General Charles R. “Charlie” Holland, a life member of the Airlift/Tanker Association, was named as one of this year’s Gathering of Eagles.
General Charles R. “Charlie” Holland served as the first Air Force officer in charge of United States Special Operation Command. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering. General Holland received Master’s Degrees in Business Management from Troy State University in 1976 and in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1978.
In 2003, General Holland retired as the Commander, Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). During that assignment, he was responsible for all special operations forces of the Army, Navy and Air Force, both active and reserve. Prior to the culmination of his active duty military career, General Holland commanded a squadron in the Philippines, two Air Force wings, served as Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command, and was Commander of the Special Operations Command Pacific. Prior to commanding USSOCOM, he commanded the Air Force Special Operations Command and was the Vice Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe. General Holland was a Command Pilot with over 5,000 flying hours which included over 100 combat missions in multiple C-130 and SOF aircraft to include a combat tour in the AC-130 Gunship at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, during the war in Southeast Asia.
The Gathering of Eagles (GOE) Foundation mission is to promote the study of aviation history by honoring the accomplishments of Airpower pioneers. GOE is the capstone event in the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) curriculum. The program traces its roots to 1980, when ACSC invited retired Brigadier General Paul W. Tibbets to visit Maxwell AFB, Alabama, to share his flying experiences with ACSC students. The first official GOE program, “Great Moments in Aviation History,” began in 1982. Since then, GOE has recognized more than 450 Eagles.
The Airlift/Tanker Association is a non-profit, professional association with its membership consisting primarily of U.S. Air Force active duty, reserve, Guard, and retired military personnel, as well as civilian and industrial supporters of the air mobility mission. A/TA is not a DoD organization and no government endorsement is intended or implied.