Four Star General Edward A. Rice Jr.

General Edward A. Rice, Jr, of the United States Air Force was the 30th Commander of Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. As commander, he is responsible for the recruiting, training and education of all US Airmen. His command includes the Air Force Recruiting Service, two numbered air forces and Air University. Air Education and Training Command consists of 12 bases, more than 70,600 active duty, reserve, guard, civilians and contractors, and 1,380 trainer, fighter and mobility aircraft.

General Rice took over the command with the retirement of retirement of General Stephen R. Lorenz in May of 2010. Air Education and Training Command is an important duty providing combat-focused training to every Airman entering the Air Force, training more than 340,000 students per year using the most advanced training technologies and platforms.He engineered a makeover of basic training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in the wake of a sex scandal that has seen 25 trainers convicted of misconduct

General Edward Rice Jr. is a 1978  distinguished U.S. Air Force Academy graduate where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. In 2006, he attended a Joint Force Maritime Component Commander Course, Naval War College at Newport, Rhode island. A command pilot, General Rice has logged in more than 3,800 flying hours. As commander, 28th Air Expeditionary Wing, he commanded bomber operations during the first four months of Operation Enduring Freedom.

General Edward Rice Jr. previously served as Commander, United States Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force, Vice Commander, Pacific Air Forces, Commander, 13th Air Force, and Commander, Kenney Headquarters, Hickam AFB, Hawaii until October 2006. There General Rice was responsible for planning and executing air, space and information operations in the Pacific theater outside of Korea.

Rice has commanded a squadron, group, wing, the Air Force Recruiting Service, two numbered air forces and a joint command.

His numerous staff positions include serving as a White House Fellow at the Department of Health and Human Services, as a professional staff member for the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces, and as the Deputy Executive Secretary for the National Security Council. He has also served as Chief of Staff of the Office of the Representative and Executive Director for the Coalition Provisional Authority, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.

Additionally, during Operation Unified Assistance, General Rice served as the Deputy Commander for the joint task force, Combined Support Force-536, assigned to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to victims of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia.

General Edward Rice has received numerous awards and honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Aerial Achievement Medal.

Click on the links below for detailed information and photos on African American veterans who rose to the top of their field

Revolutionary & Civil War

The Revolutionary War set precedents for black military service. Both Africans and African Americans fought on both sides of this war, often as a means for a black slave to win his freedom.

World War I

When World War I broke out, there were four all-black regiments: the 9th and 10th Cavalry and the 24th and 25th Infantry.

World War II

African Americans made up over one million of the more than 16 million U.S. men and women to serve in World War II. Some of these men served in infantry, artillery, and tank units.

Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces.

Vietnam War & Iraq

The Vietnam War saw the highest proportion of blacks ever to serve in an American war. During the height of the U.S. involvement blacks, who formed 11 percent of the American population, made up 12.6 percent of the soldiers in Vietnam.


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