Lt. General Tom Waskow was commissioned a Second Lieutenant following graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1970.
He is a combat veteran having flown 283 missions in Vietnam while flying over 900 hours of combat time, and he ran the air war over Bosnia from 1996-98.
In 1977 he was selected as one of the early fighter pilots to fly the F-15 and flew over 2,200 hours in all models of the F-15 Eagle. He has over 5,000 hours of flying time, mostly in Fighter aircraft. General Waskow has commanded at all levels including a Fighter Squadron, an Air Base
Wing and both 13th Air Force as a Major General and 5th Air Force as a Lieutenant General. His last assignment was as Commanding General U.S. Forces in Japan. He has extensive experience in both combat and humanitarian operations. He spent over 19 years of his career
overseas having participated in numerous military operations in Europe and Asia.
On the morning of the 11th of September, 2001
following the terrorists’ attacks in the U.S., he was one of three Air Force
General Officers given the authority to shoot down civilian airliners that had
been hijacked by terrorists in his mission as responsible for the air
sovereignty of the United States.
His military decorations include our nation’s highest peacetime
award, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished
Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses for Valor
and 13 Air Medals.
Following retirement he and his wife Sheila’s passion has become
caring for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast-guardsmen who
served him by supporting the USO of North Carolina. In 2014 he was
elected to be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the USO of NC and
continues in that role today.