Jones, David

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Jones, David (1921–), air force chief of staff and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).Jones was born in South Dakota and grew up in North Dakota. He received a commission in the Army Air Forces in 1943 and followed a career as a bomber pilot. He led a squadron during the Korean War, and later commanded the U.S. Air Forces in Europe. Becoming air force chief of staff in 1974, he made substantial reductions in headquarters staff and reorganized the air force hierarchy. Support for the Panama Canal Treaties and cancellation of the B‐1 bomber earned him congressional criticism.

PresidentJimmy Carter appointed Jones the ninth chairman of the JCS in 1978. Jones's support for the SALT II agreement in 1979 and the failed Iranian hostage rescue in 1980 brought further congressional hostility and some initial opposition to his reappointment as chairman in 1980. After eight years as a JCS member, Jones recommended major changes in the joint system in 1982. He found JCS advice to the president untimely and diluted by interservice compromise, and he criticized the chairman's lack of authority. He proposed making the chairman the principal military adviser to the president instead of the corporate JCS, placing the chairman alone in the chain between the secretary of defense and the major com manders, and giving the chairman a four‐star deputy. Neither the Reagan administration nor the other chiefs proved receptive, and no immediate action resulted. In 1986, however, the Goldwater‐Nichols Act included all of Jones's recommendations.
[See also Defense, Department of; SALT Treaties.]


U.S. Air Force Biography, General David C. Jones, 1978.
Willard J. Webb and and Ronald H. Cole , The Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1989.

Willard J. Webb

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