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The Air University Fellows Program

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Francisco Melendez-Espinosa
  • Air University Public Affairs

Air University prides itself in providing officers with enhanced developmental opportunities through constant evaluation of processes and varying solutions to problems based on their findings.

In comes the AU Fellows Program: a two-year selective developmental assignment that results in creating officers that are capable, innovative and better leaders than when they arrived.

Dr. Brian R. Selmesky, Chief of Faculty Affairs appreciated what the program has done since before its arrival.

“The Air Force’s biggest advantage isn’t its monetary budget,” said Selemsky. “Rather, its men and women.”

Before the program’s inception, there were plenty of classrooms, but not enough of the quality of instructors that were needed to teach students.

“This is an effort to accommodate a personnel system that hasn’t been adapting to Air University’s needs,” said Selemsky. “This school had to transform. It had no choice.”

The AU Fellows is comprised of three separate groups with three different approaches to their goal. Some involve becoming a student, others coming in as a teacher and helping modify the development experience through their experience as military professionals.

Maj. Gen. Michael Rothstein, AU vice commander and LeMay Center commander, welcomed the incoming AU Fellows with words of encouragement.

“There is plenty of opportunity for growth and learning,” said Rothstein. “The skillset you’ll acquire here will take you a long way.”

Developing as an officer often involves broadening one’s perspective beyond a particular occupational specialty. The AU Fellows undertake the “scholarship of application,” using academic knowledge to address real-world issues, such as overcoming operational challenges, participating in doctrine development or recommending institutional changes.

“When you remember the instructors you had before, reinforce the things [they] taught that stuck with you and change the things that didn’t work,” said Rothstein. “Your personal insight will be invaluable in the upcoming training days and we’re looking forward to seeing what you’re bringing to the table.”