Retired Aug. 1, 1984.
Major General Robert C. Taylor is deputy commander in chief of the U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. The command is responsible for U.S. Military and security interests in a 19-country area in the Persian Gulf, Horn of Africa and Southwest Asia.
The general is a native of Central Missouri, born in 1932. He attended public schools and subsequently earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland and a master of science degree from The George Washington University.
He is a command pilot and has flown more than 4,584 hours, primarily in fighter aircraft such as the F-86, F-89, F-102, F-104 and F-4. His flying assignments took him to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.; Presque Isle Air Force Base, Maine; McChord Air Force Base, Wash.; Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif.; Ramstein Air Base, Germany; Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; George Air Force Base, Calif.; Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand; and Osan Air Base, South Korea in varied capacities.
From 1952 to 1967, he was assigned to fighter squadrons almost exclusively. In 1969 he transferred to George Air Force Base for F-4 training. He subsequently served at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base as commander, 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron and then as assistant deputy commander for operations, 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, completing 140 combat missions.
The general is a graduate of Squadron Officer School (1957) and Air Command and Staff College (1964), both located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (1970) at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C. While assigned to the Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, from 1970 to 1972, he was selected for duty as military assistant to Secretary of Defense Melvin E. Laird. He later served in the same capacity for Secretaries Elliot L. Richardson and James R. Schlesinger.
He was assistant deputy (1974), then deputy chief of staff for plans (1975), Pacific Air Forces. In 1977 he became the commander, 314th Air Division, and commander, U.S. Air Forces, Korea, headquartered at Osan Air Base. He assumed duties as director, operations and readiness, Headquarters U.S. Air Force in August 1978. In mid-March 1980, General Taylor was assigned to MacDill Air Force Base as deputy commander of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force which was renamed U.S. Central Command in January 1983.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters and Presidential Unit Citation Emblem.