General David L. Goldfein will be the second Jew to serve his country in this senior position in the US Air Force.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Tuesday that President Barack Obama has nominated General David L. Goldfein to be the 21st chief of staff of the Air Force, succeeding Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, who has served in the position since 2012.
“I’m extremely humbled by the nomination to serve as the Air Force’s 21st chief of staff. If confirmed, I pledge to serve our Airmen and their families unwaveringly and honor our remarkable heritage and legacy of integrity, service and excellence,” Goldfein, the 56-year-old Jewish person, said. “I also look forward to joining my fellow service chiefs as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Mark and Betty Welsh continue to be exceptional stewards of our service, and Dawn and I are honored to follow in their footsteps.”
Goldfein entered the Air Force in June 1983 as a graduate of the US Air Force Academy. He has been assigned to numerous operational, command and staff positions. He currently serves as the vice chief of staff, where he presides over the Air Staff and serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group.
“I am pleased to support the nomination of General David Goldfein as our next chief of staff,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. “General Goldfein possesses the experience and vision needed to address dynamic global challenges and increasing military demand. He knows how to build and sustain key partnerships, has important warfighting experience, and will exercise the critical judgement required to balance our manpower and resources as we shape tomorrow’s Air Force. There is not a better person to lead our Airmen into the next century of airpower dominance.”
“Dave Goldfein is an Airman who epitomizes warrior leadership, and that’s exactly what our Air Force deserves,” Welsh said. “He connects deeply with Airmen, he supports their families relentlessly, and he absolutely recognizes the criticality of our service’s mission. Most importantly, he and Dawn understand the remarkable privilege they’ve been afforded in serving the nation.”
Goldfein is a command pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours in several air fighters. He has flown combat missions in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Allied Force, and Enduring Freedom.
Goldfein has received numerous awards for his military service including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor device and oak leaf cluster.
Goldfein would be the second Jewish person to serve in the position, following Norton Schwartz’s tenure in 2008-2012.