Air Force’s doctrine center commander ends successful career



by Phil Berube
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs


11/18/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --  An Airman ended a career last week that had taken him from the cockpit of fighter jets to helping build an air force to leading the development of Air Force doctrine.

Major Gen. Walter Givhan retired Nov. 15 following a 33-year career. His final assignment was as commander of the Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education and vice commander of Air University.

A command pilot with more than 2,500 hours flying various Air Force jets, to include the A-10 Thunderbolt and the F-15 Eagle, Givhan, a native son of Alabama, told the audience at his retirement ceremony that it was the love of flying that drew him into the service.

"Flying brought me in," he said, "but I soon discovered it (the Air Force) was more than flying."

The general's service included duties as the commanding general for Combined Air Power Transition Force, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, Kabul; director of the secretary of the Air Force and chief of staff of the Air Force's executive action group; commandant of Air Force Institute of Technology; and deputy assistant secretary for plans, programs and operations, bureau of political-military affairs, U.S. State Department.

"He has been an incredible performer everywhere he went," said retired Lt. Gen. John Bradley, who officiated the retirement ceremony and who served as a chief of Air Force Reserve and commander, Air Force Reserve Command.

In his closing remarks, Givhan turned his attention to Air University and its mission.

"Education is absolutely essential to critical thinking, to the development of leaders," he said. "I celebrate what Air University does and what we accomplish here."
Though leaving the service after serving more than three decades, the general said he will always feel like he is a part of the Air Force.

"I'm proud to call myself an Airman, and I will always call myself an Airman," said Givhan before asking the audience to join him in a recital of the Airman's Creed to end his ceremony.

The general's effective date of retirement is Jan. 1.