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Charles A. Horner
Chuck Horner (color).jpg
General Charles A. Horner
Nickname Chuck
Born October 19, 1936(1936-10-19) (age 84)
Place of birth Davenport, Iowa
Allegiance United States
Service/branch Flag of the United States Air Force.png United States Air Force
Years of service 1958–1994
Rank General
Commands held Space Command
9th Air Force
U.S. Central Command Air Forces
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Gulf War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal (4)
Air Medal(11)
Air Force Commendation Medal (4)
Other work author

Charles Albert Horner (born October 19, 1936) is a retired USAF general. He was born in Davenport, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa, as part of the Air Force ROTC program. On June 13, 1958, Horner was commissioned into the Air Force Reserve. During the Vietnam War, he flew in combat as a Wild Weasel pilot and received the Silver Star. During Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, he commanded the American aerial forces, as well as those of the American allies. 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. He currently serves on the board of directors for the US Institute of Peace.

Military biographyEdit

General Charles A. 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.[1]

General Horner, an Iowa native, entered the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He was commissioned in 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.[2] He has commanded a tactical training wing, a fighter wing, two air divisions and a numbered Air Force. While Commander of 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.[1]

General Horner 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 during a tour. 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.[1]

Other workEdit

He co-wrote Every Man a Tiger with Tom Clancy. In 2004, Horner served on a Pentagon team that looked into detainee abuse.

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 (.pdf). 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. He currently resides in Lake Lorraine, Florida, with a Shalimar, Florida address.



  • 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.

Flight informationEdit

Major awards and decorationsEdit

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.

Other achievementsEdit

  • 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

Promotion datesEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Biographies : General Charles A. Horner". United States Air Force. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. 
  2. Clancy & Horner 1999, p. 38
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