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Air Force Academy to get 1st female superintendent

By: The Associated Press
August 12, 2013 Updated: August 12, 2013 at 7:29 am
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photo -  Maj. Gen. Michelle Johnson
Maj. Gen. Michelle Johnson 

The Air Force Academy will get its first female superintendent when Maj. Gen. Michelle Johnson formally takes the academy's top job Monday.

Johnson is a Rhodes scholar and a command pilot who graduated from the academy in 1981 and later taught there.

She will replace Lt. Gen. Michael Gould in a change-of-command ceremony at the school.

Johnson has been nominated for promotion to lieutenant general, the customary rank for academy superintendent.

Gould is retiring after 37 years in the Air Force. He had been academy superintendent since June 2009.

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.

Johnson's most recent assignment was as NATO's deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence.

She is a 1981 graduate of the academy, where she became the school's first female cadet wing commander and first female Rhodes scholar.

As a Rhodes scholar, she earned a master's degree in politics and economics from Oxford University. She also holds a master's degree in national security strategy from the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington.

She played varsity basketball all four years at the Air Force Academy and is the women's team's second-highest all-time scorer with 1,706 points.

Johnson was an assistant professor of political science and instructor pilot at the academy from July 1989 until May 1992.

She is a command pilot with more than 3,600 flight hours in large cargo planes and aerial refueling tankers.

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