Maj. Gen. Andrew Toth, a fighter pilot who has flown hundreds of combat hours over Iraq, took command of the Air Force Personnel Center on Aug. 9.

During a change of command ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, Toth assumed command from Maj. Gen. Brian Kelly, who has been selected to receive his third star and will become the next personnel chief for the Air Force.

Toth, who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1989, was previously director of operations for Air Combat Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. He has more than 3,000 flight hours, including 350 in combat during Operation Southern Watch — the no-fly zone over parts of Iraq during the last decade of Saddam Hussein’s rule — and Operation Iraqi Freedom,

He has flown the F-15, F-16 and F-35, as well as the B-52 Stratofortress, MQ-9 Reaper, T-37 and T-38. And Toth also commanded the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where he stood up the first F-35A training operation, and the 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

Toth is the first pilot and academy graduate to lead AFPC since Maj. Gen. A.J. Stewart, a KC-135 and C-17 pilot who retired in 2013 and died a year later. Kelly and his predecessor, retired Maj. Gen. Peggy Poore, spent much of their careers as personnelists.

Retiring Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, who Kelly will succeed as deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, called Toth “a phenomenal leader, and really the only general who can continue to drive AFPC’s march to setting the standard for 21st century talent management execution.”

Toth lauded AFPC’s airmen for the job they’ve done under Kelly, and asked them to “maintain that same emphasis and not miss a beat.”

AFPC’s “no-fail mission can only be completed through your continued dedication and strong teamwork across all career fields, taking care of all who serve from the beginning to the end of their career and beyond,” Toth said. “In this challenging world environment, it is our job to stand together, focusing on our priorities while delivering world-class talent, taking care of airmen and their families and preparing for tomorrow’s fight, all while being stalwarts in our community.”

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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