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A legacy of service: AF Academy remembers former National Security Advisor, Academy faculty member Brent Scowcroft

Brent Scowcroft

Brent Scowcroft, a former national security advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush, and a former faculty member at the U.S. Air Force Academy, died Aug. 6, 2020. (Commons photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Brent Scowcroft, a former national security advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, and former faculty member at the Air Force Academy, died August 6, in Virginia. He was 95. 

Scowcroft was a former acting head of the Air Force Academy’s political science department in the 60s but there is much more to his career.

He retired from the Air Force in 1974 as a lieutenant general and served the Ford administration in 1975 and the Bush administration from 1989-93.

"Yesterday the United States lost retired Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, a selfless patriot who honorably served our nation in and out of uniform over 60 years," said Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the Academy's superintendent. "His service at the Air Force Academy from 1963-1964 as the political science department head helped develop an entire generation of Air Force national security leaders."

Scowcroft graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1947 and joined the Army Air Corps a year before the Air Force became a separate service. He earned his pilot wings in 1948, but broke his back in an F-51 aircraft crash soon after graduating pilot training and spent two years in a hospital.

In 1953, he was assigned to the social sciences department at the U.S. Military Academy as the appointed assistant professor of Russian history. From 1959 to 1961, Scowcroft was an assistant air attaché’ in the American Embassy, Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1962, he was a professor and acting head of the Academy’s political science department.

Also in the 60s, Scowcroft served on the Air Force headquarters staff at the Pentagon. In 1970, he joined the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and became the special assistant to the director of the Joint Staff.

Scowcroft was appointed military assistant to the president in February 1972, and in 1973 became the deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs.

”On behalf of all cadets both past and present we honor the service and sacrifice of Lt. Gen. Scowcroft," Silveria said.