This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. In the 53-year history of the United States Air Force (USAF), only two airmen have risen to serve as regional commanders in chief (CINC). During the same period, 74 soldiers, sailors, and Marines were selected for geographic CINC billets. In Once in a Blue Moon: Airmen in Theater Command, Lt Col Howard D. Belote examines the reasons for this disparity and suggests how airmen might improve their prospects for becoming future regional commanders.Colonel Belote employs historical analysis to identify the personal and professional qualities airmen should seek as prospective war-fighting CINCs. To establish a baseline for that analysis, he begins by studying the careers of two early regional CINCs, Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gen Jacob L. Devers. Relying heavily on primary sources in the Air Force Historical Research Agency, the author then offers two detailed biographical case studies. The first is of Gen Lauris Norstad, until this year the only USAF officer to have served as a regional CINC. The second case study considers the career of German Field Marshal Albrecht Kesselring, one of only two airmen ever to have commanded a theater in wartime.Belote complements his historical inquiry with findings based on interviews with senior Department of Defense officials coupled to an analysis of the recent literature on joint command. These varied sources agree on one very significant point: to perform effectively as war-fighting CINCs, airmen— indeed, all officers—must possess comprehensive joint military proficiency, an incisive geostrategic-political-military vision, and strong—but nuanced and deft—skills in leadership and interpersonal relations.One other major finding deserves mention up front. Without exception, the senior officials interviewed by the author agreed that as would-be CINCs, airmen are handicapped by a distinctive characteristic of Air Force culture. As members of a technical service that places a high premium on Air Force-specific skills, most airmen fail to acquire the wide-ranging joint and political-military experience expected of potential regional CINCs. To help remedy that problem, the author proposes creation of a new and intentionally broad-gauged "joint warfighter" career track.