Meet the first Black superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy

Ama Nunoo September 02, 2020
Photo: AfroTech

Children need role models who can positively influence their life, so to see Black leaders springing up from different industries across the globe is worth celebrating. Black people are steadily breaking glass ceilings in their various fields of work to be the ‘firsts’ to occupy certain positions, and Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark is one of them.

Clark has been named the superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, making him the first Black superintendent in the Academy’s history, WTVR reports.

Clark is a native of Richmond, Virginia. His family moved there when he was nine and he graduated from Huguenot High School in 1982. He entered the Academy not long after and graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Management in 1986.

He has served in some leadership positions in the Academy but not as high as his new position of superintendent. Clark worked as the Commandant of Cadets and at other levels of Air Force Command.

He brings to this position his over thirty years’ experience working in various capacities on the Air Force Command forces. As a pilot, he specializes in bombing and air-fueling and was the commander of the 34th Bomb Squadron.

Clark is a decorated officer who has had major awards throughout his career and now leads the nuclear expertise for the Air Force at Pentagon.

Before Clark, there was Gen. Jay Silveria who recently went on retirement as the superintendent of the Academy.

“It is a tremendous honor to be confirmed to serve as the next superintendent of the Air Force Academy,” Clark said.

“Knowing that I now have the privilege to build on Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria’s exceptional leadership in educating, training, and inspiring young men and women to become leaders in the Air and Space Forces is truly humbling.”

In his new position, Clark will lead the Colorado Springs Academy’s athletic training program, cadet military, character development, and their undergraduate program that leads to a bachelor’s of science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant upon graduation.

“I look forward to once again being part of the institution that has provided me so many opportunities,” he said. “Go Falcons!”

Silveria, his predecessor, served the country and the Air force for 35 years and was the commander of the Academy for the last three years. He is confident that Clark will be exceptional at his new position as he already has years of experience serving in different capacities.

“I have no doubt that Lt. Gen. Clark will be an extraordinary leader for the Academy,” Silveria said. “He has a long history with USAFA and an exceptional leadership record.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 2, 2020


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