Leadership Cutting Cadet Population

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz have directed the reduction of the cadet population at the US Air Force Academy from 4,400 to 4,000 by October 2012. This nine percent cutback is part of the service’s overall force management efforts to get down to Congressionally authorized end strength levels. For academy aspirants, that means an already stringent admissions process is about to get even tougher. “Last year, we brought in about 1,285 members of the class of [2014]. This next class will be 1,120. The year after that will be 1,050,” said Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, academy superintendent. The cutback, he continued, will be “tough on our admissions; it’s going to be tough on athletics. It’s going to have an impact on diversity.” Gould also said cuts in the Air Force’s commissioned officer end strength may affect academy personnel. (Colorado Springs report by SSgt. Don Branum)