Congratulations to Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson on being the first woman to command the U.S. Air Force Academy! General Johnson, a graduate of the academy, was the first woman to serve as cadet wing commander (senior ranking cadet) at the academy. In addition to her B.S. degree from the academy, she has a master’s degree in politics and economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.
Her career began piloting various support aircraft and her command assignments included refueling squadrons and wings. She supported operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and here in the United States after 9/11 and was Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations and Intelligence for NATO. She has been an Air Force aide to the President and a political science fellow at Syracuse University, Harvard, and MIT.
During the last decade the Academy has been reviewed and chastised for instances of the sexual assault and harassment of female cadets, so General Johnson will most certainly be expected to improve the prevailing jock atmosphere. If she is successful, this will mark a major step forward for the services as they still struggle to treat women as equals.