Retired Dec. 1, 1981.
Major General Richard C. Bowman is director of the European Region, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs, Washington, D.C., with responsibility for defense policy pertaining to the NATO alliance and the European nations.
General Bowman was born in Chicago in 1926. He graduated from Evanston Township High School, Evanston, Ill., in 1943 and entered active military duty in the infantry in 1944. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1945 and graduated in 1949 with a bachelor of science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant. He received his pilot wings at Reese Air Force Base, Texas, in August 1950. He then attended pilot instructor school and later was assigned as an instructor pilot at Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
During 1951 he served as flight commander and assistant operations officer for the 729th Bombardment Squadron in South Korea and completed 55 combat missions in the B-26 bomber. In 1952 he returned to Vance Air Force Base as a pilot instructor with the 3575th Pilot Training Wing. He later became the group staff officer responsible for instructor training and instructional methods for all training bases having multiengine aircraft. While at Vance he received a master's degree in industrial engineering and management at Oklahoma State University in 1954.
General Bowman was assigned to the first staff of the U.S. Air Force Academy in early 1955. As the staff training officer for the commandant of cadets, he was responsible for developing the airmanship training programs. He served as the commandant's representative on the accreditation committee, and organized and coached the cadet intercollegiate fencing team. He then attended Harvard University from 1957 to 1959, where he received a master's degree in public administration. He received his doctorate in political science in 1964.
In 1959 he returned to the Air Force Academy faculty, this time in the political science department. He became associate professor and was responsible for establishing a master's degree program in international affairs in cooperation with Georgetown University. He taught courses and seminars in American government, contemporary foreign government, political theory, defense policy and international politics.
In 1963 General Bowman was a member of the Policy and Strategy Panel of Project FORECAST, an Air Force long-range planning group under General Bernard A. Schriever and served in the Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C. In 1964 he became military assistant to General Earle G. Wheeler, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He was a member of the chairman's staff group and was the chairman's representative on the National Security Council staff. He attended the National War College from 1966 to 1967 and then became chief of the Research and Analysis Division, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. In the latter assignment he assisted in designing new policies for development and procurement of Air Force weapon systems and prepared congressional statements and other policy papers for the secretary of the Air Force.
General Bowman served as deputy defense adviser to the U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance, at Brussels, Belgium, from June 1973 to June 1975. He assisted the ambassador during several crises in the alliance and, in this capacity, helped develop programs for modernization of NATO forces and greater cooperation between allies.
General Bowman assumed his present position in July 1975.
He is a command pilot with 4,800 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation emblem with oak leaf cluster and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation ribbon. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His published writings include articles in "Air Force Magazine," "Air University Review," "Institute of Naval Proceedings" and "Air Power Historian."
He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1975, with date of rank Nov. 1, 1972.