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Air Force leader ‘grateful for the journey’

by on
in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Maj. Gen. Michelle Johnson, the first woman to serve as a cadet wing commander at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the academy’s first female Rhodes Scholar, has been nominated to become its first female superintendent.

Johnson’s career has focused largely on logistics, such as aerial tanker operations and air transport missions. As a director at the U.S. Transportation Command, she oversaw the movement of planes, trains and ships around the world. She most recently served as NATO’s deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence.

Johnson sees her career as a series of opportunities for more responsibility, but she doesn’t want it to sound easy. That would “make it sound like everything is perfect and that life seamlessly moves forward. But we all know it’s not like that and it’s really the moments of adversity” that leaders and their teams must overcome.

“So, I was grateful for the promotion” to two-star general, she says, “but I’m more grateful for the journey.”

Her nomination must clear the Senate, and Congress must first approve her promotion to three-star general, a rank required for the position.

— Adapted from “Spencer native a two-star general,” Kris Todd, Spencer (Iowa) Daily Reporter, and “Air Force selects first female AFA superintendent,” Jakob Rodgers, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette.

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