Dan Halutz was born in Tel Aviv in 1948.
In 1966 he began his military career in the Israel Air Force pilots' course as a cadet, completing it in 1968 as a fighter pilot, serving from the end of 1969 in the first Phantom squadron of the IAF. Halutz flew 40 operational flights during the War of Attrition.
Released from the IDF in 1973, he began his academic studies, but returned to the Phantom squadron with the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War. In the course of some 43 operational flights he shot down three enemy aircraft.
In 1978 he was again released from the IDF and served as a pilot in the reserves for four years. He returned to active duty in 1982, when he started to fly F-16 planes. In 1984 he received the command of the Phantom squadron and in 1986 was chosen as head of the operational unit of the Lavi aircraft project.
In 1991 Dan Halutz was appointed commander of the Hazor Air Force Base. In 1993 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and appointed head of the IAF squadron. In 1995 he was appointed chief of staff of the IAF.
In 1998, rising to the rank of major-general, he served as an aide to the Chief of General Staff. In 1999, with a change in formation of the General Staff, Halutz was appointed the first commander of the Operations Branch. He subsequently served as commander of the IAF from 2000 until 2004, when he was appointed to the position of Deputy Chief of General Staff.
On June 1, 2005, Dan Halutz was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general and served as the 18th IDF Chief of General Staff until his resignation in February 2007.
Halutz is a graduate of Tel Aviv University and received a B.A. in economics. He is married with three children.