BG John Dailey spent his 30 year career in aviation advancing the art and science of flight, enhancing the capabilities and readiness of tactical aviation units and sharing their remarkable success in combat. His effectiveness as a leader and team builder is legendary among his peers and soldiers who, with respect, refer to him as "Coach."
He gained combat leadership accolades during two tours in Vietnam where he flew more than 2,500 combat hours. His gallantry was recognized by awards of the Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, two Purple Heart Medals and 53 Air Medals – one with Valor Device. Later in his career he received the Distinguished Service Medal.
While commanding the 160th Special Operations Group he directed development of new operational capabilities in air-to-air refueling and integrated cockpits, and was responsible for the acceptance, training, standardization and safe application of this strategic capability. In so doing his "Night Stalkers" became the vanguard of tactical night fighting in all environments.
His visionary leadership withstood the test of time and provided the impetus necessary for development and validation of advanced night fighting tactics, techniques and procedures. His legacy to Army aviation is the experience and competence of the officers and NCOs who served under him and now lead Army aviation into the 21st century.