Retired command pilot with more than 13,000 military and civilian flying hours, Major General Hugh L. Cox ’57 is given the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
by Dee Dodson
Major Gen. Hugh L. Cox III ’57, shown with wife Patricia Noble Cox ’59.
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Topics: Alumni News
by Dee Dodson
Major General Hugh L. Cox ’57 is a retired command pilot with more than 13,000 military and civilian flying hours. His military decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Joint Service Commendation Medal.
Major General Cox flew 1,000 combat hours in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor. He became the first U.S. commander of NATO Airborne Warning and Control forces, providing air defense of Europe.
Handpicked by Air Force leadership, Major General Cox was made first director of operations for the worldwide U.S. Special Operations Command, which engaged in counter-terrorist operations, infiltration missions into hostile areas and support of U.S. regional commands in special operations missions. In 1988, he became deputy commander-in-chief. In that position, he helped rebuild the nation’s joint special operations forces into what they are today — our country’s premier, elite forces that have been deployed with great success in southwest Asia over the last two decades.
Major General Cox retired from active duty in 1990. Alaska governor Walter Hickel then named him Adjutant General of Alaska, with command of the Army and National Guard units in the state. In this post, he was instrumental in establishing the Alaska National Guard Youth Corp, which became a national model for educating high school dropouts. It was later adopted by 30 other states. He also served in the Alaska governor’s cabinet as commissioner of Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as State Emergency Services. Among his responsibilities were the state’s efforts to recover from the catastrophic Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1994, Governor Tony Knowles presented him with the Alaska Distinguished Service Medal.
In the years since, Major General Cox has served as a consultant to numerous defense industry corporations, including the Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin and others.
He and his wife, Patricia Noble Cox ’59 live in San Antonio.
2011 Alumni Award recipients:
Chris Curtis ’83 – President’s Service Award
Trevor D. and Jan M. Rees-Jones – Honorary Alumni Award
Claire Taussig ’11 – Distinguished Student Award
Marc Istook ’98 – Outstanding Young Professional Award
J. Luther King, Jr. ’62 (MBA ’66) and Teresa Carter King – Royal Purple Award
Major Gen. Hugh L. Cox III ’57 – Distinguished Alumnus Award
Roy Topham ’72 (MPA ’74) – Valuable Alumni Award
LaDainian Tomlinson ’05 – Frog O’Fame Award
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