Home / Distinguished Fellows / General Craig Richard McKinley, BA, MA, MS, MSM, LM, DSSM, DSM

General Craig Richard McKinley, BA, MA, MS, MSM, LM, DSSM, DSM

 

© NWC - General Craig Richard McKinley, BA, MA, MS, MSM, LM, DSSM, DSM - 26th Chief of the National Guard Bureau (2008-2012) - United States Air Force (Retired) - Governor and Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College - http://newwestminstercollege.ca

BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: General Craig Richard McKinley, BA, MA, MS, MSM, LM, DSSM, DSM

General McKinley is a Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College. He graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas; and in 1979, he received his Master’s degree in management and economics from Webster College in St. Louis, Missouri. He also completed the National War College at National Defense University in 1995 and earned a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy.

General McKinley has a distinguished record of ethical leadership. After 38 years in the United States Air Force, he retired as a four-star general in November 2012. His last assignment was as the 26th Chief of the National Guard Bureau, where he also served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he was a military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and was the Department of Defense’s official channel of communication to the Governors and to State Adjutants General on all matters pertaining to the National Guard. On 17 November 2008, he became the first four-star general to lead the National Guard in its 372-year history.

General McKinley received his commission in 1974 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Southern Methodist University. He has served in numerous assignments in flying and operations, as well as command positions at group, wing, sector and field operating agency levels. His assignments include Commander, 1st Air Force, Air Combat Command, and Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. He has served as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs, Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and as Director, Mobilization and Reserve Affairs Directorate, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany.

General McKinley is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours, primarily in the T-38, F-106, F-16 and F-15. Additionally, he has been pilot in command in the C-131 and C-130 operational support airlift aircraft.

After his retirement from the United States Air Force, General McKinley became the President of the Air Force Association (AFA) as of October 1, 2012. As AFA’s top staff executive, he directs the association’s professional staff in all functional areas and is responsible for the management and operations of the Association. He also holds the position of publisher of Air Force Magazine, the official journal of the Air Force Association. He has maintained a longstanding relationship with the AFA, having served in key AFA leadership positions at the chapter, state and region levels.

General McKinley is the recipient of numerous honours and decorations, including the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Air Force Achievement Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Combat Readiness Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters; and the National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star.

As a Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College, General Craig Richard McKinley is dedicated to supporting the highest standards of academic excellence and is committed to the advancement of New Westminster College and its Global Network of Fellows.