JULY 25, 2016, OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb.(AFNS) – Air Force Gen. Stephen W. Wilson, the U.S. Strategic Command deputy commander, received his fourth star July 22 during a promotion ceremony at the parade field here.
Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, the STRATCOM commander, hosted the ceremony over which Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein presided.
During his remarks, Haney congratulated Wilson on his promotion to the rank of general and appointment as the 39th Air Force vice chief of staff.
“The four stars Gen. Wilson will wear today will not only represent the trust and confidence of our nation but also the trust and confidence of his comrades in arms,” Haney said. “It comes as no surprise to me that the Air Force nominated Steve for his fourth star given his tremendous career and especially the incredible impact he has had as my deputy. His determination and visionary leadership have been instrumental in redefining and operationalizing the roles, responsibilities and missions of the U.S. Strategic Command.”
Goldfein, who also provided remarks, talked about the significance of the event.
“This is a historic moment; we have 10 four-star generals in the entire U.S. Air Force to lead a force of 660,000, and you’re about to become the 39th vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force in our history,” Goldfein said. “That’s a big deal.”
Goldfein stated there are two attributes that go into deciding who will be promoted to general.
“The reality is, we look for two things: competence and character in equal measure,” Goldfein said, adding that Wilson has both.
Wilson said he was honored and humbled by his promotion to general and appointment to vice chief of staff, and that he and his wife were looking forward to the challenges associated with each. He also took a moment to thank leaders, friends and family, and the men and women of STRATCOM.
“Thank you all for being here for this milestone event in our life,” Wilson said. “We are truly going to try … and be great representatives of our Airmen and their families and all our joint service partners as we help the chief lead our Air Force in the 21st century.”
Wilson, a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours and 680 combat hours, has been at STRATCOM since July 2015. He previously served as the Air Force Global Strike Command commander.
Since earning his commission from Texas A&M University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1981, Wilson has led bomber; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; mobility; aeromedical evacuation; and airborne command and control operations supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.