Military Bios

Major General Philip J. Conley Jr.:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Oct. 1, 1983.  
Major General Philip J. Conley Jr. is vice commander of Electronic Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.
General Conley was born in 1927 in Providence, R.I., grew up in nearby West Warwick and graduated from LaSalle Academy in Providence in 1945. After attending Providence College for a year, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., in 1946 and upon graduation in 1950 was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force. He earned master of science degrees in aeronautical engineering from the University of Michigan and in engineering management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. The general is also a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
After completing basic and advanced pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and Craig Air Force Base, Ala., in 1951, he served in South Korea as a forward air controller and flew 100 combat missions. From November 1952 to June 1954, he was assigned to troop carrier units at Mitchel Air Force Base, N.Y., and Donaldson Air Force Base, S.C. He then entered the University of Michigan under the Air Force Institute of Technology program and graduated in 1956.
From 1956 to 1961, General Conley served at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. During this time he participated in flight test evaluations of F-100s, F-105s, B-52s and other jet aircraft. Following graduation from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1962, he was a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
In October 1964 he transferred to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as a research and development staff officer in the Directorate of Development Plans. From February 1966 to August 1967, General Conley was a staff member for Southeast Asia Studies with the Defense Department's Weapons Systems Evaluation Group. In the latter assignment he served in the Republic of Vietnam, conducting analyses of Air Force and Navy air combat operations.
After attending the National War College, he was assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in August 1968 as deputy for development engineering for the Armament Development and Test Center. He later served as deputy commander of the Air Force Armament Laboratory at Eglin until he returned to the Republic of Vietnam in October 1970. During this tour of duty, he was 7th Air Force's director of operations support at Tan Son Nhut Air Base.
In July 1971 General Conley returned to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base as vice commander and then as inspector general. He reported to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in January 1974 as executive to General Samuel C. Phillips, commander of Air Force Systems Command. In September 1974 he became the command's deputy chief of staff for operations and, in September 1975, he was named chief of staff. General Conley returned to Edwards Air Force Base as commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center in March 1978. He assumed his present duties in October 1982.
The general is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters and Joint Service Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to major general May 1, 1979, with date of rank July 1, 1975.


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