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Kaminski, Paul

Enshrined 2020 1942-

Dr. Paul Kaminski was born in Cleveland, Ohio on September 16, 1942, and is a 1964 Air Force Academy alumni where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned Master’s degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics and Electrical Engineering. Dr. Kaminski then attended Stanford University where he received a Doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1971.

Dr. Kaminski has been dubbed the “father” of all stealth programs for his work during his 20 years of Active Duty in the Air Force. He served as Director for Low Observables Technology where he oversaw and was deeply involved in the F-117 Nighthawk and B-2 Spirit programs.

His contribution to the U.S. national strategy called “Offset-2” was one of his most striking achievements as it is credited with ending the Cold War.  While the Soviet Union was constructing mass numbers of weaponry, the United States decided to create precise munitions that could counterattack Soviet efforts. Offset-2 focused on designing stealth planes that could infiltrate air defenses, advanced sensors to search for and designate targets, and precision-guided munitions to attack targets and decrease collateral damage.  Dr. Kaminski dedicated nearly 50 years to advancing these technological areas through his leadership and genius and his contributions still influence national decisions today. In 1984, Dr. Kaminski retired as a full Colonel. President Ronald Reagan stated in a letter he wrote personally to Dr. Kaminski, “Seldom has a person of your rank [USAF Colonel] achieved so much through the sheer genius of your ideas.” From 1994 to 1997, he served as Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology and also was appointed twice as Chairman of the Defense Science Board (which had never happened prior in the board’s existence). He became the President and CEO of Technovation, Inc in 1997 and served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, Chairman of the Defense Science Board in addition to the Director of National Intelligence’s Senior Advisory Group, the FBI Director’s Advisory Board, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Technical Advisory Board, the National Academies Air Force Studies Board, and the Atlantic Council.

Dr. Kaminski has been the recipient of a plethora of awards including the President’s National Medal of Technology, Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, Central Intelligence Director’s Award, Defense Intelligence Agency Director’s Award, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Force Academy 2002 Distinguished Graduate Award, the Ronald Reagan Award for Missile Defense, the Perry Award for precision strike, the Reed award for Aeronautics, the IEEE Ramo Award for Systems Engineering, the ISSA Possony Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Strategic Progress through Science and Technology, SPIE Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Air Force Systems Command Scientific Achievement Award.

In addition to being the “father” of all stealth programs, he and his wife, Julie, have had two children and six grandchildren.