An Air Force Academy law professor has been picked to be the school’s next dean of faculty.
Col. Linell Letendre, who served as the top ranking cadet at the academy before she graduated in 1996, will replace Brig. Gen. Andy Armacost, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
“The announcement follows an exhaustive process, in coordination with Air Force senior leaders, which vetted and evaluated more than 40 applicants for the position, which requires Senate confirmation,” the academy said in a news release.
Letendre served as an acquisition officer before the Air Force sent her to law school at the University of Washington. With her law degree, she returned to the academy as an instructor from 2004-07 before a series of judge advocate general assignments.
Her work has earned her decorations including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, which honors distinguished service outside the battlefield.
Letendre served as a top legal adviser to the Comprehensive Working Group, the Pentagon committee that recommended changing laws that banned military service by openly gay troops.
“The question before the group was not whether the individual members approve of homosexuality in general or of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military,” Letendre wrote in a paper she co-authored that covered the decision. Instead, the colonel wrote, it was a question of putting duty above personal values.
After a Senate vote, Letendre is set to pin on the star of a brigadier general in the academy’s top academic post.
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