A top space policy expert will be the next commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy, the Pentagon announced Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Michele Edmondson, who oversees space policy for the National Security Council, will take over this summer from Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin.

It is the first time that women have served back to back in the role, which oversees the daily life of the school’s 4,000 cadets.

Goodwin, a B-2 bomber pilot who came to the academy in 2017, is headed to the Pentagon, where she will serve in operations and planning.

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A University of Florida graduate, Edmondson spent much of her Air Force career in space assignments, including tours at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs and Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora.

In 2014, she stepped away from satellites and rockets to lead the Air Force’s basic training program at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. In that job, she was responsible for turning as many as 6,000 recruits at a time into airmen.

“This is terrific news,” academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria said in a statement. “We wish General Edmondson and her family the best as she prepares to take charge of our No. 1 resource: our cadets.”

Edmondson also knows more than teaching recruits how to march: She led the Air Force’s technical training operation at Mississippi’s Keesler Air Force Base, overseeing schooling for 12,000 airmen.

She took the space policy job in August, helping set the Trump administration’s stance on space issues as the president escalated his push for a separate Space Force.

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240 Twitter: @xroederx

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240

Twitter: @xroederx

Senior Military Editor

Tom Roeder is the Gazette's senior military editor. In Colorado Springs since 2003, Tom covers seven military installations in Colorado, including five in the Pikes Peak region. His main job, though, is being dad to two great kids.

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