Armed Forces: To the Top

ARMED FORCES

With his grey hair, horn-rimmed spectacles and stooped shoulders, J. P. (for John Paul) McConnell has a grandfatherly look about him. But there is nothing old-fashioned about McConnell, 56. He is a missile-age airman who can double as a diplomat, and last week he was tapped to succeed General Curtis LeMay, who retires Jan. 31, as U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff.

An Arkansas boy who graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree from his home state's tiny Henderson-Brown College, McConnell went on to West Point and flying school, rose from shavetail to colonel in ten years. During...

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