Ousted Air Force Academy commandant under investigation, superintendent confirms

Published: Apr. 29, 2019 at 2:40 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The Air Force Inspector General is investigating Air Force Academy Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin, who was recently removed as commandant of cadets, the school’s superintendent confirmed Wednesday.

Goodwin was removed by her boss and the school’s head, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, amid an investigation. Goodwin had led military training at the academy since 2017 and only had about a month left in that position before leaving for a job at the Pentagon.

Silveria confirmed that investigation Wednesday morning before the Board of Visitors, the school’s civilian oversight board. However, he offered few other details and the board members asked for no clarification.

“This was not about me, and it was not about General Goodwin, this was about the cadets,” Silveria said.

The general later told The Gazette that an academy staff member filed a complaint with the Inspector General’s Office, which launched the investigation.

“I only know fractions of (the complaint),” he said. “I have not seen it.”

The investigation has since expanded beyond the single person who filed the complaint, Silveria said.

In noting why few other details were available as the investigation continues, he added: “We do have to respect that process and we also have to respect the dignity and privacy of General Goodwin and her family.”

Silveria offered his confidence in Col. Scott Campbell, who has temporarily taken control of the cadet wing in Goodwin’s absence. He also extended that confidence to Brig. Gen. Michele Edmondson, who was expected to take over for Goodwin at the end of the month.

“I have every faith in her as an officer and as a commander,” Silveria said.

The brief and vague update from Silveria came after he explained the significance of Polaris Hall, where the board met Wednesday morning. A portal in the ceiling offers an unrestricted view of the sky and, when looking through that portal from the south side of the room, the North Star can be seen.

Such a view is a reminder of the academy’s moral azimuth, Silveria said, and relates directly to the honor code posted on the north wall of the room:


“We will take care of General Goodwin like we will take care of any airman,” Silveria said toward the end of his address to the board.

Goodwin was the first academy commandant relieved of command since 2003. She previously served as a B-2 bomber pilot. She has faced both praise and criticism for her approach to leading the academy.