New Air Force Leaders Announced, Take Command

On Monday, US Air Force BGen Kristin Goodwin assumed command of the 4,000-member Cadet Wing at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado. Gen Goodwin’s selection has had an interesting backstory, with her sexual preference making headlines as well as her seemingly friendly relationship with Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF “charity” — which has normally had hostile relations with USAFA leadership over the years.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis swore in new Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson on Tuesday.

For those keeping track, the Commandant of Cadets, USAFA Superintendent, Under Secretary of the Air Force (second ranking civilian), and Secretary of the Air Force are all women — an interesting statement on “diversity” in the Air Force.

Other interesting bits of trivia: Secretary Wilson and US Air Force Chief of Staff Gen David Goldfein, now the two top US Air Force leaders, were Basic Cadets together at the US Air Force Academy in 1978. Gen Goldfein — apparently after two years of bad grades and a desire to “follow rainbows” — took a year off before returning to USAFA with the class of 1983, while Secretary Wilson graduated on time in 1982.

Secretary Wilson’s class ring bears the inscription “Lord Guard and Guide” (from the Air Force Hymn), while Gen Goldfein’s bears a relief of the Cadet Chapel, which their heraldry says

signifies our dedication to God.

Mikey Weinstein’s relationship with Secretary Wilson could provide an interesting contrast to his new relationship with USAFA. Weinstein has previously said Heather Wilson left him “bleed[ing] by the side of the road.” While Weinstein has heaped effusive praise on Gen Goodwin’s selection, Weinstein has remained uncharacteristically quiet about Secretary Wilson.

The newest Superintendent of the US Air Force Academy was recently announced as MajGen Jay Silveria (USAFA 85), who will take over for the retiring LtGen Michelle Johnson.  Soon-to-be LtGen Silveria has previously expressed explicit support for religious liberty and prayer, which adds yet another fascinating dynamic to these Air Force leadership changes.

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4 comments

  • SpringSnowStorm

    Could you please give some examples of Gen Silveria’s “support” as mentioned above? Also, noting that a grad has a relief of the Cadet Chapel on their class ring is about as meaningful as saying that it’s made of some alloy. Almost EVERY ring has, on it’s class crest side, some portion of the Cadet Chapel in relief. It’s a landmark, not a declaration of faith–that’s why even atheists don’t really mind having it on their ring. One more note: what someone put on their ring 30+ years ago might not be a real reflection of how they feel today–it’s how they felt 30+ years ago. Some have undoubtedly become more religious. Others have moved in the opposite direction. Nonetheless, I look forward to serving under the new USAF and USAFA leadership. At first glance they all seem to be improvements over their predecessors.

    • @SpringSnowStorm

      Almost EVERY ring has…some portion of the Cadet Chapel…might not be a real reflection of how they feel today

      You’re taking that way too personally. The trivia on the class rings was simply that: trivia. Now, if you have an issue with the meaning of the chapel on the class ring, you’ll need to take it up with the Class of 1983. They’re the ones who chose to describe their heraldry that way.

      that’s why even atheists don’t really mind…

      Is this conclusion about atheists based on your personal experience?

      they all seem to be improvements over their predecessors

      There are a surprising number of people who had a very low opinion of Secretary James, so they, like you, probably think Secretary Wilson is an “improvement.” (Mikey Weinstein probably isn’t one of them.) That said, if they are still “serving under” Air Force leadership, they might not be so quick to speak poorly of some of them.

      Could you please give some examples of Gen Silveria’s “support”…?

      Out of curiosity, why do you need examples of a General Officer upholding official Air Force policy?

  • When does the new superintendent …Major General Jay Silveria take up his new post …. looking forward to his leading

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