Brigadier General Steven C. Speer is commander of the 193rd Special Operations Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, located at Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, Pa. As commander of the only Air Force Special Operations Command-gained wing in the Air National Guard, he is responsible for ensuring the readiness of its members and their unique equipment, including the EC-130E Commando Solo II aircraft. The command has four groups with over 1,800 professionals assigned. Prior to this assignment, Gen. Speer served as commander of the 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard, Moffett Federal Airfield.
Gen. Speer was born in Van Nuys, Calif., and completed his high school studies at the Northridge Military Academy, Northridge, Calif, in 1967. He received an associate’s degree from Los Angeles Pierce College. In August 1977, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, specializing in finance, at California State University, Long Beach.
Gen. Speer enlisted in the 146th Tactical Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, in December 1969. His initial assignment was as security policeman with the 146th Weapons System Security Flight. In April 1971, he was assigned as a C-130 aircraft loadmaster in the 146th Mobile Aerial Port Squadron. In May 1972, he was assigned to the 115th Tactical Airlift Squadron, where he maintained instructor and flight examiner status until 1974.
He held the grade of technical sergeant when commissioned at the Air National Guard Professional Military Education Center Academy of Military Science in November 1974. Gen. Speer was a distinguished graduate of undergraduate navigator training and was reassigned in September 1975 to the 115th TAS. In 1978, he was upgraded to instructor navigator, and held various assignments in the wing. In August 1979, he was assigned as the wing training officer. And, in January 1982, Gen. Speer was assigned to the tactics branch, 146th TAW and upgraded to flight examiner navigator. In January 1986, he was assigned to the Pentagon as Airlift Operations Officer, Current Operations Branch, Plans and Operations Division, National Guard Bureau, Headquarters, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. In May 1989, Gen. Speer was assigned as executive officer to the Director, Air National Guard, where he was responsible for the day-to-day administration of the command staff. In September 1990, he was assigned as commander, 129th Rescue Squadron. Gen. Speer was reassigned as the 129th Operations Group commander in April 1993. In July 1993, he assumed command of the 129th Rescue Wing. During his tenure as the 129th’s commander, the Wing received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the 1995-1997 period and the coveted Spaatz Trophy in 1998 for “superior accomplishment of combat search and rescue taskings worldwide.” He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general March 30, 2001.
Gen. Speer is a master navigator and has accumulated over 6,038 flying hours in nine different versions of the C-130 aircraft. He is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, Coast Guard Unit Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Readiness Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Armed Force Reserve Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with one device, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Medal with six oak leaf clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon and Kuwait Liberation Medal.
Gen. Speer resides in Harrisburg, Pa.