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Air Force Academy's 1st female superintendent stepping down

New U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, at her office at the Air Force Academy, near Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday Aug. 27, 2013. The first woman to lead the Air Force Academy says she faced resistance and harassment in her career, but competence and confidence helped her push through the ranks to one of the top jobs in the service.

BRENNAN LINSLEY/AP PHOTO

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 27, 2017

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The first woman to lead the U.S. Air Force Academy is retiring after more than 3½ years.

The school announced Thursday that Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson will step down this year. The date hasn't been announced.

Johnson hasn't disclosed her plans, but she's one of three finalists to become chancellor of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The Air Force Academy is just outside Colorado Springs.

Johnson is a 1981 graduate of the academy and became superintendent in August 2013. She was the first woman to lead any of the three major military academies — Air Force, Army and Navy.

She was the academy's first female Rhodes scholar and was a varsity basketball player.

Later, she was a command pilot with more than 3,600 hours in different aircraft.

U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, at a football game at West Point, N.Y. in 2016.
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