Roles and Missions is the final installment of the most comprehensive memoir ever produced by one of America’s service chiefs, offering deep insights into what it takes to get the job then, how to do it, once you get it. Previously, Hangar Flying was about fighter aviation in the 1960s, including flying airshows as a pilot with the Thunderbirds, and service in Vietnam as an attack pilot and high-speed forward air controller. Book two, Below the Zone, covered the 1970s and 1980s, and dealt with the leadership and management skills needed to reach the top of a large, complex organization.
General Merrill A. “Tony” McPeak was the 14th chief of staff of the US Air Force. Roles and Missions deals with his 4 years as Air Force chief, starting in the early 1990s. The Cold War has just ended. He must deal with massive budget and manning cuts, and puts in a major reorganization of his own design. At the same time he helps manage Desert Storm, conflict in Bosnia and Somalia, and the Pentagon reaction to “gays in the Military” and “women in combat.”
Following retirement from active duty, General McPeak began a second career in business. He has enjoyed notable success as a founder, investor and chairman of business startups. In 2011 he became chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission, helping supervise the overseas cemeteries and monuments that commemorate America’s combat heritage.