USAFA Fires the Commandant of Cadets

The US Air Force Academy has relieved its Commandant, BrigGen Kristin Goodwin, of command of the Cadet Wing and its support personnel. As reported in the Colorado Springs Gazette:

The first openly gay general at the Air Force Academy has been removed as commandant of cadets, but leaders were mum Monday on the exact cause of the apparent firing…

“Effective immediately, Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin is no longer performing her duties as the commandant of cadets pending the results of an ongoing investigation,” the academy said in an email to The Gazette. “We cannot provide additional information on the investigation at this time.”

Since no reason was given, the few articles published on the removal contain speculation about her “stormy relationship” with subordinates who anonymously described her as a “caustic leader”. Unpublished comments from former subordinates defended her, but noted that if you didn’t do your job well under her command, you should be prepared to be “reamed.”

Regarding her original appointment as the “first openly gay general” at USAFA, the Gazette noted that

The appointment drew criticism from some Christian groups who noted that she had hidden her sexual identity for years while serving in a military that banned gays at the time.

The Stars and Stripes remembered it differently:

[Goodwin’s] selection was praised by LGBT advocates, but it also faced criticism from religious groups. That included one organization that filed a complaint with the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s Office, claiming Goodwin must have lied about her sexual orientation to enter the service, which at the time barred any gay individuals from serving…

That’s not precisely how that happened…

Also covered by the local news and the Associated Press.

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One comment

  • Michael Martin

    True, that’s not “precisely” what happened.

    What happened was an unethical skirting of the UCMJ prohibition against sodomy sanctioned by Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Goodwin could secretly serve in violation of the law so long as she didn’t tell anyone. So, she didn’t actually lie in words, but she lived a lie in her deeds. But that is no surprise when she was operating under a policy coming from the master of deceit, Bill Clinton, who “split hairs” in his own infamous case with such statements as, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

    The Academy Honor Code includes an operational prohibition against “quibbling,” that is, excusing conduct that is a violation of the spirit and intent of the code, via nitpicking arguments based on semantics or other legalistic evasions of the truth.

    Considering the fact that the Academy is supposed to teaching cadets to live by the highest standards of moral and professional conduct — not the lowest — it was inexcusable to have Goodwin appointed to the position of Commandant of Cadets in the first place. Was she an example of the highest standards of moral and professional conduct? Hardly. She was an example of “leadership” that says, “Skirt the law. Do whatever you want, so long as you can get away without getting caught.” Cheating scandals, honor violations, sexual abuse problems, and now this failure of leadership at the highest level—not only on her part, but on the part of all those who knowingly supported her along the way.

    As a former cadet (1966) I am proud of what the Air Force Academy once was. But I am deeply ashamed of what it has become under its leadership of the last few years.

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