Gen. Bernard A. Schriever was the chief architect of the U.S. Air Force's early ballistic missile and space programs. His visionary leadership in the 1950s and 1960s made the USAF a world leader in developing military science and technology. Known as the “Father of Air Force space and missiles” he poses for a photograph with some of the systems created under his leadership. His management philosophy made rapid development possible. USAF
Photo Caption & Credits

2021 USAF & USSF Almanac: USSF Historical Lineage

July 1, 2021

The U.S. Space Force traces its roots to the beginning of the Cold War, with the first Air Force space programs starting in 1945. USAF’s Western Development Division, under Gen. Bernard A. Schriever, was established in 1954 as the first dedicated space organization within the U.S. Armed Forces. Military space forces were organized under several different Air Force major commands until they were unified when Air Force Space Command was established in September 1982. In December 2019, AFSPC became the cornerstone for the U.S. Space Force as a separate military branch. Below, we trace space organizational lineage within the Department of the Air Force. Because the space mission was—and to some extent still is—spread across several commands, offices, organizations, divisions, and services, some entries are concurrent and non-USAF organizations are not listed. This Space Force history is not intended to be all-inclusive.

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WESTERN DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
Gen. Bernard A. Schriever July 1, 1953 May 31, 1957
AIR FORCE BALLISTIC MISSILE DIVISION
Gen. Bernard A. Schriever June 1, 1957 April 24, 1959
Maj. Gen. Osmond J. Ritland April 25, 1959 March 31, 1961
SPACE AND MISSILE SYSTEMS ORGANIZATION
Lt. Gen. John W. O’Neill July 1, 1967 Aug. 31, 1969
Lt. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips Sept. 1, 1969 Aug. 24, 1972
Lt. Gen. Kenneth W. Schultz Aug. 25, 1972 Aug. 28, 1975
Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Morgan Aug. 29, 1975 April 28, 1978
Lt. Gen. Richard C. Henry April 29, 1978 Sept. 30, 1979
SPACE DIVISION
Lt. Gen. Richard C. Henry Oct. 1, 1979 May 1, 1983
Lt. Gen. Forrest S. McCartney May 1, 1983 Sept. 30, 1986
Lt. Gen. Aloysius G. Casey Oct. 9, 1986 June 23, 1988
Lt. Gen. Donald L. Cromer June 24, 1988 March 14, 1989
BALLISTIC MISSILE OFFICE
Maj. Gen. John W. Hepfer Oct. 1, 1979 Oct. 31, 1980
Maj. Gen. Forrest S. McCartney Oct. 31, 1980 May 19, 1982
Maj. Gen. Aloysius G. Casey May 19, 1982 Sept. 30, 1986
Maj. Gen. Edward P. Berry Jr. Sept. 30, 1986 March 14, 1989
SPACE SYSTEMS DIVISION (SSD) AND BALLISTICS SYSTEM DIVISION (BSD)
Lt. Gen. Donald L. Cromer (SSD) March 15, 1989 May 31, 1991
Lt. Gen. Edward P. Barry Jr.  (SSD) July 8, 1991  June 30, 1992
Lt. Gen. Edward P. Barry Jr. (BSD) March 15, 1989 May 30, 1989
Brig. Gen. Ralph G. Tourino (BSD) May 30, 1989 May 4, 1990
SPACE AND MISSILE SYSTEMS CENTER
Lt. Gen. Edward P. Barry Jr. July 1, 1992 Nov. 16, 1994
Lt. Gen. Lester L. Lyles Nov. 16, 1994 Aug. 18, 1996
SPACE SYSTEMS DIVISION (SSD) AND BALLISTIC SYSTEMS DIVISION (BSD)
Maj. Gen. Osmond J. Ritland (SSD) April 1, 1961 May 13, 1962
Lt. Gen. Howell M. Estes Jr. (SSD) May 14, 1962 Oct. 2, 1962
Maj. Gen. Ben I. Funk  (SSD) Oct. 3, 1962 Aug. 31, 1966
Maj. Gen. Paul T. Cooper (SSD) Sept. 1, 1966 June 30, 1967
Maj. Gen. Thomas P. Gerrity (BSD) April 1, 1961 June 30, 1962
Lt. Gen. W. Austin Davis (BSD) July 1, 1962 July 18, 1964
Maj. Gen. Harry Sands Jr. (BSD) July 20, 1966 June 30, 1967
Maj. Gen. John L. McCoy (BSD)  July 20, 1966 June 30, 1969
SPACE AND MISSILE SYSTEMS CENTER
Lt. Gen. Roger G. DeKok Aug. 18, 1996 Aug. 12, 1998
Lt. Gen. Eugene L. Tattini Aug. 13, 1998 May 25, 2001
Lt. Gen. Brian A. Arnold May 25, 2001 May 20, 2005
Lt. Gen. Michael A. Hamel May 20, 2005 May 16, 2008
Lt. Gen. John T. Sheridan May 16, 2008 May 16, 2008
Lt. Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski June 3, 2011 June 19, 2014
Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves Jun 19, 2014 March 22, 2017
Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson March 22, 2017
An Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at 12:27 a.m. Pacific Time, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. ICBM test launches demonstrate the U.S. nuclear enterprise is safe, secure, effective and ready to defend the United States and its allies. ICBMs provide the U.S. and its allies the necessary deterrent capability to maintain freedom to operate and navigate globally in accordance with international laws and norms. Tech Sgt. Patrick Harrower
AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND
Gen. James V. Hartinger Sept. 1, 1982 July 30, 1984
Gen. Robert T. Herres July 30, 1984 Oct. 1, 1986
Maj. Gen. Maurice C. Padden Oct. 1, 1986 Oct. 29, 1987
Lt. Gen. Donald J. Kutyna Oct. 29, 1987 March 29, 1990
Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Moorman Jr. March 29, 1990 March 23, 1992
Gen. Donald J. Kutyna March 23, 1992 June 30, 1992
Gen. Charles A. Horner June 30, 1992 Sept. 13, 1994
Gen. Joseph W. Ashy Sept. 13, 1994 Aug. 26, 1996
Gen. Howell M. Estes III Aug. 26, 1996 Aug. 14, 1998
Gen. Richard B. Myers Aug. 14, 1998 Feb. 22, 2000
Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart Feb. 22, 2000 April 19, 2002
Gen. Lance W. Lord April 19, 2002 April 1, 2006
Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz (acting) April 1, 2006 June 26, 2006
Gen. Kevin P. Chilton June 26, 2006 Oct. 3, 2007
Lt. Gen. Michael A. Hamel (acting) Oct. 3, 2007 Oct. 12, 2007
Gen. C. Robert Kehler Oct. 12, 2007 Jan. 5, 2011
Gen. William L. Shelton Jan. 5, 2011 Aug. 15, 2014
Gen. John E. Hyten Aug. 15, 2014 Oct. 25, 2016
Gen. John W. Raymond Oct. 25, 2016 Jan. 14, 2020
U.S. SPACE FORCE
Gen. John W. Raymond Jan. 14, 2020