Academy standing by decision to hire former gay conversion advocate

By Erin Prater Updated: December 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm • Published: December 20, 2013 | 6:30 pm 0

The Air Force Academy is standing by its decision to hire one of its graduates who is said to have attempted to convert gays to heterosexuality earlier in his career.

Mike Rosebush, class of 1975, is the school's operations research analyst for its Center for Character and Leadership Development. The Academy faced scrutiny in late November after a blog entry posted to americablog.com referred to Rosebush as an anti-gay activist who once worked at Focus on the Family and had ties to anti-gay organizations.

Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson released a statement Friday that defended the Academy's decision to hire Rosebush and maintain his employment, saying that his personal beliefs have never influenced his job.

"We have thoughtfully and carefully reviewed the conditions and circumstances surrounding Dr. Rosebush's hire and subsequent transfer to the Center for Character and Leadership Development and validated compliance with DoD hiring practices," she said in the statement. "We have found that at no time did Dr. Rosebush's personal beliefs influence any professional decision or action taken in his position at the Academy. Further, we found that there have been no complaints about his conduct or professionalism. Therefore, there is no legal basis for either his removal or transfer and Dr. Rosebush will be retained in his current position."

Rosebush analyzes data to evaluate the effectiveness of the academy's "Character & Leadership 101: Foundations of Honorable Living - MOSAIC Personalized Coaching Experience" course.

Last month, academy Director of Public Affairs Maj. Brus Vidal said that Rosebush, who taught at the academy from 1982-1985 and 1988-1992, has had no interaction with cadets since he was hired again in 2009.

Rosebush worked at Focus on the Family from 1995 to 2005. During that time, he served as vice president of college student ministry and a leadership formation coach.

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