List of Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Air Force (1947–present)
Prior to the creation of this position, General Henry H. Arnold was designated first Chief of the Army Air Forces and Commanding General of the Army Air Forces during World War II.
|No.||Image||Name||Term of Office||Primary Background||Secretaries served under:|
|Began||Ended||Days of Service||Air Force||Defense|
|1||Carl A. Spaatz||September 26, 1947||April 29, 1948||216||Fighters||Stuart Symington||James Forrestal|
|2||Hoyt S. Vandenberg||April 30, 1948||June 29, 1953||1887||Attack and Fighters||Stuart Symington
Thomas K. Finletter
Harold E. Talbott
Louis A. Johnson
George C. Marshall
Robert A. Lovett
Charles E. Wilson
|3||Nathan F. Twining*||June 30, 1953||June 30, 1957||1461||Fighters and Bombers||Harold E. Talbott
Donald A. Quarles
James H. Douglas, Jr.
|Charles E. Wilson|
|4||Thomas D. White||July 1, 1957||June 30, 1961||1460||Observation aircraft and Staff||James H. Douglas, Jr.
Dudley C. Sharp
Eugene M. Zuckert
|Charles E. Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
Robert S. McNamara
|5||Curtis E. LeMay||June 30, 1961||January 31, 1965||1311||Bombers||Eugene M. Zuckert||Robert S. McNamara|
|6||John P. McConnell||February 1, 1965||July 31, 1969||1641||Fighters||Eugene M. Zuckert
Robert C. Seamans, Jr.
|Robert S. McNamara
Clark M. Clifford
Melvin R. Laird
|7||John D. Ryan||August 1, 1969||July 31, 1973||1460||Bombers||Robert C. Seamans, Jr.
John L. McLucas
|Melvin R. Laird
James R. Schlesinger
|8||George S. Brown*||August 1, 1973||June 30, 1974||333||Bombers||John L. McLucas||James R. Schlesinger|
|9||David C. Jones*||July 1, 1974||June 20, 1978||1450||Bombers||John L. McLucas
Thomas C. Reed
John C. Stetson
|James R. Schlesinger
Donald H. Rumsfeld
|10||Lew Allen Jr.||July 1, 1978||June 30, 1982||1460||Bombers||John C. Stetson
|11||Charles A. Gabriel||July 1, 1982||June 30, 1986||1460||Fighters||Verne Orr
Russell A. Rourke
Edward C. Aldridge Jr.
|12||Larry D. Welch||July 1, 1986||June 30, 1990||1460||Fighters||Edward C. Aldridge Jr.
Donald B. Rice
|13||Michael J. Dugan||July 1, 1990||September 17, 1990||78||Fighters||Donald B. Rice||Dick Cheney|
|14||John M. Loh||September 18, 1990||October 29, 1990||41||Fighters|
|15||Merrill A. McPeak||October 30, 1990||October 25, 1994||1456||Fighters||Donald B. Rice
Sheila E. Widnall
William J. Perry
|16||Ronald R. Fogleman||October 26, 1994||September 1, 1997||1041||Fighters||Sheila E. Widnall||William J. Perry
William S. Cohen
|17||Ralph E. Eberhart||September 2, 1997||October 5, 1997||33||Fighters||William S. Cohen|
|18||Michael E. Ryan||October 6, 1997||September 5, 2001||1430||Fighters||Sheila E. Widnall
F. Whitten Peters
James G. Roche
|William S. Cohen
Donald H. Rumsfeld
|19||John P. Jumper||September 6, 2001||September 2, 2005||1457||Fighters||James G. Roche||Donald H. Rumsfeld|
|20||T. Michael Moseley||September 2, 2005||July 12, 2008||1044||Fighters||Michael Wynne||Donald H. Rumsfeld
Robert M. Gates
|21||Duncan J. McNabb||July 12, 2008||August 12, 2008||31||Airlift||Michael B. Donley||Robert M. Gates|
|22||Norton A. Schwartz||August 12, 2008||August 10, 2012||1459||Airlift and Special Operations aircraft||Michael B. Donley||Robert M. Gates
|23||Mark A. Welsh III||August 10, 2012||Incumbent||99||Attack and Fighters||Michael B. Donley||Leon Panetta|
*: Three former chiefs of staff would later serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
- Twining served as the Chairman from August 1957 to September 1960.
- Brown served as the Chairman from July 1974 to June 1978.
- Jones served as the Chairman from June 1978 to June 1982.
- The fourth air force officer to have served as the Chairman, General Richard B. Myers, did not serve as Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
McPeak is the only Chief of Staff of the Air Force to date who has served as Acting Secretary of the Air Force (from July 14, 1993 to August 5, 1993 before Sheila Widnall took office as Secretary), thus being the only uniformed Air Force officer to have truly been the "head of the Air Force".
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