By Lt. Col. Kevin Ferchak
Air Force Space Command
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Brig. Gen. Ronald L. Huntley, director of Financial Management and Comptroller, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, retires March 4 after 33 years of dedicated service to the Air Force.
Huntley is the son of Donald Huntley and a 1979 graduate of Simi Valley High School. He is married to his high school sweetheart, the former Ruth Colborn, a 1979 graduate of Royal High School. With just under two years of marriage and a child on the way, Huntley enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1983 and became a computer operator.
“I came in as a computer operator and worked on a Burroughs system using punch cards and mag tape readers,” recalls Huntley. “I went from being a guy who pushed those punch cards through the system to having a job like I had at Cyber Command where I was working policy for how we would now fight in cyber space. It’s incredible. Think of how the next generation will look!”
Huntley decided to become an officer. He exceled in his studies and earned his Bachelor of Science from Florida State University in 1986 and was accepted into Officer Training School shortly afterward, graduating as a Distinguished Graduate. He went on to earn three master’s degrees over the course of his career.
“I had a passion to be in the Air Force,” said Huntley. “Being an officer is who you are, not just something you do. It’s more than just a job, it means being a part of a profession of arms. Earning those degrees allowed me to excel in my career and become a better leader.”
His military career started in the Republic of Panama as a computer operator.
“Panama was a great assignment because of the people. Being in a foreign country makes people really pull together and you get a real sense of a military community. It’s the people throughout your career that can make or break your assignments.”
Being enlisted and then becoming an officer in the Air Force has given Huntley a better perspective on what challenges face the Airmen in his command.
“The Air Force is a superior service because of its non-commissioned officer corps,” said Huntley. “It was NCO’s that took care of me when I was an Airman. It was NCO’s that took care of me when I was company grade, field grade and then general officer. I know for a fact the Chief sitting down the hall will know how my enlisted corps is doing because as an enlisted Airman my Chief took care of me.”
His most interesting assignments were with the National Reconnaissance Office.
“Working with people of different backgrounds required a change in leadership style,” said Huntley. “There were five different services, multiple intelligence agencies and foreign countries working there. We had to align diverse cultures and national interests to help remove evil from the planet.”
Huntley is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, daughters and two grandsons in his retirement. “We look forward to spending more time with family, friends and the wonderful community.”
March is a significant month. Huntley celebrates 35 years of marriage to Ruth, in addition to the anniversary of his original enlistment, and now his retirement.
“My wife Ruth has been my best friend throughout this amazing journey,” said Huntley.