Category Archives: Military Academy

Fighter Pilot Col Stephen Williams to be New USAFA Commandant

Col Williams, left, and his wife at the Misawa 2014 National Day of Prayer.

The Air Force Academy announced Col Stephen Williams has been selected for promotion to Brigadier General and for the position of Commandant of the US Air Force Academy.

A 1989 Academy graduate, he was the top engineering mechanics graduate here….

According to his official biography, Williams attended pilot training after leaving the Academy and was a distinguished graduate at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.

Col Williams is an F-16 pilot by trade and is currently the Wing Commander of the 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base, Japan.

Also at the local Colorado Springs Gazette.


Obama to West Point, Biden to USAFA for Graduation

President Obama will deliver the commencement address at the US Military Academy this year.

More than 1,000 cadets are expected to graduate and be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army after completing their 47-month leadership experience, and the president looks forward to addressing these outstanding graduates,” [White House] spokesman Keith Maley said.

Vice President Biden will give the address at the US Air Force Academy.

Traditionally, the President and several other key military leaders rotate among the service academies. He spoke at USAFA in 2012 and Annapolis in 2013.


USAFA Cadets as Lab Rats

US Air Force Academy cadets long suspected there were OSI agents among them. While most often dismissed as an inflated feeling of self-importance, it turns out they were right.

USAFA cadets have also long suspected they are used as lab rats, given the very controlled environment in which they live. For example, there were rumors for years that flu vaccines and other medications were tested en masse at USAFA before being released to the general population.

It seems the “controlled lab” suspicion, too, has been borne out as correct, at least in one instance. NPR reveals that a “social experiment” was conducted at USAFA over a period of two years, led by a Dartmouth College professor, Bruce Sacerdote, and two USAFA staffers: Scott Carrell and James West (who taught at USAFA from 1997-2011):  Read more

USAFA: Cadet Pilot Volunteers also UAV Volunteers

The Air Force Academy published a release saying they have “typically” filled their pilot slots, but they had trouble filling non-pilot rated career fields — CSOs, ABMs, and UAVs. The issue is that all rated career fields are volunteer only. Many cadets would volunteer only for a pilot slot, and the others were going unfilled.

USAFA’s solution? If you volunteer for a pilot slot, you’re volunteering for any rated field — including UAVs:

“They cannot volunteer for just one. By volunteering Read more

USAFA Investigating Mass Cheating Allegation

The US Air Force Academy announced it was investigating a mass cheating incident involving 40 cadets (of 500 in the course):

The Air Force’s Academy identified approximately 40 of its 500 fourth class cadets (freshmen) enrolled in Chemistry 100 (a core freshman course) for suspected Honor Code violations. Portions of a lab report assignment were allegedly copied and not documented either from previous semester reports or current student reports; this assignment is worth 50 of 3000 points.

The timing of the potential scandal is poor, given the spate of other ethical failures occurring in the active duty military right now.  It will certainly give rise to some interesting discussions in the coming days, however.

(Earlier reports implicated 11 cadets.)

Also at the Colorado Springs Gazette and Air Force Times.


USAFA Chapel Makes World Top 10

As noted at the local Colorado Springs Gazette (via the Stars and Stripes), the US Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel has been named

one of the top 10 most spectacular modern churches by Emporis, a Germany-based compiler of real estate information.

The wing chaplain, Chaplain (Col) Robert Bruno, said

“For a building now 50 years old, I think this is utterly amazing that the Cadet Chapel is in the top-10 listing of the world’s most spectacular churches,” said Col. Robert Bruno, the academy’s chief chaplain.

Given that some of its competition was centuries old, 50 years isn’t too bad.

The chapel is reportedly the most popular man-made attraction in the state of Colorado and has been the source of both pride and controversy.


Air Force IG to Investigate USAFA OSI Program

The Inspector General of the Air Force is reportedly investigating the Air Force Office of Special Investigation’s (OSI) use of cadets as informants at the US Air Force Academy. USAFA Superintendent LtGen Michelle Johnson had previously declared she would “personally oversee” any such program in the future. Further,

Johnson said she will review the academy’s disenrollment process and that she intends to “eliminate the need for cadet confidential informants in the cadet wing…”  Read more

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