George L. Monahan, Jr. – Lieutenant General, United States Air Force

Retired July 1, 1990, Died February 4, 1993

Lieutenant General George L. Monahan Jr. was director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.

General Monahan was born in 1933, in Minneapolis and graduated from St. Thomas Academy, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1951. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Military Academy in 1955 and a master of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of New Hampshire in 1963. He completed Army Command and General Staff College in 1967, and the Air War College in 1972.

He entered pilot training in August 1955 at Moore Air Base, Texas, and received his wings in August 1956 at Greenville Air Force Base, Mississippi. His next two assignments were with the 94th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan, and the 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Goose Air Base, Labrador. There he was a fighter interceptor pilot and armament-electronics maintenance officer.

After completing his master’s degree through the Air Force Institute of Technology program at the University of New Hampshire in October 1963, he was assigned to the 6555th Aerospace Test Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. He served on the launch crew for the Gemini manned space flight program and flew aircraft missions in support of space and missile testing.

Upon graduation from Army Command and General Staff College in July 1967, General Monahan was assigned to the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, where he completed RF-101 combat crew training. From January to March 1968 he attended forward air controller school and O-1 combat crew training at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

In April 1968 General Monahan was assigned to the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as a forward air controller and flew 75 missions over North Vietnam. In October 1968 he served as a forward air control tactics officer, flying combat missions throughout Southeast Asia.

He returned to the United States in April 1969 and was assigned to the Directorate of Operations, Tactical Control Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. After graduating from the Air War College in June 1972, he was assigned to Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as chief of the Projects Division AGM-86A Subsonic Cruise Armed Decoy Program.

General Monahan then contributed to development of the F-16, becoming the first chief of the F-16 European Systems Program Office. Subsequently, he was assistant deputy chief of staff for systems at Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then system program director for the F-16 multinational fighter program. The general was assigned as director of development and production, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition, Air Force headquarters, from August 1983 to July 1986.

He then served as vice commander, Air Force Systems Command. In July 1987 he became principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, Washington, D.C. He assumed his present position in February 1989.

The general is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours and 122 combat missions in Southeast Asia. His military awards and decorations include the  Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal.

He was promoted to Lieutenant General July 1, 1986, with same date of rank.


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