United States Air Force Academy

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Humanities Division

Languages and Cultures

cadets at table

Acquire broad foreign area-related skills to master strategies for global engagement, partnership, and expanded mutual security responsibilities.

About Us

The United States national security strategy focuses on global engagement, global partnerships, and expanded mutual security responsibilities. To support this policy, the Air Force has developed roles and missions aimed at promoting regional stability, rendering humanitarian assistance, encouraging emerging democracies, gathering intelligence, and projecting and applying air power when necessary.

Today’s officers from all Air Force career fields and specialties will find themselves globally engaged. The Department of Languages and Cultures provides future officers with broad-based, foreign area-related skills for worldwide service commitments. These skills are developed through our department’s foreign language courses and International Education Programs.


Many faculty members are engaged in a variety of cultural and linguistic outreach programs across Colorado’s Front Range as well as in a variety of programs and events nationally and internationally.

Our faculty carries a robust teaching load and many are actively engaged in cutting-edge research in their fields. Our faculty hold memberships in various professional organizations including:

  • Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers
  • Southwest Conference on Language Teaching
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • Modern Language Association

We also maintain close, professional ties with Foreign Language Departments at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Colorado College.

Languages and Cultures Faculty and Staff

Department News News From Around The Department

October 27, 2023

Professor embraces language-culture connection

Dr. Pete Swanson, U.S. Air Force Academy Department of Foreign Languages associate Spanish professor, takes a moment before a scheduled appointment with a cadet Oct. 5, 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Domingos) By Randy Roughton  U.S. Air Force Academy Strategic Communications U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo.– U.S. Air Force Academy Spanish professor Dr. Pete Swanson has a simple educational philosophy that echoes that of the Department of Foreign Languages mission: “From the Classroom to the field to the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.” “We want to see the best in the cadets,” Swanson...

Continue Reading Professor embraces language-culture connection

January 23, 2020

Learning the language: Enlisted Airman improves Chinese language skills with cadets

Maj. Kevin McGuiness (left), a Chinese language instructor, and Airman 1st Class Curtis Fields, a security forces Airman, discuss paperwork McGuiness will use in class, Jan. 14, 2020, at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Fields is attending the class to improve his own Chinese language skills and is also helping McGuiness conduct an unofficial audit of the class. (Photo/Trevor Cokley) Story by Ray Bowden, Jan. 23, 20120 U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Most of what Maj. Kevin McGuiness had to say in class Jan. 14 might have been in Chinese, but his students didn’t mind. Neither did Airman 1st...

Continue Reading Learning the language: Enlisted Airman improves Chinese language skills with cadets

December 20, 2019

The Weekly Lead: Scholarship winners, a big cyber win & more

The  Weekly Lead 1.  Scholarship Round Up (Graphic by Tech. Sgt. Ben Stratton) Five cadets  at the Air Force Academy are getting ready to study abroad next year, courtesy of Marshall and Scharzman scholarships. It’s not just every cadet who earns these prestigious opportunities. Read about it here: https://www.usafa.edu/news/cadet-scholars-to-study-in-u-k-china-next-year 2.  Healthy Options The Academy’s commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle means cadets have more dining options next year. https://www.usafa.edu/news/academy-to-launch-dining-card-system-expand-options-for-cadets 3.  Another Big Cyber Win U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet 1st Class Sears Schulz (middle) took first place in the President’s Cup, a Department of Homeland Security cyber competition Dec. 12,...

Continue Reading The Weekly Lead: Scholarship winners, a big cyber win & more

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United States Air Force Academy, CO 80840
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