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John R. Dailey
General John R. Dailey
Born February 17, 1934(1934-02-17) (age 88)
Place of birth Quantico, Virginia
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1956-1992
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held Marine Corps Research, Development and Acquisition Command
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Other work Associate Deputy Administrator, NASA
Director, National Air and Space Museum

John R. Dailey (born February 17, 1934) is a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general who served as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (ACMC) and Chief of Staff from 1990 to 1992, Acting Associate Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 1992 to 1999; and director of the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) since 2000.

His career in the Marine Corps spanned thirty-six years and included a wide variety of operational and staff assignments. He is a pilot with over 7000 hours in fixed and rotary wing aircraft. He has extensive command experience including the Marine Corps Systems Command and the Armed Forces Staff College. He flew 450 missions during two tours in Vietnam and has numerous personal decorations which he received for combat operations.[1]


John Dailey was born on February 17, 1934 in Quantico, Virginia. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1956.

Marine Corps career

Upon graduation from UCLA, Dailey was commissioned a second lieutenant in June 1956. He completed The Basic School prior to flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in July 1958. His operational experience includes over 7,000 flying hours in fighters; light attack, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare aircraft; transports; and helicopters.

In 1972, Dailey served as Commanding Officer, Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron-l, and also commanded a Carrier Task Unit supporting combat operations in North Vietnam. During two tours in Vietnam, he flew 450 combat missions. Returning from overseas in May 1973, Dailey was assigned to the Aviation Weapons Requirements Branch, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. In 1975 he entered the National War College and, after graduation, returned to the Aviation Plans and Programs Branch at Headquarters Marine Corps. In 1978. Dailey took command of Marine Aircraft Group-ll, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. Then in July 1980 he assumed new duties as Chief of Staff, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. He returned to Headquarters Marine Corps in July 1981 and was assigned as Head, Aviation Plans, Programs, Budget and Joint Doctrine Branch. After promotion to brigadier general in May 1982, General Dailey assumed the position of Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation. In May 1985 he took command of the 1st Marine Amphibious Brigade, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Dailey was promoted to major general on June 12, 1986, and took command of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. He was assigned duty as the Commandant, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, on July 30, 1987. General Dailey assumed command of the Marine Corps Research, Development and Acquisition Command, Washington, D.C., on August 21, 1989, and was appointed to the grade of lieutenant general on November 24, 1989. He was appointed to the grade of general and assumed the post as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps on August 1, 1990.

Post-Marine Corps career

After retirement from the Marine Corps, Dailey served as Associate Deputy Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 1992 to 1999. While at NASA, General Dailey led the Agency reinvention activities initiated by the NASA Administrator, guiding the development of new management processes in the face of a reduced budget environment.[1]

Since 2000, Dailey has served as the Director of the National Air and Space Museum.[2]

Decorations and awards

Dailey's personal decorations include:

Naval Aviator Badge.jpg
Ribbon numeral 1.pngRibbon numeral 2.pngRibbon numeral 2.png
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Naval Aviator Badge
1st Row Navy Distinguished Service Medal Army Distinguished Service Medal
2nd Row Defense Superior Service Medal Distinguished Flying Cross Bronze Star Meritorious Service Medal
3rd Row Air Medal w/ 1 award star & Strike/Flight numeral "22" Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ valor device Combat Action Ribbon Navy Presidential Unit Citation
4th Row Navy Unit Commendation Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal National Defense Service Medal
5th Row Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal w/ 4 service stars Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation Vietnam Campaign Medal


  1. 1.0 1.1 "General John R. Dailey", NASA.
  2. "Director Biography", NASM.


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the United States Marine Corps and NASA, which are part of the United States Government.

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