The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is innovating again as it bids farewell to an old commandant and welcomes a new one.
On a green field under gray skies, several hundred cadets, friends, family and fellow airmen bid farewell to one Air Force Academy commandant and welcomed a new one as Brig. Gen. Stephen Williams replaced Maj. Gen. Gregory Lengyel to became the 27th Commandant of Cadets Tuesday.
"The mission of the commandant and his staff is to train and motivate 4,000 members of the cadet wing, "said Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, academy superintendent. She explained it is a duty that lies "at the heart of our academy's essence."
During Lengyel's two years at the academy - the typical stint for a commandant - attrition rates have dropped to a 45-year low.
"The dauntless efforts of General Lengyel and his staff have elevated the performance of cadet wing," said Johnson, who extolled his efforts to empower cadets by granting them more authority within their own ranks.
Lengyel credited much of his success to his students.