‘Brass ceiling’ breached: Woman to lead AF Academy

DENVER — The appointment of the first woman to command the Air Force Academy marks another breach of the “brass ceiling” that keeps women from top assignments in the military, an advocacy group said today.

But putting women into top assignments won’t by itself address unequal treatment and sexual assault of female military personnel, said Anu Bhagwati, executive director of Service Women’s Action Network.

The Defense Department announced Friday that Air Force Maj. Gen Michelle Johnson has been chosen to be the next superintendent of the Air Force Academy outside Colorado Springs, Colo.

Johnson is believed to be the second woman appointed to command a service academy, after Coast Guard Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz became superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., in 2011. Johnson is the first woman to be superintendent at any of the three best-known academies, Army, Navy and Air Force.

“This appointment is significant for many reasons. Very few women have attained the rank of general, let alone two-star general,” Bhagwati said.


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