By Naomi Hatch
Major General Donald C. Ralph, son-in-law of Lane Shumway, who was born and raised in Taylor, will be the keynote speaker at the Taylor 4th of July Patriotic Program scheduled at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 6, at the Taylor LDS Stake Center on West Willow.
He serves as mobilization assistant to the commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
General Ralph entered the Air Force in 1980, having graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and served as a C-130 advanced flying training instructor pilot. He then was assigned to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and was the initial cadre aircraft commander, flying the B-1B bomber at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas. He was selected to attend the USAF Test Pilot School.
He has also served as an instructor, flight examiner and operations officer of a tactical airlift squadron. He commanded the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, the Hurricane Hunters, a one-of-a kind weather reconnaissance squadron, and served as the Vice Wing Commander of the 403rd Wing at Keesler AFB, Miss.
He served for two MAJCOM (major command) commanders and has experience as an air component commander in seven Joint Chiefs of Staff-level exercises.
He has earned the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Award with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters and Combat Readiness medal.
By Naomi Hatch