Maj. Gen. Robert J. "Bob" Elder Jr. is Commandant, Air War College, and Vice Commander, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Air War College is the U.S. Air Force's senior professional military education institution providing post-graduate senior leader development programs focused on joint, multinational, and multi-agency warfighting and international security operations, air and space force strategy development, and national security planning. Air University provides the full spectrum of Air Force education for officers, enlisted and civilian personnel throughout their careers, to include advanced degree programs, joint professional military education, professional continuing education and pre-commissioning programs.
General Elder's staff experience includes senior leadership positions with the Joint Staff, Air Staff, Air Combat Command and NATO. He has commanded an operational wing, group, squadron and installation, and served as the U.S. Central Command Air Forces Deputy Component Commander, participating in the planning and execution of major combat operations in both operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Prior to his current assignment, General Elder commanded the CENTAF Combined Air Operations Center in Southwest Asia (CENTAF-Forward), responsible for joint and coalition air operations in support of Multi-National Force-Iraq, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. In this capacity he also served as the Deputy Combined Forces Air Component Commander and Deputy Commander of the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force.
General Elder is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours, including 83 combat hours flown in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of Detroit.
1975 Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, University of Detroit, Mich.
1975 Master's degree in engineering, University of Detroit, Mich.
1979 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
1985 Doctor of Engineering, University of Detroit, Mich.
1987 Distinguished graduate, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1989 Air War College, by seminar
1991 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1997 Senior Executive Program, Columbia University Graduate School of Business, New York, N.Y.
2001 Senior Executive Course, George C. Marshall College of International and Security Studies, Garmisch, Germany
2002 Combined Force Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. May 1976 - May 1977, student, undergraduate pilot training, Reese AFB, Texas
2. May 1977 - November 1977, student, B-52G combat crew training, Castle AFB, Calif.
3. November 1977 - December 1980, B-52G co-pilot, 28th Bombardment Squadron, Robins AFB, Ga.
4. December 1980 - October 1982, Program Manager, F-15 Avionics Integration Support Facility, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins AFB, Ga.
5. October 1982 - April 1983, Global Positioning System Program officer, Air Staff Training Program, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
6. April 1983 - September 1983, Requirements Program officer, Air Staff Training Program, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
7. September 1983 - April 1984, student, B-52G combat crew training, Castle AFB, Calif.
8. April 1984 - August 1985, B-52G flight commander, later, instructor pilot, 69th Bombardment Squadron, Loring AFB, Maine
9. August 1985 - August 1986, Chief, B-52 Standardization and Evaluation Branch, later, Chief, 42nd Bombardment Wing, Standardization and Evaluation Division, Loring AFB, Maine
10. August 1986 - June 1987, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
11. June 1987 - September 1988, executive officer to the Commander, Headquarters 8th Air Force, Barksdale AFB, La.
12. September 1988 - July 1990, Commander, 596th Bombardment Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.
13. July 1990 - June 1991, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
14. June 1991 - July 1993, Chief, Strategic and Space Forces Branch, later, Chief, Forces Division, Directorate for Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
15. July 1993 - December 1994, Commander, 5th Operations Group, Minot AFB, N.D.
16. December 1994 - August 1996, Director, Chief of Staff Operations Group, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
17. August 1996 - July 1998, Commander, 5th Bomb Wing, Minot AFB, N.D.
18. July 1998 - April 2000, Assistant Director of Aerospace Operations, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
19. April 2000 - September 2001, Deputy Director, NATO Reaction Force Air Staff, Allied Command Europe, Kalkar, Germany
20. October 2001 - June 2003, Vice Commander, 9th Air Force, and Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command Air Forces, Shaw AFB, S.C.
21. June 2003 - July 2004, Commander, CENTAF-Forward Combined Air Headquarters; Deputy Commander, 9th Aerospace Expeditionary Task Force; and Deputy Combined Forces Air Component Commander, USCENTCOM, Southwest Asia
22. July 2004 - present, Commandant, Air War College, and Vice Commander, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,000
Aircraft flown: B-52, T-38 and T-37
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
"Non-Invasive Assessment of Pilot Workload with Flight Computer Generated Primary Measures," doctoral dissertation, University Microfilm International, 1985
"A Strategic Approach to Advanced Technology Trade with the Soviet Union," Comparative Strategy, January-March 1992
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 10, 1975
First Lieutenant Dec. 4, 1977
Captain Dec. 1, 1979
Major Aug. 1, 1984
Lieutenant Colonel July 1, 1988
Colonel Jan. 1, 1992
Brigadier General Jan. 1, 2000
Major General Oct. 1, 2003