"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Where There is Smoke, There is Fire

Tom Ricks has a recent post about the observations of a Vietnam veteran, Dan Hughes, who was faculty at the Air Force's Air War College (AWC) for eighteen years. AWC is one of several "academic" programs run by the Air University (AU) arm of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC). I'll sum Mr. Hughes' picture up as I understand it. AWC is an expensive joke that caters to students who are also a joke.

Mr. Ricks has also posted a response to Mr. Hughes from another AU faculty member.

I have never attended AWC and I never will. As readers of my blog know, I have a "master's degree" from AU's online Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) and I have blogged about my previous experiences with this program and with AU and AETC. In fact, the blog you are now reading is a direct result of my experiences with Air University.

When people ask if I have a master's degree, I say no. I checked a box. It's not the same thing.

What I have read of Mr. Hughes' critique resonates greatly with me. I have seen the products of AWC and I have served in AETC, had significant dealings with the instructors, faculty, and dean of the ACSC online program, and I have engaged several AU processes concerning academic freedom.

Readers should listen closely and take seriously the observations of Mr. Hughes, as one would listen to a surgeon who has diagnosed a cancer.

A cancer that is routed deeply in a command that has been called, Advancing Enron Through Careerism (AETC).

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