General Norton A. Schwartz is a Jewish American retired Air Force general who served as the 19th Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
Schwartz (born December 14, 1951) was born and raised in New Jersey. Schwartz graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1973. He is also an alumnus of the National War College, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a 1994 Fellow of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Seminar XXI. He has served as Commander of the Special Operations Command-Pacific, as well as Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, and the 11th Air Force. Schwartz also served as Commander, U.S. Transportation Command and served as the single manager for global air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense.
Schwartz is a command pilot with more than 4,400 flying hours in a variety of aircraft. He participated as a crewmember in the 1975 airlift evacuation of Saigon, and in 1991 served as Chief of Staff of the Joint Special Operations Task Force for Northern Iraq in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In 1997, he led the Joint Task Force that prepared for the noncombatant evacuation of U.S. citizens in Cambodia.
From August 2008 to August 2012, Schwartz served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, responsible for the organization, training and equipping of nearly 700,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. Schwartz, the first Jewish commander of the U.S. Air Force, travelled to Israel in July 2009 as a guest of Israeli Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan. General Schwartz's trip kicked off a round of visits by senior Obama administration officials to Israel .