Commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1956, the general completed pilot training at Marana Air Base, Arizona, and Greenville Air Force Base, Mississippi, in December 1957. He completed F-84F and F-100 training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, in June 1958. He graduated from Air Command and Staff College as a distinguished graduate in June 1966, and concurrently earned a master"s degree from The George Washington University.
He was commander of Air University from 1986 to 1988. He received a bachelor"s degree from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in 1956 and a master of science degree in business administration from The George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, in 1966. He is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College and the National War College.
After B-47 training at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, in February 1959, he was assigned to the 98th Bombardment Wing, Lincoln Air Force Base, Nebraska, where he commanded a B-47 crew from March 1962 to August 1965.
His crew was upgraded to select status in 1964 and he held a spot promotion to major. From July to December 1966 the general trained as an F-4 pilot at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
While assigned to Southeast Asia he flew 81 combat missions, 58 over North Vietnam. From August 1969 to June 1971 he served as aide, pilot and executive officer to the SAC vice commander in chief
Graduating from the National War College as an outstanding graduate in June 1972, Spangrud was assigned as executive officer to the comptroller of the Air Force, Headquarters United States. Air Force, Washington, District of Columbia He then served as chief, Cost Analysis Division, and in March 1974 he became director of the Cost and Management Analysis Directorate.
From July 1977 to March 1980 Spangrud served as deputy chief of staff, comptroller, Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland (U.S.) He then became vice commander of the Electronic Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. In August 1982 he was assigned as director of budget at Air Force headquarters, and in September 1984 he became comptroller of the Air Force.
He assumed his present command in November 1986.
The general is a command pilot with 3,500 flying hours. He was promoted to lieutenant general September 1, 1984, with same date of rank.
He retired on August 1, 1988.
Trustee, Air Force Aid Society, Washington, since 1984. Board commissioners United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home, Washington, since 1984. Member Institute Cost Analysis, American Society Military Comptrollers.
Married Inez Faye Carlson, February 14, 1959. Children– Dawn Spangrud Ellerson, Jonathan.