Retired May 1, 1983.
Major General Richard V. Secord is deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs (Near East, Africa and South Asia affairs), Washington, D.C.
General Secord was born in 1932, in La Rue, Ohio, and graduated from high school in Columbus, Ohio, in 1950. He entered the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in 1951, and graduated in 1955 with a bachelor of science degree and a commission in the U.S. Air Force. He received a master of science degree in international affairs from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1972. He is also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and the Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
He entered pilot training at Marianna, Fla., after graduation from the academy, and received his pilot wings in August 1956 at Greenville Air Force Base, Miss. He then served as an instructor pilot in single-engine jet basic pilot training from 1956 until 1959 at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas. From 1959 until 1961, General Secord was assigned as a flight instructor and operations officer at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., flying jet trainers and transports including T-33s, U-3s, C-54s and C-97s.
In August 1961 he was selected to serve with a special volunteer tactical organization which was formed at Hurlburt Field, Fla. He remained with this unit, later designated as the 1st Air Commando Wing, until 1965. During this four-year assignment General Secord had numerous extended temporary duty tours in overseas areas. In March 1962 he was assigned as an adviser to the Republic of Vietnam, flying Vietnamese air force AT-28s, during which time he logged more than 200 combat missions. Beginning in January 1963 he served for six months in Iran working with the Iranian air force as an adviser on air-ground operations. General Secord again was assigned on temporary duty tours in Iran from January to May 1964 and from January until March 1965, working on joint operations.
The general then served as chief of the Tactical Operations Division, 1st Air Commando Wing, until July 1965 when he entered the Air Command and Staff College. After graduation in 1966, he returned to the Republic of Vietnam as an air operations officer in Saigon. Transferring to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in August 1966, he served as an air adviser until August 1968. He flew 285 combat missions while serving in Southeast Asia.
From September 1968 to November 1969, General Secord was assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., as assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Force, Tactical Air Command. He then took command of the 603rd Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, flying A-37B's. He served as squadron commander until 1971 when he entered the Naval War College.
After graduation from the Naval War College in June 1972, General Secord was assigned as a staff assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. His duties included serving as desk officer for Laos, Thailand and Vietnam under the assistant secretary of Defense for international security affairs. In July 1973 he assumed the position of executive assistant to the director, Defense Security Assistance Agency, under the secretary of Defense.
In March 1975 General Secord was named deputy commander for operations, 29th Flying Training Wing, Craig Air Force Base, Ala. In this position he was responsible for pilot training in T-37s and T-38s in three squadrons.
General Secord was appointed chief, Air Force Section, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Iran, in September 1975. While there he acted as chief adviser to the commander in chief of the Iranian air force, and managed all U.S. Air Force programs in Iran as well as some Army and Navy security assistance programs.
Following his return to the United States in July 1978, he was appointed director of military assistance and sales, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics and Engineering, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. In January 1979 General Secord was named director of international programs, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Evaluation. He assumed his current duties in April 1981.
General Secord is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Republic of Thailand Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant and Republic of Korea Order of National Security Merit Cheonsu Medal.
He was promoted to major general May 1, 1980, with date of rank July 1, 1976.
General Secord's hometown is Fort Walton Beach, Fla.