Brig. Gen. James R. Hogue and his wife Paula celebrate his 36 year career with a fini-flight at Edwards AFB here. The mobilization assistant to the commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, retired from United States Air Force Reserve Command on Dec. 9. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Rob Densmore)
12/15/2011 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Brig. Gen. James R. Hogue, mobilization assistant to the commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, said farewell to the Edwards community when he retired from United States Air Force Reserve Command on Dec. 9 after 36 years of service.
Hogue's career began in 1976, when he graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in computer science. From the beginning, he knew he wanted to fly, although somewhat unsure about the path to get there. During his sophomore year he declared his major and never looked back.
"The only thing I was certain of is that I wanted to fly. I thought studying computers would give me the skills to get there, which it did. Plus, they lured you in with entry level classes. The classes became tough real quick, but it was definitely worth it," Hogue joked.
During his time at the academy, Hogue spent much of his time swimming, in addition to studying. The avid swimmer lettered eight times, more than anyone in his class, and left a lasting impression with five school records.
Excellence marked his tenure at the Air Force Academy and set the stage for an incredible journey with the Air Force.
"Saying that the computers were enormous would be an understatement, but the field was new and exciting and the best part is that it gave me the chance to fly," said Hogue.
After graduation, Hogue received the opportunity he was hoping for. He attended undergraduate pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.
For Hogue's first assignment at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., he piloted the C-141A, flying missions to the Far East and Europe. During his next assignment at Ramstein Air Base, he flew the CT-39A as a special air mission's instructor pilot. He continued traveling the world, flying missions as far reaching as Kenya.
In 1983, Hogue went back to the Air Force Academy as the Director of the Computer Division, where he became the head coach of both the men's and women's swimming teams, as well as the men's polo team. While at the academy, he piloted the UV-18B for the Wings of Blue, cadet parachute team.
In 1989 Hogue left active duty and began his 23-year career with the Reserve.
"I wanted to do my part during the force-shaping initiatives," said Hogue.
With young children at home, joining the Reserve gave him the opportunity to spend time with his family. The children were always the first priority for Hogue and his wife, Paula.
Hogue held numerous positions with the Admissions Liaison Office Program for the Air Force Academy.
"For most Reservists, you don't spend much time at the tip of the spear. The ALO program gave me the chance to place the next generation of Air Force at the tip of the spear. And that is something I am proud to be a part of," said Hogue.
Hogue left the ALO program and became the Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the commander at the 88th Air Base Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. He later served as commander of an active duty group, the 88th Mission Support Group, as well as a deployed group, the 438th Air Expeditionary Group, Shahbaz Air Base, Pakistan.
Hogue served as the 88th Air Base Wing vice commander for three months before joining Team Edwards in September of 2004.
For the past seven years Hogue has maximized the efforts of Reservists to meet developmental test objectives and the needs of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School.
"My primary function was leveraging the efforts of Reservists to help accomplish the mission here at Edwards. Realizing that the Reserve presents unique challenges, priority one was making sure everyone was taken care of," said Hogue.
In addition to functioning as the base's senior Reservist, Hogue had the responsibility of serving as the director of the Edwards Space Shuttle Contingency Recovery Team.
Throughout his tenure, he performed duties as the Joint Task Force Shuttle Commander in the North American Aerospace Defense Command / United States Northern Command area of responsibility. Hogue led the Army, Navy, Civil Air Patrol, 95th Air Base Wing, and 412th Test Wing during 22 Space Shuttle missions. He worked with the NASA Convoy Commander for five landings at Edwards.
Hogue's Air Force Reserve career has been in carried out in concert with his civilian career, 23 years with United Airlines. His wife has been there every step of the way.
"Paula's been here for much of my Reserve career and none of it would have happened without her," said Hogue.
"I am so grateful for her dedication and support throughout the years."
Hogue has accrued more than 3,300 flying hours in 28 different military aircraft, as well as 12,000 flying hours of commercial airline time.
"It's been incredible. More than anything, I look forward to spending time with my family," said Hogue.
1/4/2012 11:09:38 PM ET General Hogue. Congratulations to you and Paula. We enjoyed getting to know you during our time at Edwards. You always brought the fun.
Joe Nichols, Highland Utah
12/20/2011 11:56:50 PM ET CONGRATULATIONS Hoguer I appreciate everything you did for me and all of us on the Polo team. It's even more of an honor for me now that you swore me in as a Butter-Bar 25 years ago...thanks again and enjoy retirement Bill '86
Bill Brogan, Parker CO
12/18/2011 8:33:18 AM ET Congratulations on the retirement Jim. Proud of all you have done for the nation and the Air Force. God bless. Dave Matthews
Dave Matthews, Floyds Knobs IN
12/16/2011 10:20:50 AM ET Congratulations Jim Can't wait to read the book Ray