General Charles A. HornerRetired 4-Star Air Force General
Office Location: Shalimar, Florida
Charles Albert Horner (born October 19, 1936) is a retired USAF general.
An Iowa native, he attended the University of Iowa and then entered the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. He was commissioned into the Air Force Reserve on June 13, 1958, just before his graduation from the University of Iowa and was awarded pilot wings in November 1959 and was resworn with a regular Air Force commission in 1962.
During the Vietnam War, he flew in combat as a Wild Weasel pilot and received the Silver Star. He is a command pilot with more than 5,300 flying hours in a variety of fighter aircraft. During the Vietnam War he flew 41 combat missions over North Vietnam in the F-105. He later flew more than 70 combat missions as an F-105 Wild Weasel pilot, deliberately drawing anti-aircraft fire to identify and destroy North Vietnamese defenses.
He has commanded a tactical training wing, a fighter wing, two air divisions and a numbered Air Force.
While Commander of the 9th Air Force, he also commanded U.S. Central Command Air Forces, in command of all U.S. and allied air assets during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the Desert Shield phase of the conflict, Horner briefly served as Commander-in-Chief - Forward of U.S. Central Command while General Schwarzkopf was still in the United States.
General Horner was Commander in Chief of North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Space Command and Commander of Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado from 1992 - 1994. He was responsible for the aerospace defense of the United States and Canada and the exploitation and control of space for national purposes through a far-flung network of satellites and ground stations throughout the world.
In 2004, Horner served on a Pentagon team that looked into detainee abuse.
He currently serves on the board of directors for the US Institute of Peace, the Institute of Human Machine Cognition, as the Chairmen of the Board for the University of West Florida and as Vice Chairmen on the board of directors for the Saudi Prince (Khaled bin Sultan's) Living Oceans Foundation.
Horner also co-wrote Every Man a Tiger with Tom Clancy.
Here's how Amazon describes the book:
"General Chuck Horner commanded the U.S. and allied air assets-the forces of a dozen nations- during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and was responsible for the design and execution of one of the most devastating air campaigns in history. Never before has the Gulf air war planning, a process filled with controversy and stormy personalities, been revealed in such rich, provocative detail. In this edition of Every Man a Tiger, General Horner looks at the current Gulf conflict and comments on the use of air power in Iraq."
The U.S. Air Force awards a General Charles A. Horner "Tiger Award" to one officer and one enlisted individual assigned to the Fourteenth Air Force annually. Recipients of the prestigious "Tiger Award" demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism, leadership, integrity, dedication, and courage in the performance of their duties and conduct of their lives.
- 1958 Bachelor of Arts degree, University of Iowa, Iowa City
- 1967 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
- 1972 Master of business administration degree, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
- 1972 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia
- 1974 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- 1976 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- October 1958 - June 1959, student, officer preflight training, Spence AFB, Georgia
- June 1959 - October 1960, student, pilot training, Laredo AFB, Texas
- October - November 1960, student, F-100 combat crew training, Luke AFB, Arizona, and Nellis AFB, Nevada
- November 1960 - December 1963, F-100 pilot, 492d Tactical Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, England
- December 1963 - December 1965, F-105 pilot, 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina
- June 1965 - December 1965, temporary duty as F-105 pilot, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand
- December 1965 - May 1967, F-105 instructor pilot, Nellis AFB, Nevada
- May 1967 - September 1967, F-105 Wild Weasel pilot, Korat Royal Thai AFB, Thailand
- September 1967 - October 1969, F-105 instructor pilot, Nellis AFB, Nevada, then liaison officer, Air Force Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, Nellis AFB, Nevada
- October 1969 - January 1971, air operations staff officer, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, Virginia
- January 1971 - January 1972, student, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia
- January 1972 - August 1975, air operations officer, later, Chief of the Force Branch in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- August 1975 - June 1976, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- June 1976 - March 1979, Deputy Commander for Operations, 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
- March 1979 - August 1979, Vice Commander, 58th Tactical Training Wing, Luke AFB, Arizona
- August 1979 - May 1980, Commander, 405th Tactical Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona
- May 1980 - August 1981, Commander, 474th Tactical Fighter Wing, Nellis AFB, Nevada
- August 1981 - May 1983, Commander, 833d Air Division, Holloman AFB, New Mexico
- May 1983 - October 1983, Commander, 23d North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, and Tactical Air Command Air Division, Tyndall AFB, Florida
- October 1983 - May 1985, Commander, Air Force Air Defense Weapons Center, Tyndall AFB, Florida
- May 1985 - March 1987, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, Virginia
- March 1987 - June 1992, Commander, Ninth Air Force, and Commander, U.S. Central Command Air Forces, Shaw AFB, South Carolina. He commanded U.S. and allied air operations for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia from August 1990 until his return to Shaw AFB in April 1991.
- June 1992 - September 1994, Commander in Chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command; Commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colorado
- September 30, 1994, Retired from active duty.
- Rating: Command pilot
- Flight hours: More than 5,300
- Aircraft flown: F-100, F-105, F-4, F-15, F-16
- Pilot wings from: Laredo Air Force Base, Texas
Major awards and decorations
- Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
- Silver Star with oak leaf cluster
- Legion of Merit
- Distinguished Flying Cross
- Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
- Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters
- Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
- Combat Readiness Medal
- National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze star
- Vietnam Service Medal with bronze star
- Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
General Horner has been decorated with Canada's Meritorious Service Cross. Also, he has been honored by France, Pakistan and the sovereign states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- 1991 U.S. News Trophy
- 1991 History of Aviation Award
- 1991 Maxwell A. Kriendler Memorial Award
- 1991 Aviation Achievement Award
- 1991 Air Force Order of the Sword
- 1991 Aviation Week and Space Technology's Aerospace Laureate
- 1992 National Veteran's Award
- Second Lieutenant June 13, 1958
- First Lieutenant June 12, 1960
- Captain October 1, 1963
- Major June 1, 1969
- Lieutenant Colonel November 1, 1973
- Colonel February 1, 1975
- Brigadier General August 1, 1982
- Major General July 1, 1985
- Lieutenant General May 1, 1987
- General July 1, 1992
Patrick Ropella interviews retired 4-star Air Force General Chuck Horner about his perspectives and experiences relating to hiring, interviewing, and leadership.