WASHINGTON, June 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former Air Force Chief of Staff General Merrill A. McPeak was elected Friday the 10th chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC).
McPeak, one of nine members of the ABMC board of commissioners, was appointed to the commission in July 2010 by President Barack Obama. He is the latest in a line of four-star general officers to serve as chairman, beginning with General of the Armies John J. Pershing.
ABMC is a federal agency established by Congress in 1923 to commemorate the service, achievements, and sacrifice of the United States armed forces. The ABMC commemorative mission is reflected in 24 overseas military cemeteries that serve as resting places for almost 125,000 American war dead; on Tablets of the Missing that memorialize more than 94,000 U.S. servicemen and women; and through 25 memorials, monuments and markers.
McPeak was chief of staff of the Air Force from 1990 to 1994. A career fighter pilot, he flew 269 combat missions in Vietnam, some of them while in command of the Misty squadron of high speed forward air controllers. In 1967-68, he performed as a demonstration pilot in 199 official air shows as a member of the Air Force's elite aerobatic team, the Thunderbirds. Before becoming Air Force chief, he commanded the 20th Fighter Wing, Twelfth Air Force, and the Pacific Air Forces.
Since retirement from active military service, McPeak has made a second career as an investor and director of public and private companies. He is chairman of Ethicspoint, a leading provider of risk-management and compliance software-as-a-service, including secure, anonymous reporting of ethical violations in the workplace.
Previous ABMC chairmen include Pershing, George C. Marshall, Jacob L. Devers, Mark W. Clark, Andrew J. Goodpaster, P. X. Kelley, who served twice, Frederick F. Woerner, and Frederick M. Franks, Jr.
SOURCE American Battle Monuments Commission