Academy Tries to De-Stigmatize UAVs

The Air Force Times notes the push by the US Air Force Academy to inspire cadets about a career field most still dread: UAVs.

Flying a drone isn’t sexy — and the cadets at the Air Force Academy here don’t pretend that it is… 

Still, there’s a stigma attached to remotely piloted aircraft, an inherent “uncoolness” the academy is trying to overcome with its own training program.

“What we are trying to do is get them excited about the capabilities that exist out there, as well as the opportunities that exist for career opportunities and leadership,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, the academy’s superintendent.

The article also contains a revealing look at the sometimes cynical — and bold — reactions of military cadets, even during a General’s briefing:

[Academy] dean Brig. Gen. Dana Born…drew sarcastic cheers when she talked about RPAs as a career option in a 2009 speech…

After her speech, Born pulled a cadet aside and asked him why the cadets responded so loudly when she showed pictures of the Predator, an RPA flown in Afghanistan.

“I thought they got it and understood how important they are,” Born said. “But he said they were just being sarcastic.”

The article notes General Born may be reassured by the increasing enrollment and positive comments about the UAV program.

One comment

  • I remember that briefing… and I remember the cadets realized Gen Born thought the cheers were a good thing, which made it even funnier to us.