Retired June 1, 1980.
Major General William R. Yost is the director of Space Systems and Command, Control, Communications, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Yost was born in 1926, in Bellaire, Ohio, where he graduated from Bellaire High School in 1944. He received bachelor and master of science degrees in mathematics from Ohio University in 1950 and 1951, respectively, and completed the program for management development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business in 1963. He graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College in 1965 and was designated a distinguished graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1971.
During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy aboard the destroyer escort USS Ebert in the Asiatic-Pacific theater of operations. He was discharged from active duty in June 1946.
General Yost attended Ohio University and after graduation entered civil service in February 1951 as a mathematician with the Office of Air Research, Wright Air Development Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in February 1952.
He began his Air Force career as a research administrative officer at Air Research and Development Command headquarters in Baltimore in February 1952.
In May 1955 General Yost assumed duties as project officer for the European Office of the Air Research and Development Command, Brussels, Belgium.
He returned to the United States in May 1959 and was assigned to the Research Directorate of the Air Force Special Weapons Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., as a programs officer in the nuclear weapons effects research areas.
General Yost was transferred to Headquarters Air Force Systems Command at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in August 1961 and served in the Office of the Assistant for Bioastronautics as chief of resources and programs. In July 1962 he joined the newly established Research and Technology Division at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., for duty as programs officer for the total Air Force Systems Command exploratory development program. During 1963 General Yost attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Business and entered the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va., the following year.
General Yost was assigned to the Office of Space Systems, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C., and served as deputy director for plans and policy from January 1965 to July 1970. He then entered the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
In July 1971 he was named commander of the 1974th Communications Group at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, with additional duty as director, communications-electronics for the Seventh/Thirteenth Air Force.
General Yost joined Headquarters Air Force Communications Service at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Mo., in July 1972 as deputy chief of staff, engineering and installations, and became chief of staff of the command in April 1973.
In March 1974 he assumed command of the Pacific Communications Area, with headquarters at Wheeler Air Force Base, Hawaii, and served additionally as the deputy chief of staff, communications-electronics, for Pacific Air Forces at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
In July 1975 General Yost was assigned as commander of the Northern Communications Area, with headquarters at Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y. He assumed duties as vice commander, Air Force Communications Service in July 1976. General Yost became the deputy director of space, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force in June 1978 with responsibility for space research and systems development activities. In July 1978 he became the deputy director of command, control, communications and information with responsibility for research, development and acquisition programs in space and command, control and communications and assumed duties as director on Oct. 17, 1978. This directorate was changed to Space Systems and Command, Control, Communications on Nov. 8, 1978.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon with oak leaf cluster and combat "V" device. He wears the Master Missileman Badge.
He was promoted to the grade of major general on Feb. 8, 1979, with date of rank July 1, 1975.