Military Bios

Major General Walter D. Reed:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Sep. 1, 1980.  
Major General Walter D. Reed is the judge advocate general, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
General Reed was born in 1924, in Dallas Center, Iowa. He graduated from Osceola High School, Osceola, Iowa, in 1940, and attended Osceola Junior College. He was awarded a bachelor of commercial science degree in 1948 from the College of Commerce, and a juris doctorate in 1950 from the School of Law, Drake University, Iowa; and a master of laws degree from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, in 1964. He attended The Hague Academy of International Law (Netherlands) in 1960.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at Camp Dodge, Iowa, in August 1943, during World War II, and was accepted in the aviation cadet program in October 1943. He completed advanced navigation training at Hondo, Texas, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in December 1944. General Reed completed radar training in March 1945 at Boca Raton, Fla., and was assigned to a B-29 bombardment group at Salina, Kan. In February 1946 he was released from active duty at Denver, Colo., and entered Drake University.
General Reed was recalled to active duty in February 1951 and after attending a radar refresher course was assigned in February 1952 as assistant staff judge advocate at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. In November 1952 he was transferred to Korea for a year as staff judge advocate of the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing.
From November 1953 to August 1958, General Reed served at the Air Force Missile Test Center at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., first as assistant staff judge advocate in the legal office of the Military Justice Division and later as legal staff officer, Military and Civilian Affairs Division, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate. During this period he assisted in the formulation of implementing procedures to the international agreement establishing the Long Range Proving Ground.
He served the next four years with Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe in the Directorate of International Law. In this position, he acted as legal adviser to the Ballistic Missile Committee which negotiated implementing arrangements for the establishment of certain NATO bases in Italy and Turkey. He also acted as legal adviser on the USAFE team which was responsible for negotiating technical arrangements regarding special ammunition.
General Reed entered McGill University, Canada, in September 1962 to study international air and space law. In May 1963 he became a member of the International Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. From August 1967 to August 1969, he was assigned to the American Embassy in Bangkok where he served as the legal adviser to the U.S. ambassador to Thailand with responsibility for the handling of status of U.S. forces problems with the Thai government.
General Reed next was assistant staff judge advocate at Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. In April 1970 he was assigned as chief of the International Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for advising the Air Force on international legal implications of military operations and the applicability of international law and foreign law to the operation and status of U.S. forces and their personnel in foreign countries.
In May 1973 General Reed was reassigned within the Office of the Judge Advocate General as director of civil law, with responsibility for administering civil legal matters affecting the U.S. Air Force, including international law, claims, activities relating to litigation, legislation, patents and legal aid.
General Reed assumed duties as assistant judge advocate general, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, in October 1973. He served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the Diplomatic Conference on the Law Applicable in Armed Conflict which convened in February 1974 and as vice chairman of the delegation for the final session ending in June 1977.
General Reed was appointed the judge advocate general, U.S. Air Force and promoted to the grade of major general on Oct. 1, 1977, with date of rank July 1, 1974.
General Reed is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Iowa, and the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. He is a member of the American and the Federal Bar Associations and the American Society of International Law.
He holds the aeronautical rating of aircraft observer. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.


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