Eagle Profile

Ronald R. Fogleman, a native of Lewistown, Pennsylvania, began his Air Force career by earning an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. After graduating in 1963, he earned his pilot wings at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, and then became a Cessna T-37 “Tweet” instructor pilot and flight examiner. Fogleman, volunteered for combat duty in Southeast Asia and transitioned to the North American F-100 Super Saber. He proved his mettle during two combat tours over Southeast Asia where he flew 806 hours on 315 combat missions. In June 1968, Fogleman began flying combat in the 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam. In September, during a ground attack mission, his F-100 took numerous hits from ground fire. He ejected, evaded capture, and, in a dramatic rescue, clung to the gun bay door of a U.S. Army Bell AH-1 Cobra gunship and was carried 20 miles to a special forces camp. In late 1968, he volunteered to fly with the “Misty FACs.” These elite forward air controllers flew dangerous and demanding low-level missions over North Vietnam and Laos. After 80 Misty missions, he went back to Bien Hoa AB. Returning stateside in September 1969, he earned a masters degree in military history and political science, and then taught history at the Air Force Academy until 1973. Next, he again volunteered for duty in Southeast Asia to fly the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II. He completed 75 combat missions and commanded the “Laredo Fast FACs.” After completing a staff job and attendance at Army War College, Fogleman moved to the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing, Bitburg AB, Germany. Late in 1976, he began training in the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. He led the first deployment of a combat-ready Eagle squadron to NATO. He demonstrated the Eagle in numerous international airshows and then, in 1978, became the Deputy Commander for Operations, 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Camp New Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After serving a tour at the Headquarters, USAF, he became Vice Wing Commander, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah. There he became the first former Eagle pilot to achieve combat ready status in the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. Next, in 1982, Fogleman became Director of Fighter Operations at Tactical Air Command, and from there, moved to MacDill AFB, Florida, to command the 56th Tactical Training Wing. He went on to command at the air division, numbered air force, major command, and unified command levels.  Fogleman culminated his career as the 15th Chief of Staff of the Air Force. As Chief of Staff, he served as the senior uniformed officer responsible for the organizing, training and equipping of 750,000 U.S. Air Force active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian members at home and overseas. While serving as Chief of Staff, he hosted the first world-wide conference of air chiefs. As a member of the Joint Chiefs Staff, he served as a military advisor to the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the President. He is one of a very few members of a military service to be awarded Distinguished Service Medals from the Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, and the Department of the Navy.  General Fogleman retired in September 1997 after serving thirty-four years. He has flown over 6,800 total hours spread between the T-37, T-33, F-100, F-4, F-15, F-16, A-10, C-21 and C-141. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for numerous corporations with a concentration on the areas of defense and space. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Miss Jane. He spends his time lecturing on leadership, international affairs, and military issues and has published numerous articles on air and space operations.

General Fogleman was first selected as an Eagle by Air Command and Staff College’s Gathering of Eagles in 1998 and subsequently honored in 2013.

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1998 Lithograph
2013 Lithograph

Lithograph Setting(s):

By 1968, the USAF air war over South Vietnam was devoted to stopping the movement of enemy troops and supplies and providing close air support for allied forces. The North American F-100 Super Sabre was the "workhorse" for this unglamorous task. The men wbo flew the "Hun" ranged from veteran World War II aces to young, eager fighter pilots. Fogleman stood out. He was inclined to take action and not let up. He flew 240 combat missions, earned a Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 17th Air Medals, and a Purple Heart.

By 1968, the North American F-100 Super Sabre was the "workhorse" for moving troops and supplies for allied forces. The men who flew the "Hun" ranged from veteran World War II aces to young, eager fighter pilots. Fogleman flew 240 combat missions, earned a Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 17th Air Medals, and a Purple Heart.