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Air Force Academy Gets Its First Space Force Permanent Professor – Air Force Magazine

The U.S. Air Force Academy got its first Space Force permanent professor on April 29, as Col. Luke Sauter transferred over to the new service.
Sauter, the Academy’s astronautics department head, joined the Space Force in a transfer ceremony presided over by Brig. Gen. Linell A. Letendre, dean of the faculty, according to a USAFA press release.
“It has been an incredible point of pride for our entire Astronautics Department to play a role in developing space-focused officers for decades here at the Academy,” Sauter said in a statement. “It is certainly a historic day to have our first Space Force permanent professor assigned; I hope there will be many more to follow. To say I’m incredibly honored would be an understatement.”
“It’s important that our cadets see Guardians across our academy and that they have the opportunity to speak with Colonel Sauter and other leaders about the Space Force as they consider which branch of military service they would like to join,” Letendre said in a statement. ”As our first Space Force permanent professor, Colonel Sauter will bridge the gap between the needs of the Space Force and our curriculum as we build future leaders of character.”
Sauter’s transfer marks the latest milestone as the Space Force continues to integrate into the Air Force Academy. Incoming freshmen participate in a space introduction day that teaches them about opportunities in the Space Force. A Space Force detachment has stood up to help educate and interact with Cadets. And a new summer program called “Azimuth” is intended to recruit and evaluate Cadets in a similar way to how the Marine Corps’ “Leatherneck” program evaluates Naval Academy midshipmen who may become Marines.
In 2020, the academy graduated its first cohort of 86 Cadets into the Space Force, expanding that to 115 in 2021. Roughly 10 percent of every graduating class moving forward is expected to commission into the Space Force.
While Sauter is the Space Force’s first permanent professor at the Academy, he isn’t the first faculty member to be a part of the new service—as of November 2021, roughly 20 Space Force officers are authorized at USAFA, including Maj. Jamil Brown, a fellow in the Institute for Future Conflict who works as instructor in the political science department. 
Col. Jeffrey Greenwood isn’t an instructor but serves as Space Force liaison to the Academy and commands the detachment that will one day include “academy military leaders and faculty members within the cadet wing, athletic department, Center for Character and Leadership Development, and prep school,” he said in a statement.
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Air Force Magazine is the official publication of the Air & Space Forces Association, 1501 Langston Boulevard, Arlington, Va., 22209-1198. Copyright 2022.

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