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Robert C. Craig

Chief Master Sergeant Robert C. Craig, USAF, Retired was born on June 13, 1930 in Marion, Indiana, where he received his GED from Marion High School (1948). He has two Associate degrees in Business Management from Belleville Area College in Illinois. He is a graduate of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) Command Non-commissioned Officers (NCO) Academy, Class 63-C and the U.S. Air Force Senior NCO Academy at Gunter Air Force Station, AL. Class 73-C.

He began his military career on June 22, 1948 when he enlisted in the United States Army, receiving basic training at Fort Knox, KY with the 3rd Armored Division, “D” Company, 32nd Tank Battalion. Upon completion of advanced infantry training at Fort Benning, Georgia, Chief Craig was assigned to duty with the First Cavalry Division, Occupation Forces, in Japan from 1948 to 1950. Hq Co, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Camp Drake, Japan and E Company, 5th Cavalry Regiment, Camp McGill, Japan.

He served with the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, “A” Troop, 8th Engineer (Combat) Battalion, in Korea from July 1950 to August 1951. He participated in the battle for Chipyong-ni, 15 February 1951, a significant battle of the Korean War; he was awarded the Bronze Star medal and the Combat Infantry Badge. Discharged from the Army in April 1952, as a Sergeant First Class, he re-enlisted in the United States Air Force in February 1953 and saw continuous service until April of 1978, when he retired from active duty.

He served in various capacities as an administrative and information management specialist; to include Chief Clerk, Administrative Division of the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) during the transition from reciprocal aircraft to jets. Upon his return from a 12-month tour with the 1173rd Military Assistance Advisory Group, Saigon, Vietnam, from November of 1960 to December 1961, he was assigned to MATS, Scott Air Force Base, and Illinois, as NCOIC Base Document Security. He served in the Military Airlift Command (MAC) Section from July 1962 to August 1968. He was awarded the Legion of Merit while assigned to MAC. The award, an uncommon decoration for an enlisted man, was earned for his outstanding contributions to the Command Section. Upon his departure, he was Chief of Administration.

His remaining years of service were with the Alaskan Air Command, Elmendorf AFB AK, as NCOIC of Protocol, September 1968 to August 1972. His next assignment was the Chief of Administration for Headquarters Command, USAF Postal and Courier Service, Det 15, at Scott AFB, II. August 1972-July 1974. His last assignment was with the USAF Postal and Courier Service, European Region, Rhein Main AB Germany as the Chief of Administration and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Commander.

Chief Craig’s decorations include: The Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaves, Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze star, National Defense Service medal with one bronze star, Combat Infantry Badge, USAF Senior Administrative Superintendent Badge, and numerous service awards to include six battle stars to the Korean Service Medal for combat duty in Korea.

The Chief continued to participate in local military veterans organizations. He was the Editor/Publisher of the Bondurant Chapter, 1st Cavalry Division Association, and monthly newsletter, maintained the units database and coordinated all of their communications functions. Prior to his retirement from Civil Service, he served as Secretary and charter/lifetime member of the Military Airlift Command’s (MAC) Chiefs Group, an organization of both active and retired E-9’s from all branches of military service for a period of four years (1983-1987). He was Director of Communications for the Scott Memorial Chapter of the Air Force Association, a 2,000-member chapter. He was Editor/Publisher of the monthly newsletter and served as the State of Illinois, AFA, Director of Communications. His wife Joanne served as President of the Scott Memorial Chapter, AFA for a period of four years. She was Chairperson of the annual Air Force Ball of Mid-America in St. Louis, MO. This black-tie function, with 500 to 600 high-level military and civilian personnel, and major contractors to the USAF in attendance, drew national attention as one of the premier functions of the Air Force Association. It traditionally made large contributions to the local USO. Upon his retirement from Civil Service in June 1992, the Chief had accumulated 40 years combined service to this great nation of ours.

Chief Craig was married to the former Joanne Siers. They had two daughters.

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  • Donna Cain says:

    Dean And Becky,
    Much love to both of you. I know this is been a hard journey and he was so blessed to have you. May he rest in peace and be given all the blessings Deserved for protecting our country.

    Love you guys!

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