Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
The chief of staff of the Air Force (acronym: CSAF, or AF/CC) is a statutory office (10 U.S.C. § 9033) held by a general in the United States Air Force, and as such is the principal military advisor to the secretary of the Air Force on matter pertaining to the Air Force; and is in a separate capacity (10 U.S.C. § 151), a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and thereby a military adviser to the National Security Council, the secretary of defense, and the President. The chief of staff is typically the highest-ranking officer on active duty in the Air Force unless the chairman and/or the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Air Force officers.
|Chief of Staff of the Air Force|
Seal of the Chief of Staff
Flag of the Chief of Staff
|United States Air Force|
|Type||Chief of Staff|
|Abbreviation||CSAF or AF/CC|
|Member of||Joint Chiefs of Staff|
|Reports to||Secretary of Defense|
Secretary of the Air Force
|Residence||Quarters 7, Fort Myer|
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||4 years|
|Constituting instrument||10 U.S.C. § 8033|
|Precursor||Commanding General, United States Army Air Forces|
|Formation||18 September 1947|
|First holder||Carl A. Spaatz|
|Deputy||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force|
The chief of staff of the Air Force is an administrative position based in the Pentagon, and while the chief of staff does not have operational command authority over Air Force forces (that is within the purview of the combatant commanders who report to the secretary of defense), the chief of staff does exercise supervision of Air Force units and organizations as the designee of the secretary of the Air Force.
The current chief of staff of the Air Force is General Charles Q. Brown Jr..
Department of the Air Force
Under the authority, direction and control of the secretary of the Air Force, the chief of staff presides over the Air Staff, acts as the Secretary's executive agent in carrying out approved plans, and exercises supervision, consistent with authority assigned to the commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands, over organizations and members of the Air Force as determined by the Secretary. The chief of staff may also perform other duties as assigned by either the president, the secretary of defense or the secretary of the Air Force.
The vice chief of staff of the Air Force, also a four-star general, is the chief of staff's principal deputy.
Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The chief of staff of the Air Force is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as prescribed by 10 U.S.C. § 151. When performing his JCS duties the chief of staff is responsible directly to the secretary of defense. Like the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chief of staff is an administrative position, with no operational command authority over the United States Air Force.
Appointment and rank
Special uniform cap
The chief of staff is also authorized to wear a special service cap with clouds and lightning bolts around the band of the hat. This cap is different from those worn by other general officers of the Air Force and it is for use by the Chief of Staff and Air Force officers serving as Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
List of chiefs of staff of the Air Force (1947–present)
*Symbolizes chiefs that have went on to serve as Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is General Nathan F. Twining, General George S. Brown and General David C. Jones.
|No.||Portrait||Chief of Staff of the Air Force||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Primary Background||Previous office||President|
|September 26, 1947||April 29, 1948||216 days||Fighters||Commanding General, United States Army Air Forces||Harry S. Truman|
Hoyt S. Vandenberg
|April 30, 1948||June 29, 1953||5 years, 60 days||Attack and Fighters||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force||Harry S. Truman|
Nathan F. Twining*
|June 30, 1953||June 30, 1957||4 years, 0 days||Fighters and Bombers||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force||Dwight Eisenhower|
Thomas D. White
|July 1, 1957||June 30, 1961||3 years, 336 days||Observation aircraft and Staff||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force||Dwight Eisenhower|
John F. Kennedy
Curtis E. LeMay
|June 30, 1961||January 31, 1965||3 years, 215 days||Bombers||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force||John F. Kennedy|
Lyndon B. Johnson
John P. McConnell
|February 1, 1965||July 31, 1969||4 years, 180 days||Fighters||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force||Lyndon B. Johnson|
Richard M. Nixon
John D. Ryan
|August 1, 1969||July 31, 1973||3 years, 364 days||Bombers||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force||Richard M. Nixon|
George S. Brown*
|August 1, 1973||June 30, 1974||333 days||Bombers||Commander, Air Force Systems Command||Richard M. Nixon|
David C. Jones*
|July 1, 1974||June 20, 1978||3 years, 354 days||Bombers||Commander-in-Chief, United States Air Forces in Europe|
Commander, Fourth Allied Tactical Air Force
|Richard M. Nixon|
Lew Allen Jr.
|July 1, 1978||June 30, 1982||3 years, 336 days||Bombers||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force||Jimmy Carter|
Charles A. Gabriel
|July 1, 1982||30 June 1986||3 years, 364 days||Fighters||Commander-in-Chief, United States Air Forces in Europe||Ronald Reagan|
Larry D. Welch
|July 1,1986||June 30, 1990||3 years, 364 days||Fighters||Commander-in-Chief, Strategic Air Command||Ronald Reagan|
George H. W. Bush
|July 1, 1990||September 17, 1990||78 days||Fighters||Commander-in-Chief, United States Air Forces in Europe||George H. W. Bush|
John M. Loh
|September 18, 1990||October 29, 1990||41 days||Fighters||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1990–1991)||George H. W. Bush|
Merrill A. McPeak
|October 30, 1990||October 25, 1994||3 years, 360 days||Fighters||Acting Secretary of the United States Air Force (July 14, 1993 – August 5, 1993)|
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Air Forces
|George H. W. Bush|
Ronald R. Fogleman
|October 26, 1994||September 1, 1997||2 years, 310 days||Fighters||Commanding General, United States Transportation Command||Bill Clinton|
Ralph E. Eberhart
|September 2, 1997||October 5, 1997||33 days||Fighters||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (June 1997 – June 1999)||Bill Clinton|
Michael E. Ryan
|October 6, 1997||September 5, 2001||4 years, 31 days||Fighters||Commander, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe||Bill Clinton|
George W. Bush
John P. Jumper
|September 6, 2001||September 1, 2005||3 years, 361 days||Fighters||Commander, Air Combat Command||George W. Bush|
T. Michael Moseley
|September 2, 2005||July 11, 2008||2 years, 314 days||Fighters||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force||George W. Bush|
Duncan J. McNabb
|July 12, 2008||August 12, 2008||30 days||Airlift||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (September 2007 – September 2008)||George W. Bush|
Norton A. Schwartz
|August 12, 2008||August 10, 2012||3 years, 364 days||Airlift and Special Operations aircraft||Commander, U.S. Transportation Command||George W. Bush|
Mark A. Welsh III
|August 10, 2012||June 24, 2016||3 years, 319 days||Attack and Fighters||Commander, United States Air Forces in Europe||Barack Obama|
David L. Goldfein
|July 1, 2016||August 6, 2020||4 years, 36 days||Fighters||Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force||Barack Obama|
Donald J. Trump
Charles Q. Brown Jr.
|August 6, 2020||Incumbent||224 days||Fighters and Bombers||Commander, Pacific Air Forces||Donald J. Trump|
- The second Chief of Staff, General Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg. As of 2021, General Vandenberg is the longest serving Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, holding the position for 5 years and 60 days.
- The third Air Force Chief of Staff, General Nathan Farragut Twining. On August 15, 1957, Twining was appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower as the third Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making him the first Air Force general appointed to the position.
- The fourth Air Force Chief of Staff, General Thomas Dresser White.
- The seventh Air Force Chief of Staff, General John Dale Ryan. Later in 1997, his son General Michael E. Ryan would also follow in his footsteps, becoming the sixteenth Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force.
- The ninth Air Force Chief of Staff, General David Charles Jones addressing the audience during the Air Force Association annual meeting, January 15, 1975. On June 21, 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed General Jones as the ninth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, becoming the third Air Force general to assume the position. As of 2021, General Jones is the longest-serving member on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving for eight years: four as Air Force Chief of Staff and four as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
- The tenth Air Force Chief of Staff, General Lew Allen, Jr.
- The fifteenth Air Force Chief of Staff, General Ronald Robert Fogleman.
- The sixteenth Air Force Chief of Staff, General Michael E. Ryan speaking to the attendees of the Air Force Quality Symposium held at the Montgomery Civic Center on October 16, 1997. General Ryan is the son of the seventh Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General John D. Ryan. Both became the first father-and-son pair to assume the position of Air Force Chief of Staff and a service chief within any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
- The seventeenth Air Force Chief of Staff, General John P. Jumper.
- The eighteenth Air Force Chief of Staff, General Teed Michael "Buzz" Moseley. Due to several high-profile scandals and disagreements on the USAF budget, General Moseley resigned alongside Secretary of the Air Force Michael Walter Wynne on 5 June, 2008, making him the first Air Force Chief of Staff to resign.
- The nineteenth Chief of Staff, General Norton Allan Schwartz piloting a Lockheed-Martin C-130 Hercules. Replacing General Moseley after his resignation, General Schwartz become the first Air Force Chief of Staff who had a background as an airlift and special operations aircraft pilot, not a tactical fighter or strategic bomber aircraft pilot.
- The twentieth Air Force Chief of Staff, General Mark Anthony Welsh III.
- The twenty-first Air Force Chief of Staff, General David Lee Goldfein. In 2018, General Goldfein was the leading candidate to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as it had been thirteen years since the last Air Force general to be Chairman, General Richard B. Myers retired in 2005. Despite being favored by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis and outgoing Chairman General Joseph Dunford, a feud between President Donald Trump and Mattis caused the position to go to Army Chief of Staff Mark A. Milley instead.
- The twenty-second and current Air Force Chief of Staff, General Charles Quinton Brown Jr. piloting a Boeing KC-46A Pegasus. General Brown is the first African-American to be appointed as Air Force Chief of Staff and the first African-American to lead any service branch of the United States Armed Forces.