Academy expands roster of enlisted faculty members

  • Published
  • By Ray Bowden
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – The Air Force Academy’s latest enlisted faculty member will begin teaching cadets this summer.  

Master Sgt. Bonnie Rushing from Glen Burnie, Maryland, will teach general business in the school’s military and strategic studies department. She began her Air Force career as a language specialist.  

“Enlisted personnel make up over 80% of our active duty force and, as faculty, we can develop a more holistic picture of daily operations [in the Air Force] for our young leaders,” she said.

Rushing holds a master’s of science in strategic intelligence and a bachelor’s of science in technical management. Before reporting to the Academy in May, she was assigned to the 93rd Intelligence Squadron at Joint-Base San Antonio Air Force Base, Texas. 

Lieutenant Col. Donnie Hodges is Rushing’s supervisor and the military and strategic studies department’s deputy head. 

“Having enlisted faculty members share their experiences and perspectives is better than trying to have an officer explain it or summarize it for the cadets,” he said. 

The Air Force Personnel Center at Joint Base San Antonio, the service’s administrative hub, announced the need for senior noncommissioned officers to fill just-created enlisted academic instructor position in January 2019. Before, enlisted Airmen occasionally taught at the Academy but their positions were never official.

Rushing was recruited to teach at the Academy before her promotion to master sergeant, making her the lowest-ranking service member to be on the faculty of any service academy.

The Academy’s other enlisted faculty members are Chief Master Sgt. Sean Milligan, Senior Master Sgts. William Baez, Ecatarina Garcia and Gloria Kuzmicki.

“It’s exciting to see the program grow with the addition of Master Sgt. Rushing,” said Chief Master Sgt. Sarah Sparks, the Academy’s command chief. “The enlisted faculty member program adds to the collective strength of the Academy and the Air Force and it’s thrilling to watch it grow. Exposure to senior NCOs also emphasizes to cadets the talent and education of today’s NCO corps.”