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Johnson Tapped to Lead Air Force Academy: President Obama nominated Maj. Gen. Michelle Johnson for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as the Air Force Academy's next superintendent, announced academy officials. If the Senate confirms her nomination, Johnson would succeed Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, who has led the academy since June 2009. Johnson has been serving as NATO's deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence since July 2011. Johnson is no stranger to the academy. She is a 1981 distinguished graduate from the school and served there from July 1989 to May 1992 as an assistant professor of political science, instructor pilot, and associate air officer commanding, according to her biography. She stands to become the first woman to lead the academy, states the academy's March 1 release.