Picture of Gen. John E. Hyten. Mr. Hyten is sitting in front of an American flag

Gen John Hyten, USAF (Ret)

Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Dwight D. Eisenhower Award Dinner

Gen. John E. Hyten served as the 11th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that capacity, he was the nation's second highest-ranking military officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He retired Nov. 19, 2021. 

General Hyten attended Harvard University on an Air Force Reserve Officer's Training Corps scholarship, graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and applied sciences, and was commissioned a second lieutenant.

General Hyten’s career began in engineering and acquisition before transitioning to space operations.

He has commanded at the squadron, group, wing, and major command levels. In 2006, he deployed to Southwest Asia as Director of Space Forces for operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He commanded Air Force Space Command, and prior to his current assignment, was the Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, one of eleven Combatant Commands under the Department of Defense.


1981 Bachelor’s degree in engineering and applied sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 1985 Master of Business Administration degree, Auburn University, Montgomery, Ala.

1985 Distinguished graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

1994 Distinguished graduate, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 1999 National Defense Fellow, University of Illinois, Champaign, Ill.


Defense Distinguished Service Medal Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster

Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Award Winner