01 Mar 2006
Brig. Gen. Susan Y. Desjardins (TGMP 14, 2004), a veteran cargo- and refueling-plane pilot and commander, became the first female commandant of cadets, U.S. Air Force Academy, in December. “I try to ignore being the first woman to do this or that,” she told the Denver Post (December 9, 2005). “The important thing is the 4,400 young men and women I am now responsible for.”
Even so, her career includes other firsts. Shortly after graduating from high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1976 she joined the first 157 women accepted as cadets at the Air Force Academy. She went on to fly more than 3,800 hours of missions for the Air Force. Prior to her new post, she was the first female commander of the 437th Airlift Wing in Charleston, South Carolina, where she oversaw more than 4,200 personnel in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the Air Force Academy, she said she plans to build on programs implemented by her predecessor to deal with sexual harassment and allegations of religious intolerance.
Class of TGMP 14