Retired July 1, 1993.
Major General Richard J. O'Lear is assistant chief of staff, intelligence, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General O'Lear was born in Yonkers, N.Y., and graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1959. He earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1963, a master of arts degree in history from the University of Denver in 1972 and a master of political science degree from Auburn University in 1973. He has a master of arts degree in national security studies pending from Georgetown University. The general completed Squadron Officer School in 1966, Air Command and Staff College in 1973, and National War College in 1981. Also, he attended Harvard University's Senior Officials in National Security Seminar in 1985 and the Senior Executives Seminar in 1987.
After receiving his commission in 1963, General O'Lear completed the basic intelligence officer course at the Armed Forces Air Intelligence Training Center, Lowry Air Force Base, Colo. He remained at the center as an instructor from August 1964 until December 1965, when he became the Air Force intelligence training manager, Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
In January 1968 General O'Lear was assigned as an intelligence analyst with Headquarters United Nations Command and U.S. Forces Korea, Seoul. In May 1969 he transferred to Headquarters U.S. European Command, West Germany, where he served as an air intelligence analyst until July 1972.
After graduating from Air Command and Staff College in July 1973, the general was assigned to the political science department, Air Force Academy, where he taught courses in international politics and American defense policy. From January 1977 to August 1978 General O'Lear was an intelligence inspector with the Air Force inspector general's staff, Air Force Inspection and Safety Center, Norton Air Force Base, Calif. He then became commander of the 544th Intelligence Exploitation Squadron, 544th Aerospace Reconnaissance Technical Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. In July 1979 he transferred to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt, where he was deputy director, then director, of operational intelligence until July 1980.
General O'Lear graduated from the National War College in July 1981 and was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, Air Force headquarters. After initially serving as chief of the Planning Division, he served as deputy director for the Intelligence Plans and Systems Directorate from November 1981 to May 1983. The general then was director of estimates for the assistant chief of staff for intelligence at Air Force headquarters. In June 1985 he became commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. He next was director of intelligence, U.S. Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., in September 1986. He transferred to West Germany in June 1988 and became deputy chief of staff for intelligence, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, then director of intelligence (J-2), U.S. European Command headquarters, in July 1989. He assumed his present position in September 1991.
His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with five oak leaf clusters and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.
He was promoted to major general May 1, 1990, with same date of rank.