Thomas R. Griffith
SSS President Major General Thomas R. Griffith was the commander of the 12th Air Force and U.S. Southern Command Air Forces at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ before he retired in 1995.
Tom graduated from West Point, became an Army Officer and platoon leader, went to Army flight school, became a helicopter pilot, switched to the Air Force, went to Air Force pilot training, became an F-100 fighter pilot in Vietnam and rose to the rank of 2-star General.
He entered the Air Force four years after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point where he served as an Armor Officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and later flew Huey Gunships with the 145th Combat Aviation Battalion, Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam. During his Air Force service, he flew F-100’s as the Squadron Weapons Officer, 308th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa AB, South Vietnam.
Tom flew A-7D’s in the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing followed by a tour as Air Officer Commanding at the Air Force Academy. He later flew A-10’s in the 23rd TFW.
Tom has commanded the 35th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, George Air Force Base, CA, and the 836th Air Division, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ. He served as chief, joint operations division, J-3, the Joint Staff, Washington, DC then as deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, VA. Tom commanded, the Air Force Weapons and Tactics Center, Nellis Air Force Base, NV, before serving as the 12th Air Force Commander.
He is a command pilot, having flown more than 4,000 hours principally in fighter aircraft, with more than 900 hours in combat. He was an IP in the F-100, A-7D, A-10, F-4, and F-15.
Tom has more than 40 years’ experience in leading large organizations. In his last USAF position, he commanded the Twelfth Air Force, with more than 35,000 personnel.
After retiring from the USAF, Tom joined NLX in 1996 as a training program manager and played a key role in growing the company from 45 employees to more than 500. When NLX was acquired by Rockwell Collins, he joined MAXIM Systems, a small high-tech software development, and systems integration company. In 2007 MAXIM was acquired by Accenture, with Accenture retaining him as a senior executive. In 2012 Tom was selected as Chairman of the Board of Directors of NuWave Solutions, an analytic and data management company in Virginia. He retired from the position in 2014.
- 8/1963-11/1963 U.S. Army officer, Fort Knox, KY
- 12/1963-1/1965 Cavalry platoon leader and troop executive officer, 17th Cavalry, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC
- 1/1965-9/1965 student, pilot training, U.S. Army Aviation Center, Fort Wolters, TX/Fort Rucker, AL
- 10/1965-10/1966 Pilot, armed helicopters, A Co., 501st Aviation Battalion, 145th Combat Aviation Battalion, Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam
- 11/1966-12/1967 IP, 7th Squadron, 1st Cavalry, Fort Knox, KY
- 12/1967 Transferred to the U.S. Air Force
- 4/1968-4 Student, pilot training, Craig AFB, AL
- 6/1969-12/1969 Student, F-100 combat crew training, Luke AFB, AZ
- 12/1969-10/1970 Squadron weapons officer, 308th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa AB, South Vietnam
- 10/1970-8/1972 flight commander and assistant operations officer, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4403rd Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB, LA
- 11/1972-1/1974 A-7D checkout, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC/assistant operations officer, 75th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 23rd Tactical Fighter, England AFB, LA
- 1/1974-7/1977 U.S. Air Force Academy, Squadron air officer commanding, Colorado Springs, CO
- 7/1977-7/1979 76th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Squadron operations officer, England AFB, LA
- 8/1979-7/1982 Headquarters 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force, Chief of weapons and tactics, Rheindahlen AB, West Germany
- 7/1982-6/1983 Student, Naval War College, Newport, RI
- 6/1983-8/1984 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, deputy commander for operations, and later vice commander, England AFB, LA
- 8/1984-8/1986 F-4E pilot; commander, 35th Tactical Training Wing, George AFB, CA (F-4E)
- 9/1986-1/1988 Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Assistant deputy chief of staff for plans, Langley AFB, VA
- 2/1988-5/1989 Chief, Joint operations division, J-3, the Joint Staff, Washington, DC
- 5/1989-1/1990 National Military Command Center, Deputy Director for operations, Washington, DC
- 1/1990-6/1990 836th Air Division, Commander, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
- 6/1990-6/1992 Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Deputy chief of staff for plans, Langley AFB, VA
- 6/1992-7/1994 U.S. Air Force Weapons and Tactics Center, Commander, Nellis AFB, NV
- 7/1994-9/1995 12th Air Force and U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
- 9/1995 Retired USAF
Awards & Decorations
AF Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Air Medal with 27 Oak Leaf Clusters
Republic of Vietnam Honor Medal, First Class
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Rating: Command pilot, parachutist
Pilot wings from U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force
Flight hours: 4,000+
Military & Civilian Education
- 1963 Bachelor’s degree in engineering, U.S. Military Academy
- 1966 Armor Officer Advanced Course
- 1968 Squadron Officer School
- 1973 Air Command and Staff College
- 1974 Industrial College of the Armed Forces
- 1976 Air War College
- 1983 Distinguished graduate, Naval War College
- 1979 Master’s Degree in Management, Webster College