Robert H. Foglesong (‘68 BS, ‘69 MS, ‘71 PHD)
Robert H. Foglesong, a native of Williamson, W.Va., earned three degrees in chemical engineering from West Virginia University – a bachelor’s degree in 1968, a master’s degree in 1969 and a doctorate degree in 1971. He is also a 1989 graduate of the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C. While at WVU, Foglesong was a member of Helvetia, Order of the Grail, Tau Beta Pi. Omega Chi Epsilon, Sigma Tau Sigma and Mountain. As a member of Air Force ROTC, he received an AFROTC scholarship and was selected AFROTC wing commander to run the 3,000 person corps at WVU.
A four-star general, Foglesong, served as commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
Before assuming his current role, Foglesong served as assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he serves as the principal assistant and advisor to the chairman and vice chairman. He assisted in National Security Council policy formulation in the areas of arms control, nuclear weapons and national security issues as well as represented the chairman while traveling with the President, Secretary of State and other senior government officials.
Foglesong began his military career when he received his commission in 1972 through the Air Force ROTC program at WVU. That same year, he entered undergraduate pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base. Upon earning his wings, he became a T-41 instructor pilot and flight examiner at Peterson Field and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.
His aviation career includes more than 4,300 flying hours primarily in fighter and training assignments in F-15, F-16, AT-38, T-38 and AT-33 aircrafts. He has been a commander four times – twice as wing commander. His staff tours include duty as special assistant to the deputy chief of staff for research, development and acquisition on the Air Staff; special assistant to the commander of Tactical Air Command; and chief of staff of the Air Force Chair, professor of joint and combined warfare, National War College.
In 1991, Foglesong was named director, chief of staff of the Air Force Operations Group at the U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In this role, he directed a policy analysis group, providing key, unfiltered advice to senior leadership of the U.S. Air Force on a wide range of strategic, operational, personnel and programmatic policies. He was named commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus AFB in 1993 and the following year became commander of the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base in The Republic of Korea. He was promoted to Brigadier General in July 1994.
Returning to Washington, D.C., in November 1995 as deputy director for Politico-Military Affairs, Foglesong was responsible for regional planning and policy on all matters of an international politico-military nature. In October 1996, he was promoted to Major General. He assumed his current position as assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Staff in August 1997 and was promoted to Lieutenant General in September of that year.
Foglesong has published 37 articles on scientific, leadership and military topics. He has received many awards and decorations for his achievements including: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.