General Charles R. “Charlie” Holland served as the first Air Force officer in charge of United States Special Operation Command. He was born in West Virginia, and was graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering. General Holland received Master’s Degrees in Business Management from Troy State University in 1976 and in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1978. He completed several professional military education schools to include the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1986. In addition, he completed the Program for Senior Officers in National Security in 1990 and the National and International Security Management Program in 1998, both at Harvard University.
In 2003, General Holland retired as the Commander, Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). During that assignment, he was responsible for all special operations forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force, both active and reserve. Prior to the culmination of his active duty military career, General Holland commanded a squadron in the Philippines, two Air Force wings, served as Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command, and was Commander of the Special Operations Command Pacific. Prior to commanding USSOCOM, he commanded the Air Force Special Operations Command and was the Vice Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe. General Holland was a Command Pilot with over 5,000 flying hours which included over 100 combat missions in multiple C-130 and SOF aircraft to include a combat tour in the AC-130 Gunship at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, during the war in Southeast Asia.
Upon retirement, General Holland now serves as a Director or Advisor on multiple corporate boards and acts as an independent consultant for the USAF as well as several companies including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). For the past 12 years, he has provided executive level counsel for Air Force wargame design in a joint, combined, interagency and multi-level security construct while over the last five years serving as a Strategic Advisor for LLNL. He is also a volunteer Director Emeritus on the Special Operations Warrior Foundation Board.
General Holland and his wife of 44 years, Nancy, now live in Tampa, Florida. They have two grown sons, Charles and Justin.