Retired Dec. 1, 1989.
Major General Richard B. Goetze Jr. (pronounced GET-zee) is vice director of the Joint Staff, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. He is responsible for supervising, coordinating and administering the work of the Joint Staff as well as providing guidance to the specialized activities of the Joint Staff.
General Goetze was born in 1935, in New York City and graduated from Greenwich High School in Connecticut. He received a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1959 as a member of the first class. He earned a master of arts degree in Latin American area studies in 1967 and a doctor of philosophy degree in international relations in 1973, both from the American University. The general completed Squadron Officer School in 1959, Air Command and Staff College in 1971, Air War College in 1976 and the executive development program at the University of Houston in 1982.
Upon graduation from the academy, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and awarded his navigator wings. He then attended pilot training at Bartow Air Base, Fla., and Craig Air Force Base, Ala. He graduated with honors in August 1960 and was awarded the Air Training Command Commander's Trophy as outstanding graduate. He then served as a C-118 co-pilot with the 38th Transport Squadron, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., until September 1961, when he was assigned as aide to the vice commander, Eastern Transport Air Force, Military Air Transport Service.
In September 1963 General Goetze was selected to be a George Olmsted Foundation scholar. After three months of language training in the Institute of Modern Language, Washington, D.C., he began his postgraduate studies at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. In January 1966 he returned to the United States and completed his master of arts degree at the American University.
General Goetze volunteered for combat duty in Southeast Asia and was assigned to the 4th Air Commando Squadron at Pleiku Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, from May 1967 to May 1968. While there he flew more than 280 combat missions and logged more than 1,200 combat hours in AC-47s. Upon his return to the United States, the general served as a politico-military affairs officer in the Western Hemisphere Branch, Deputy Directorate for Plans and Policy, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. During this tour of duty, the general completed Air Command and Staff College by correspondence and earned his doctorate degree through off-duty education programs.
In December 1973 the general was assigned to the 28th Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Ga. While with the 28th, he served as B-52 crew commander, instructor, operations officer, and finally as squadron commander. He entered attache training in March 1976 and, upon completion in July 1976, was assigned as U.S. air attache to Argentina. He later served as United States defense attache in addition to his air attache responsibilities.
In August 1978 General Goetze returned to Air Force headquarters, where he managed a special study group that investigated foreign military training and combined exercises. He then served as chief of the Middle East/Africa Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Readiness.
From September 1979 to February 1981 the general served as vice commander, 320th Bombardment Wing, Mather Air Force Base, Calif. He then became wing commander and served in that capacity until March 1982, when he was assigned as chief, Strategic Operations Division, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. In this position he initiated major changes in strategic nuclear warfighting and decision aids to be used by the National Command Authority if the Single Integrated Operational Plan were to be executed.
The general assumed command of 40th Air Division, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Mich., in February 1984. From June 1985 to June 1986 he served as director of command control, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. In this capacity he was responsible for assuring that the National Command Authorities and SAC commander in chief were able to maintain connectivity with, and exercise control over, SAC's forces worldwide.
He then became deputy chief of staff for strategic planning and analysis, and deputy director for the Single Integrated Operational Plan for the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff at Offutt. He was responsible for developing the nation's strategic nuclear war plan. In February 1987 he was assigned as deputy chief of staff for plans, Strategic Air Command headquarters, where he was the principal advocate and guardian of SAC's future. He assumed his present duties in September 1987.
General Goetze is a command pilot with more than 7,800 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to major general Dec. 1, 1986, with same date of rank.
General Goetze's hometown is Old Greenwich, Conn.