U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, received the U.S. Air Force Academy's inaugural National Character and Leadership Award during the National Character and Leadership Symposium at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. The award is presented to an individual who exemplifies character and leadership in their personal life, professional career and through community service.
"I am honored to be the first recipient of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Character and Leadership Award, and remain dedicated to help the Academy continue to produce the most-capable and respected officers in the world," Inhofe said. "I am grateful the Academy has such a dedicated Superintendent in Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, who spent time at both Vance Air Force Base and Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He continues to educate and mold the young men and women of the Academy as they develop from cadets to the highly-trained Airmen that provide for the national security of this nation. I would also like to thank the Anschutz Foundation and the Anschutz family for the generous donation to the Academy and continued support of the cadets and faculty that compose the institution."
Superintendent Lt Gen Mike Gould attended undergraduate pilot training at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla. and previously served as Wing Commander at Altus Air Force Base in Altus, Okla.
The Anschutz Foundation of Denver, Colorado presented a $100,000 donation to the Air Force Academy to support cadet character and leadership programs in honor of Inhofe receiving the award. The Leaders in Flight Today, a seminar for Junior cadets focused on team building and becoming "Servants of the Nation," and the Academy Assembly, part of a national effort founded by President Eisenhower to facilitate public discussion on current political issues, will each receive $50,000.
"Sen. Inhofe embodies the leadership and character traits we strive to instill in our 4,000 cadets, through a sustained body of work in his professional career and community service, demonstrating integrity, excellence and service," said Col. Joe Sanders, director of the Academy's Center for Character and Leadership Development. "He will serve as a role model and exemplar to current and future Air Force Academy cadets."