The new superintendent of the Air Force Academy said preparing cadets for the mental and physical rigors of modern warfare in a complex global environment is his top priority, Aug. 11.
“The future of our service and the future of our nation stand on that field,” said Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, speaking to 4,000 cadets standing in formation during that day’s change of command ceremony.
Silveria said the commitment of the Academy’s civilian and military faculty and staff represents the bulwark of national security. The dedication of cadets and staff is critical to fulfilling the school’s mission of producing leaders of character, he said.
“Your work is nothing short of vital to our nation,” he said.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transferred command of the Academy from Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson to Silveria in front of the Cadet Wing, Academy staff and hundreds of Johnson’s and Silveria’s friends and family members.
Goldfein said Silveria was the “obvious choice” to serve as the new superintendent.
“Every moment of your career has prepared you for this position,” he said to Silveria.
Silveria, a 1985 graduate, is a command pilot with nearly 4,000 hours of flight-time in various aircraft, including T-37 and T-38 trainer aircraft, the F-15E Strike Eagle, the HH-60 helicopter and F-35 Lightning II. He’s flown combat sorties over the Balkans and Iraq and served as vice commander at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
He most recently served as deputy commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, and deputy commander of the Combined Air Force Air Component, U.S. Central Command, Southwest Asia.
Silveria will direct the Academy’s undergraduate academic program, cadet military and athletic training, and character development leading to a bachelor’s of science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant.