AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — Maj. Gen. Michelle Johnson has been chosen to be the next superintendent of the Air Force Academy, the first woman to hold the job.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Johnson's appointment Friday. Academy officials said the Senate must first approve her promotion to a three-star lieutenant general, the rank required to become superintendent.
It wasn't immediately clear when the Senate would take up her promotion and when she would assume command.
Johnson would replace Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, who has been superintendent since June 2009. An academy spokesman said Gould's plans haven't been announced.
Johnson is currently NATO's deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence.
She is a 1981 graduate of the academy, where she became the school's first female cadet wing commander and first female Rhodes scholar.
As a Rhodes scholar, she earned a master's degree in politics and economics from Oxford University. She also holds a master's degree in national security strategy from the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington.
Johnson played varsity basketball all four years at the academy and is the women's team's second-highest all-time scorer with 1,706 points. She was named the academy's most outstanding scholar-athlete in 1991.
Johnson was an assistant professor of political science and instructor pilot at the academy from July 1989 to May 1992.
She is a command pilot with more than 3,600 flight hours in large cargo planes and aerial refueling tankers.