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Gen. Michael E. Ryan
Born December 24, 1941(1941-12-24) (age 80)
Allegiance United States
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Air Force.svg United States Air Force
Years of service 1965–2001
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held 61st Tactical Fighter Squadron
432nd Tactical Fighter Wing
Allied Air Forces Southern Europe
16th Air Force
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
Allied Air Forces Central Europe
Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
Awards Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Air Medal (12)
Air Force Commendation Medal (2)

Michael E. Ryan (born December 24, 1941) is a retired United States Air Force general and was the 18th Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force from October 1997 - September 2001.[1] He served as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipage of 700,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he and the other service chiefs functioned as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the president.

File:Ryan Ryan.PNG

Receiving Distinguished Flying Cross from his father, Air Force Chief of Staff John D. Ryan (left), 1969.

Ryan entered the U.S. Air Force after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 1965; he was a graduate of Omaha Creighton Prep High School. He has commanded at the squadron, wing, numbered air force and major command levels. He flew combat in Southeast Asia, including 100 missions over North Vietnam. He also served in staff assignments at the major command level, Headquarters U.S. Air Force and the Joint Staff.

Before assuming the Chief of Staff position, Ryan was Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe, with headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. As Commander of Sixteenth Air Force and Allied Air Forces Southern Europe in Italy, he directed the NATO air combat operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the bombing missions of Operation Deliberate Force, which created the context for the U.S. to broker the Dayton Peace Accords between the parties in conflict. Ryan personally approved every NATO target during the two-week Operation Deliberate Force campaign.[2]

Ryan's father, General John Dale Ryan, was the 7th Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, from 1969 to 1973.

Ryan retired from the U.S. Air Force on October 1, 2001.

Popular culture[]

  • Appeared as himself in the Stargate SG-1 episode Prodigy.[3]

Awards and decorations[]

COMMAND PILOT WINGS.png Master Air Force Pilot Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 white ribbon with width-10 scarlet stripes at edges, separated from the white by width-2 ultramarine blue stripes. Army Distinguished Service Medal
Navy blue ribbon with central gold stripe Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 crimson ribbon with a pair of width-2 white stripes on the edges
Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Width-44 crimson ribbon with two width-8 white stripes at distance 4 from the edges.
Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Silver oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with two silver and one bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Presidential Unit Citation
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
V
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver oak leaf cluster
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with silver oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal
Bronze star
Width=44 scarlet ribbon with a central width-4 golden yellow stripe, flanked by pairs of width-1 scarlet, white, Old Glory blue, and white stripes
National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze service stars
Armed Forces Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon with bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Longevity Service Award with silver and two bronze oak leaf clusters
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
Chilean Grand Cross of the Order of Aeronautical Merit
South Korean Order of National Security Merit, Tong-il Medal
Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, 1st Class
Japanese Order of the Sacred Treasure
The Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, 1st Class
Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Knight Commander's Cross
SICOFAA Legion of Merit Officer Medal
Spanish Grand Cross of the Order of Aeronautical Merit
Singaporean Meritorious Service Medal (Military)
Brazilian Order of Aeronautical Merit
French Legion of Honour, Commandeur Medal
Netherlands Order of Orange-Nassau, Commander Medal
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Award
NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia
Vietnam Campaign Medal

References[]

  1. "General Michael E. Ryan". Air Force Link. Archived from the original on 2012-12-12. http://archive.is/XweK. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  2. http://www.afa.org/media/reports/april.asp
  3. IMDB Cast listing for episode "Prodigy" lists Michael E. Ryan playing himself.
Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman
Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
1997–2001
Succeeded by
Gen. John P. Jumper


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