Retired June 1, 1987.
Major General Russell L. Violett is chief of the joint U.S. Military Training Mission, Saudi Arabia, and the senior defense representative in the Kingdom. The mission, the largest U.S. overseas security assistance organization, provides advice and assistance to the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces and executes the U.S. security assistance program in Saudi Arabia.
General Violett was born in 1935, in Montana. He graduated from Chester (Mont.) High School in 1954 and received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Denver in 1958. He completed the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va., in 1973 and was a distinguished graduate of the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1978.
After receiving his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program, General Violett entered the U.S. Air Force in December 1958. He began flying training at Moore Air Base, Texas, and received his wings in January 1960 at Webb Air Force Base, Texas. In February 1960 he was assigned to Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., for advanced F-100 training and completed this training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in December 1960. From January 1961 until October 1963, he flew F-100s with the 531st Tactical Fighter Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan.
In November 1963 General Violett was assigned to the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. After converting to the F-105 and completing training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in April 1965, the general deployed on temporary duty to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. After returning to McConnell he attended instructor pilot instrument school at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, in October 1965. He then became a standardization and evaluation officer for the 563rd Tactical Fighter Squadron and in January 1966 was named the assistant chief of standardization and evaluation for the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing. General Violett returned to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base in February 1969 and was assigned to the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron in the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. In July 1969 he transferred to Headquarters 7th Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. During the time he spent in Vietnam and Thailand, he served as a squadron F-105 pilot, a flight leader and as chief of F-105 Combat Tactics Branch, flying 126 combat missions, 56 over North Vietnam.
Following completion of F-4E transition training at George Air Force Base, Calif., in January 1970, General Violett reported to Torrejon Air Base, Spain, where he served as an emergency action officer in the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing command post and flew operationally with the 353rd Tactical Fighter Squadron. He was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Office of the Inspector General, Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany, in December 1970.
While there he developed operational readiness inspection scenarios for units assigned to U.S. Air Forces Europe, served as an instructor pilot, standardization and evaluation flight examiner, and inspected command and control procedures and squadron operations from January 1971 until December 1972.
Upon completing Armed Forces Staff College in June 1973, General Violett was assigned to the National Guard Bureau, Directorate of the Air National Guard, Programs and Resources Division, Washington, D.C. After serving there from July 1973 to July 1975, he transferred to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Resources, Airlift and Tactical Forces Division, Tactical Forces Branch at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. From August 1977 to May 1978, he attended the Air War College. Following graduation he served with the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., as assistant deputy commander for maintenance. He became deputy commander for maintenance in November 1978 and become qualified in the A-10 attack aircraft.
From August 1979 to March 1981, General Violett was commander of the 479th Tactical Training Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. This unit provided the lead-in fighter training and recurrency for all personnel going to or returning to tactical aircraft operations. He then moved to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., serving initially as assistant for operations control and support, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations. He became assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, in May 1981 and in May 1982 was named the command's inspector general. In May 1983 he was assigned as deputy commander for air defense, Headquarters Tactical Air Command. He assumed his present duties in July 1985.
The general is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours including 308 combat hours in F-100s, F-105s, F-106s, F-4s, A-10s, T-33s, T-38s, T-39s, and C-12s. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters and Presidential Unit Citation with "V" device and two oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to major general Jan. 1, 1984, with date of rank Sept. 1, 1980.