Distinguished international alumni to be honored at Air University

  • Published
  • By Billy Blankenship
  • 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Air University plans to host distinguished alumni and guests from past international students for this year’s International Alumni of Distinction Seminar and the 2024 International Honor Roll event, sponsored by the Air Force Chief of Staff and the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force during a week of celebration April 15-19, 2024.

Both events further efforts to codify bilateral asymmetric advantage, built upon shared values, mutual trust, and respect, and play an important role in international security.

“Our National Security Strategy underscores the fact that we can’t meet the challenges our Nation faces on our own,” said Lt. Gen. Andrea Tullos, Air University’s Commander and President. “Our allies and partners are crucial to our ability to maintain a strategic advantage.  The presence of international students in our classrooms is essential to building a shared understanding of the challenges we face and fostering the mutual trust that’s essential to seamlessly integrating our forces to deter or defeat any adversary.  We build bonds in our classrooms and in our community that translate into lifelong partnerships around the globe. It’s an honor to celebrate the achievements of our international partners who are members of our Air University family.” 

Approximately 21 international alumni will have their names forged into the IHR wall of honor, an initiative of Vice Chief of Staff General Piotrowski in 1985. For the seminar, 42 international senior leader alumni from 25 countries are expected to participate this year.

“Air University is honored to foster U.S. defense and diplomacy through these two exciting events while highlighting the critically important role our relationships with our international partners have in strengthening United States Air Force capabilities and advantage,” said Lt Col Andrea Searor, Air University’s international affairs branch chief for engagements. “Throughout the week there will be celebrations of shared values, commitment to problem-solving and interconnected challenges amongst the highest levels of military leadership. The privilege we have in hosting these events cannot be overstated.”

These events highlight graduates that have risen to prominent positions in their home country supports great power competition efforts through tightening relationships with international allies and partners. This iteration of visitors projects to include a 38-percent increase in participation from the previous opportunity, along with enshrining three new counties into the IHR.  

Prerequisites for being considered for the IHR honors include nominees to reach Chief of Staff of the Air Force or Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, or higher, equivalency in either a military or civilian capacity. The selection of inductees is based on input from U.S. senior defense officials and security cooperation organizations. The candidates must be a graduate of in-resident Air University officer or enlisted professional military education.