Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, U.S. Air Force, will be sworn in as the Vice Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a private ceremony in the Pentagon at 9 a.m.,
Friday, March 1, 1996. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry will conduct the
ceremony. Gen. Ralston was appointed by President Clinton and will be the
fourth officer to serve in that capacity. The Vice Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff is the second highest ranking military officer in the U.S.
military. The position was established by the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols
Department of Defense Reorganization Act (PL 99-433).
Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Gen. Ralston is a 1965 graduate of Miami
University (Ohio). His most recent assignment was as the commander of the
U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. He has
also commanded the Alaskan Command and the Alaskan NORAD Region. He has served
as Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air Force for Plans and Operations, as Director
of Tactical Programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force
for Acquisition, and as Director of Air Force Operational Requirements. In
addition to a number of major command level staff positions, Gen. Ralston is a
command pilot with more than 2,500 flying hours.
Gen. Ralston and his wife, the former Diane "Dede" Dougherty, have four
children: Christopher, Paige, David and Sarah.