Former Arnold Engineering Development Complex commander retired Maj. Gen. Robert W. Chedister passed away May 2 at the age of 72.
Chedister assumed command of AEDC in January 1997. He served in this capacity until July 1998 when he assumed duties as the Air Force program executive officer for airlift and trainers at the Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
A native of Hazen, Arkansas, Chedister entered the Air Force as a graduate of the University of Arkansas ROTC program. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the university, and Chedister earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a second master’s degree in management from Troy State University. Chedister was also a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Aside from his tenure leading AEDC, roles Chedister held during his Air Force career include director of testing and deputy program director for the Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile System Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; director of testing for the F-117 Systems Program Office at Wright-Patterson AFB; program director for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts; and commander of the Air Armament Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Chedister was also a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours as a fighter pilot and test pilot.
Awards and decorations Chedister earned during his 33-year Air Force career include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.