Robert C. Oaks
Robert Charles Oaks is a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Oaks was born on February 14, 1936, in Los Angeles, California, and was reared in Provo, Utah. He attended Brigham Young University for one year, received a bachelor’s degree in military science from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1959, part of the first class. In 1967, he earned his master’s degree in business administration from Ohio State University. He also graduated in 1974 from the Naval War College.
Oaks served for 18 months in the Utah National Guard. After graduating from the Air Force Academy, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force and completed flight training at Barstow Air Base (Florida) and Vance Air Force Base (Oklahoma). He earned his pilot wings in September 1960. Oaks then attended combat crew training at Luke Air Force Base (Arizona) and Nellis Air Force Base (Nevada). In September 1961 he transferred to Cannon Air Force Base (New Mexico) as an F-100 pilot with the 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron. From April 1963 to June 1966, he was assigned to the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, first at Misawa Air Base, Japan; in August 1964, at England Air Force Base, Louisiana; and then in November 1965, at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam. He flew 188 combat missions in F-100s in Southeast Asia. He was shot down over the Mekong Delta.
After his graduation from the Naval War College, he was assigned to U.S. Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he served as Joint Plans and Policy Branch Chief. During the next three years he served in various assignments within the Directorate of Plans, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and Plans. He became chief, Regular and Reserve General Officer Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, in January 1977. Then in June 1977 he was assigned as assistant for general officer matters. He served in many administrative capacities in the United States and Europe until his retirement in 1994. He retired as a four-star General and Commander and Chief of U.S. Air Forces Europe and NATO Central Europe. During his military service, he was distinguished with numerous awards and medals. He accumulated more than 4,000 flying hours and more than 300 combat hours during his career.
He was employed at U.S. Airways as senior vice president until 2000, when he was called to serve in the Second Quorum of the Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ. He served from 2004 to 2007 in the Presidency of the Seventy. He was released as a general authority in 2009.
In 2012, he was the featured speaker at a prayer breakfast held at The Landing at Hill Air Force Base in conjunction with the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington, D.C. He was also named chairman of the board of Amendment II, Inc., in 2012. In 2014, he spoke at a Veterans Day Event in Cedar Hills, Utah.