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First Black man nominated to lead Air Force Academy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An African American man was nominated for the first time to lead the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, officials said.

The Air Force announced Thursday that President Donald Trump nominated Lt. Gen. Richard Clark to be the school’s next superintendent, The Gazette reported. Clark is currently the deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration at the Pentagon.

Clark is expected to take command in August if the Senate confirms the nomination, becoming the second Black general to head up a service academy, officials said. He would replace Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria.

“I am extremely humbled and honored by the nomination to serve as the superintendent of the Air Force Academy,” Clark said.

Clark graduated from the Academy in 1986. He previously served as the school’s commandant of cadets, was a junior varsity football coach and candidate counselor.

“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.”

Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams became the first African American superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 2018.


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