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News > Air Force Space & Missile Pioneer: Lieutenant General Otto J. Glasser
Lieutenant General Otto J. Glasser (courtesy photo)
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Air Force Space & Missile Pioneer: Lieutenant General Otto J. Glasser

Posted 9/19/2012   Updated 9/19/2012 Email story   Print story


9/19/2012 - Peterson AFB, Colo.  -- As we celebrate Air Force Space Command's 30th Anniversary we recognize individuals who played a significant role in the history of the Air Force space and missile programs - our Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers ...

Lieutenant General Otto J. Glasser General Glasser served as the director of the Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program, the nation's highest priority military project in the mid-1950s. An original member of General Bernard A. Schriever's
"Schoolhouse Gang" of four at the Western Development Division, his leadership provided the nation with its first deployed ICBM.

In February 1956, General Glasser became the Director of the Atlas program where he engineered a program that tested individual parts, then components and assemblies, subsystems and stages, eliminating all possible sources of error before committing the subsystem to a completely integrated missile.

In early 1957, General Glasser persuaded Air Force leadership to permit the start of a solid-propellant missile "technology program." A year later, the Air Force was able to initiate the solid-propellant Minuteman ICBM program. And when Robert S. McNamara became Secretary of Defense, he urged the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Thomas D. White, to reorganize the Air Force's systems management immediately so that McNamara could assign the military space program to the Air Force. As a result of Glasser's recommendations, the Air Force established Air Force Systems Command and Air Force Logistics Command.

General Glasser served as Vice Commander of the Electronic Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command as well as Deputy Director of Operational Requirements and Development Plans and then Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development. In February 1970, General Glasser became the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development, and the Military Director of the USAF Scientific Advisory Board where he supervised the systems integration and testing, and guidance and control support, and oversaw post-boost propulsion system testing, and in-place and in-flight hardness testing for the Minuteman III.

General Glasser passed away 26 February 1996.

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