling Squadron, Blytheville Air Force Base, Ark. From September 1966 to May 1969 he was assigned to the 343rd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., as an RC-135C pilot. He then attended four months' training in the EB-66 at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., followed by service in Southeast Asia at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. There he flew 109 combat missions in EB/RB-66s with the 41st and 42nd Tactical Electronic Warfare squadrons from September 1969 to September 1970.
Upon his return to the United States, General Butchko attended the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., graduating in December 1971. He then joined the school staff and remained there until August 1973, when he attended Armed Forces Staff College. He returned to Edwards Air Force Base in February 1974 and served, first, as test manager and, later, as deputy director of development, test and evaluation for the on-site B-1A System Program Office detachment until December 1976.
After attending Defense Systems Management College, the general was assigned as cruise missile program element monitor in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., from July 1977 to July 1980. He then attended Air War College and returned to the Pentagon in June 1981 as deputy division chief, Systems Liaison Division, Office of Legislative Liaison. In June 1982 General Butchko returned to Edwards Air Force Base for the third time and served as vice commander of the 651Oth Test Wing.
In May 1983 General Butchko was assigned to the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, as deputy director of the B-1B system program. From September 1984 to June 1987 he served as director of the F-15 system program while assigned with the Systems Program Office. He then served as deputy commander for tactical systems. In August 1987 he became the C-17 program director for the Aeronautical Systems Division. He assumed his present command in July 1991.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours, and has flown more than 40 aircraft. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and two oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to major general May 16,1991, with same date of rank.