Air Force Lt. Gen. David W. Allvin formally received his fourth star Nov. 12, fulfilling the last necessary step before he is elevated to vice chief of staff, the service’s second-ranking military position.
In a brisk, precise and socially distanced promotion ceremony held at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. published the order for Allvin’s fourth star and said he was excited to begin their journey together as the Air Force’s leading military officers. With his promotion accomplished, Allvin will officially become vice chief of staff on Nov. 14.
Calling Allvin a “deep thinker” whose career “is chock full of accolades,” Brown said Allvin has the qualities that are needed to lead the Air Force forward.
“He’s been a distinguished graduate from just about everything he’s done,” Brown said in brief remarks, adding that Allvin “has a deep passion to get things done.”
“I’m really excited to have him joining me to help lead our Air Force with Secretary Barrett and also working very closely with (Chief of Space Operations) Gen. Raymond as we stand up the Space Force,” Brown said.
When Allvin becomes vice chief of staff he will complete a total turnover of the highest military leadership in the Air Force. Brown was named Chief of Staff on Aug. 6, taking over for retiring Gen. David L. Goldfein. Eight days later, Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne S. Bass was elevated to become the Air Force’s 19th Chief Master Sergeant. Bass succeeded retiring Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright.
In his remarks, Allvin thanked his family and those with whom he’s served who’ve provided guidance and wisdom over the years.
Speaking to Department of the Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett who was in attendance and to Brown, Allvin said, “You had several skilled people who could have been perfect for this job. So I take it as commitment that I owe to you to make sure that I am worthy of this.”
He added, “Thank you very much for your faith and your trust in me. … The idea that I was invited to this team to wear this rank and do this job is something I take very seriously and is very humbling. I am excited.”
Like Brown and the man Allvin is replacing, retiring Gen. Stephen W. Wilson, Allvin is an experienced pilot, with a command rating and more than 4,600 hours in aircraft as diverse as the C-17 to F-15 and F-16 fighters. Additionally he has logged 800 flight hours as a test pilot.
He also is well equipped to help Brown devise and guide policy, practices and culture across the Air Force’s global operation and at a time of changing threats and challenges.
During the ceremony, Allvin was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal for his most recent assignment as Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy, for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that position, he provided insight and analysis that enabled “the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide military advice to the president, the secretary of defense, and the National Security Council.”
He was also a senior member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Military Staff Committee at the Pentagon. In that role he provided “strategic direction, policy guidance and planning focus to develop and execute the National Military Strategy.
Allvin, who graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1986, has commanded at the squadron and wing levels, including the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
That history and experience will serve Allvin well since he arrives as vice chief at a time significant change and challenge. He will be a chief advisor to Brown and Barrett as they reconfigure the Air Force to confront peer competition. Allvin will be an important voice helping Brown and Barrett ensure a successful partnership with the newly formed U.S. Space Force. All of that will take place amid a shifting political climate and budget pressure.
Despite his broad and diverse experience, Allvin is stepping into a job known for being unique and challenging.
It is a job that requires highly accomplished, experienced officers like Allvin who are comfortable often operating in the shadows. While influential, the vice chief often achieves important goals without the spotlight that accompanies other officers of similar rank.
President Trump nominated Allvin in August to be vice chief of staff. The Senate confirmed his appointment, as well as his fourth star, in October.
“When the history is written, we don’t want to be the Air Force that was ‘pretty good for its time.’ We are the Air Force that is the Air Force for our time,” he said.