Richard Myers was born on March 1, 1942, in Kansas City, Missouri. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program at Kansas State University on February 3, 1965, and went on active duty beginning June 5, 1965. Lt Myers next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, in June 1966, followed by F-4 Phantom II combat crew training and then service as an F-4D pilot with the 417th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ramstein AB, West Germany, and then Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, until April 1969. Lt Myers was assigned to the F-4 Replacement Training Unit at Homestead AFB, Florida, from April to December 1969, and then served as an F-4D pilot with the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from December 1969 to November 1970. His next assignment was as an F-4C pilot with the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Yokota AB, Japan, from December 1970 to March 1971, followed by service as an F-4 weapons and tactics officer with the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kadena AB, Okinawa, from March 1971 to August 1973. Maj Myers served as an instructor pilot and flight commander with the 414th Fighter Weapons Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, from August 1973 to July 1976, and he then attended Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from July 1976 to June 1977. His next assignment was as an operational test and evaluation staff officer with Headquarters U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon from June 1977 to June 1980, followed by Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, from June 1980 to June 1981. LtCol Myers served as Chief of Weapons and Tactics with the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, from June to October 1981, and then as Operations Officer and then Commander of the 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson from October 1981 to November 1983. His next assignment was as Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson from November 1983 to January 1984, followed by service as Deputy Director of Personnel Plans and Programs with Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley AFB, Virginia, from January to October 1984. Col Myers next served as Team Chief on the Inspector General Team with Headquarters Tactical Air Command from October 1984 to September 1985, and then as Commandant of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB from September 1985 to September 1986. He served as Commander of the 325th Tactical Training Wing at Tyndall AFB, Florida, from September 1986 to June 1987, followed by service as Commander of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing at Langley AFB, Virginia, from June 1987 to February 1989. His next assignment was as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans with Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley AFB from February to June 1989, and then as Inspector General of Tactical Air Command from June 1989 to January 1990. Gen Myers served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans with Headquarters Tactical Air Command from January to June 1990, followed by service as Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements with Headquarters Tactical Air Command from June 1990 to December 1991. His next assignment was as Director of Fighter, Command and Control, and Weapons Programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition at the Pentagon from December 1991 to November 1993, and then as Commander of U.S. Forces Japan and Commander of 5th Air Force at Yokota AB, Japan, from November 1993 to June 1996. Gen Myers served as Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon from July 1996 to July 1997, followed by service as Commander of Pacific Air Forces at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, from July 1997 to July 1998. His next assignment was as Commander in Chief of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command, as well as Commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command, at Peterson AFB, Colorado, from August 1998 to February 2000, followed by service as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon from March 2000 to October 2001. His final assignment was as the 15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon from October 2001 until his retirement from the Air Force on October 1, 2005. Gen Myers was the Air Force's Gray Eagle from 1999 until his retirement in 2005.
His 2nd Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
Captain Richard B. Myers distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an F-4D Aircraft Commander at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand on 11 June 1970. On that date, Captain Myers led a flight of two F-4D fighter-bombers against a heavily defended transshipment point located on a vital line of communication in Southeast Asia. Despite hazardous terrain, deteriorating weather and accurate hostile antiaircraft artillery fire Captain Myers repeatedly attacked the target inflicting numerous secondary fires and explosions. The professional competence, aerial skill and devotion to duty displayed by Captain Myers reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.