Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by aseanag, Aug 12, 2013.
"Johnson is the second woman appointed to command a service academy, after Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz, who became superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., in 2011.
Johnson is the first woman to be superintendent at any of the three best-known academies, Army, Navy and Air Force."
Oh well done Gazette! But when with the two best-known academies get a female superintendent?
One of the issues, with USNA at least, is that the Supe must be a VADM (3-star), a grad, and must agree to retire at the end of his/her tour.
I only know of one 3-star female USNA grad and my guess is that she's not ready to retire.
That's interesting that they must be a graduate of USNA to become superintendent. That is not true for USAFA: LTG Rosa was a Citadel graduate, he was Superintendent in the early 2000's before retiring and becoming president of The Citadel.
There is no legal requirement to be a grad. However, to my knowledge, all USNA Supes and Dants in recent history have been grads.
I should also add that I believe the Supe can be appointed to 3-star rank upon taking the job (as happened here with USAFA) but, to my knowledge, that hasn't happened recently. Could be wrong about that, however.
I'm fairly certain the supe position at USCGA is also "terminal".
As, you are saying the supe must be a Navy Vice Adm. and not a Marine Corps Lt. Gen.?
Title 10 dictates that a condition for appointment as Supe at USMA, USNA, or USAFA is that the appointee will retire when Supe duty ends. Law did not apply to Supes serving on 10/5/1999, when the law was enacted. SECDEF can waive the required retirement "for good cause."
I don't see such a condition in Title 14 for USCGA, but I am certainly not a lawyer.
I never saw the law for USCGA.... just heard about it from a commander (now captain, who also happens to be a lawyer)... and haven't seen a prior supe go on to do anything else.
I think that the person having to be a grad is a bit ridiculous. Admiral Burhoe and Captain O'Connor (The Sup and Commadant of Cadets my 4/c year) were two of the best and most liked officers the Corps has ever seen, and both were OCS grads. Admiral Burhoe went to Virginia Tech. and Captain O'Connor was a prior-enlisted guy who made E-8 in 12 years. Anyone who was around during 2010-2011 will attest to how great those two are.
there is an 'unwritten rule" that FSA Supes are typically grads but that is just the insular nature of these schools and their elitist attitudes. Rosa was appointed by the AF COS who was a VMI grad and not concerned about "tradition". There is no rule that supes have to retire after their tour unless they have reached mandatory TIS or age limits but interestingly it is typically a career capping position, there have been a few rare cases where a supe did go on to another assignment and even got another star but the exception rather than the rule.
Actually, 10USC3921 mandates that the Sup of USMA shall retire upon completion of a tour at USMA. 10USC6371 says this for USNA, and 10USC8921 says this for USAFA.
I read her bio (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_D._Johnson ). She is a Rhodes Scholar, great athlete, taught at the Academy, etc. I am impressed.
I disagree that it's an "elitist" attitude. It's not that a SA is a better person or that a USNA grad is better than the grad of another SA. Rather, a SA isn't like a civilian college. I personally believe that you must have attended a SA in order to understand the unique issues that exist at a SA. Maybe it would do the SAs good to have a "fresh look" from someone not a grad but I'm not sure there's a lot of appetite for that unless the SA is having significant problems that are attributed to too much "inbreeding."
Must you be a grad of that particular SA? Probably not. But I think it would be odd to have a USAF officer as Supe of USNA or the converse.
USAFA has only bee around for ~50 years so, for quite a while there were NO grads to serve as Supe b/c there weren't people senior enough. So, having a grad be the Supe isn't as long-standing a "tradition" at USAFA as at the other SAs and thus there may be less sensitivity among grads (many of whom had a non-grad as Supe) as there is at USMA and USNA.
As a general matter, with all due respect to the USAFA and the USAF (and my father was a USAF officer so I am very proud of that service) there is less tradition at USAFA and in the USAF than in the other services. The reason, quite simply, is time -- it's NOT a question of values or commitment, just time. USAFA has only been around for about 50 years. USMA has been there since 1802 and USNA since 1845. The respective services have also been around since, more or less, the Revolutionary War. USAF is a post WWII invention. It takes time to build traditions. USNA and USMA have simply had more time and thus have longer standing traditions.
As discussed above, there is such a law. I believe (but am not sure) the President/Congress could probably find a way around it if there were a desire to keep the Supe on AD. For many years, Supe at USNA at least (can't speak to the other SAs) was definitely NOT a career capping position. In fact, the position was often held by 2-stars and it was a nice stepping stone to becoming a 3-star or even 4-star. One of the reasons the law was put into effect was to make the position that of a more senior officer and to ensure the Supe focused all his/her energy on the SA rather than trying to angle for his/her next job.
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