Retired June 1, 1984.
Major General Robert F. McCarthy is commander of the Air Force Communications Command with headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. As a major command, Air Force Communications Command engineers, installs, operates and maintains communications-electronics-meteorological equipment and facilities for the Air Force and selected government and civilian agencies. This includes long-haul intercontinental and local base communications, air traffic control and navigational aid facilities, and weather equipment. The command is also responsible for Air Force standardized data automation processing activities.
General McCarthy was born in 1932, in Weymouth, Mass. He has both bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, earned in 1964 and 1965, respectively. He also completed the University of Pittsburgh advanced management program. His military education includes Squadron Officer School and the Air War College, both located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
He enlisted in the Air Force in March 1951 and was an armament-munitions technician before earning his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant in May 1954 through the aviation cadet program. He remained at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., as an instructor pilot until March 1957 when he went to James Connally Air Force Base, Texas, to obtain his additional rating as a navigator.
The general transferred to the 350th Bombardment Squadron at Pease Air Force Base, N.H., in October 1957 as a B-47 aircraft commander. He remained there until June 1962 when he attended Oklahoma State University under the Air Force Institute of Technology program.
In August 1964 he was assigned as chief of the Relay and Terminal Communications Branch, Headquarters Pacific Communications Area at Wheeler Air Force Base, Hawaii. During this three-year tour of duty, he was also chief of the Base Facilities Division and director of plans and requirements.
He transferred in November 1968 to the Mission Analysis Office, Headquarters 7th Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. Upon his return to the United States, he served as deputy chief of the Combat Evaluation Branch in the Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., until April 1971 when he became chief of the branch.
After graduation from the Air War College in July 1972, he was assigned to the Defense Communications Agency in Washington, D.C., as chief of the Record Networks Management Division.
In July 1974 General McCarthy assumed command of Headquarters Tactical Communications Area at Langley Air Force Base, Va., where he also served as deputy chief of staff, communications and electronics, for the Tactical Air Command. In February 1977 he become director of communications/data processing, J-6, Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii. He held this position until June 1979 when he became vice commander of the Air Force Communications Command at Scott Air Force Base. He assumed his present command in July 1981.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon and air traffic controller's badge.
He was promoted to major general Feb. 1, 1981, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1977.