Corns is an alumnus of Marshall University and Shippensburg State College. He also received military education at the Armed Forces Staff College and the United States Army War College. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant from the Reserve Officers Training Corps in November 1958.
He then went on to serve in the Infantry and Special Forces in Vietnam.
His first major command was Brigade Commander for 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, of Korea from 1978 to 1979. Upon promotion to Major General, Corns commanded the 6th Infantry Division (Light) as well as Fort Richardson, Alaska from 1986 to 1988.
Additional major duty assignments for Corns included serving as the Chief of the Plans and Operations Division for the Chief of Legislative Liaison, United States Army, as well as Deputy Chief, Legislative Liaison, for the Secretary of the United States Army. General Corns was the Inspector General for the United States Army in Washington, District of Columbia from 1989 to 1991.
He retired on November 30, 1993.