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Academy creates more operations-focused opportunities

Viv Wu instructs cadet in virtual airmanship class

by Ashley D. Murphy, Strategic Communications

The U.S. Air Force Academy has created a new position to help further develop cadets into future rated Air Force officers through purposeful and intentional exposure to aviation and Airmanship.

The term “rated” refers to an aeronautical Air Force Specialty Code with job duties which entail piloting an aircraft or the operation of aircraft systems and sensors.

The Academy’s Operations Career Field Manager responsibilities include scheduling, advising and advocating for cadets and cadet involvement in Airmanship programs while working hand-in-hand with the Cadet Wing and all Academy mission elements to implement a four-year Airmanship program progression that grows the cadet experience.

While the position is new to the Academy, the individual occupying the office is not. Ms. Vivien Wu, who recently took the reins as Operations Career Field Manager, has served in a variety of roles at the Academy – most recently as the 306th Operations Squadron Commander from 2016-2018.

“The goal of this position is to increase the opportunity for exposure to rated career fields, for both cadets who have their heart set on a rated career path, as well as those who have never even thought of it before,” Wu stated. “The Academy has always had mentors and advisors for cadets in areas such as military decorum and profession, academic prowess and athletic might, but USAFA has not had a dedicated advisor in the past to help cadets focus on their future careers.”

Some of the programs and opportunities Wu is developing now include: rated career field-related panels, online forums for cadets to ask questions, Airmanship panels for 4th Class (freshman) cadets, and additional exposure to Air Force airframes and crews throughout the year. “One target area we are highlighting is the opportunity for women in rated career fields,” Wu said. “There are so many opportunities at USAFA, we want to make sure all cadets know what is available to them after graduation as well.”

Wu encourages all cadets or United States Air Force Academy staff who have questions to reach out to her at any time at wu.chiafei@afacademy.af.edu. For more general information on the Academy’s Airmanship program, visit https://www.usafa.edu/military/airmanship.