New commander, president takes over Air University
Air Education and Training Command Commander Gen. Edward Rice Jr. hands the Air University guidon to Lt. Gen. David Fadok, new Air University commander and president, during a change of command ceremony Aug. 12. (Air Force photo/Chris Baldwin)
by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs
8/19/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The change of command ceremony Aug. 12 was unique for Air University, as Lt. Gen. David Fadok became the organization's first president and 29th commander.
"We produce the future and must never forget how important that mission is," Fadok said after assuming command from Lt. Gen. Allen Peck, who retired later in the day after 36 years of service.
Since assuming command in 2008, Peck undertook an ambitious AU reorganization, said Gen. Edward Rice Jr., Air Education and Training Command commander, who presided over the change of command ceremony.
Peck's accomplishments included gaining authority to grant doctorate degrees in military strategy, developing and implementing an online master's degree program through the Air Command and Staff College and offering professional continuing education courses for cyberspace and space operations, Rice said.
"Air University is significantly better for him having been here," and that's "the hallmark of a great leader," Rice said.
Because of these changes and the university culture of the institution, in 2009 the Air University Board of Visitors recommended to the Air Force chief of staff that the title of the organization's leader change to "commander and president," said Dr. Bruce Murphy, AU chief academic officer.
"(Gen. Norton) Schwartz directed that the change become effective with the next change of command," he said. "Accordingly, when General Fadok was nominated by President Obama to lead AU, the title was 'commander and president.'"
During the ceremony, Peck thanked commanders, leaders and staff at Maxwell-Gunter, and said the mission could not have been accomplished without their support and leadership. He also thanked his wife, Lynn, for her dedication to AU and Maxwell-Gunter.
"She cares so much for our family members," Peck said, noting her leadership in the Key Spouse program and initiative to offer a spouse call information fair in January.
"We leave here knowing that we've done our very best to leave Maxwell better than we found it," Peck said.
Under Peck's leadership, more than 50,000 resident and 120,000 nonresident officers, enlisted and civilian personnel graduated from AU each year.
"We've created critical thinking, strategic-minded warriors," Peck said. "You're going to produce the future one student at a time," he said to Fadok.
Fadok thanked Peck for his leadership. "It has been a distinct privilege to be your understudy," he said.
Having worked directly for the past three AU commanders, Fadok said he shares their passion for the military education mission. "What an honor it is to...[lead] an institution that has given me so much. It's now my turn to give back, and I will give it my all."
Knowing he will face significant challenges and difficult decisions during his command, Fadok said he will use as his guide the words of General of the Air Force Henry "Hap" Arnold: "We must think in terms of tomorrow."