Snapshots: Maj. Gen. Faulkenberry Discusses Education, Leadership Needs of Modern Society

| April 23, 2014
Maj. Gen. Faulkenberry at Webster University

Maj. Gen. Faulkenberry discussed the educational needs and the modern technological demands of a command that provides rapid, global mobility and sustainment for U.S. armed forces through airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and contingency response.

Last week Webster University welcomed Maj. Gen. Barbara Faulkenberry to the home campus in Webster Groves as a guest speaker in the Contemporary Conversations for a Connected World series.

Stroble welcomes Faulkenberry

President Stroble welcomed Maj. Gen. Faulkenberry, noting Webster’s 40-year tradition of providing high-quality graduate education programs for the military.

Faulkenberry, based at Scott Air Force Base as vice commander, 18th Air Force, spoke to an on-campus audience as well as a live online stream carried to her fellow service men and women at Scott AFB, where Webster University also has a campus location.

Her talk, “Leadership, Service and Global Air Mobility,” touched on the educational needs and the modern technological demands of a command that provides rapid, global mobility and sustainment for U.S. armed forces through airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and contingency response.

Webster President Beth Stroble welcomed the audience, including those watching from Scott.

“At Webster, we have inherited a proud tradition forged nearly a century ago by the Sisters of Loretto, in which we believe continued engagement with thought leaders is essential to our development as the only Tier-1, private, non-profit U.S. based university with a network of international residential campuses,” Stroble said. “Webster University has another proud tradition — of offering graduate education programs to our nation’s military. In fact, this year we celebrate 40 years of this tradition.”

Faulkenberry takes questions from the community

Faulkenberry fielded audience questions about the 18th, women military leaders, contemporary international issues, and her own career.

Global, Online Education is Essential

With more than 37,000 active-duty airmen, reservists and civilians and approximately 1,100 aircraft, a global education for those under Faulkenberry’s command is a must, she said. “It’s a truly global world today, and if our students don’t have that global education, then they can’t compete.”

To that end, Faulkenberry noted the importance of online education “meeting the need of a mobile society.”

Webster University invited her in part because of its history of partnering with the Department of Defense to provide high quality and cost-effective undergraduate and graduate programs at military installations and other locations throughout the world. A significant part of Webster’s flexible education for its 7,700 military students is a robust offering of online programs.

A Call to Citizens

The 18th Air Force’s operations are massive but often behind the scenes, such as the extensive logistics and mobility needs of, for example, an international relief effort or a state visit by the President to South Africa. Faulkenberry’s presentation, including video, shed light on how in-depth and meticulously planned those operations can be.

Contemporary Conversation

A post-talk reception was a chance for conversation among staff, faculty, students, local community members and active and retired service members.

“We answer the call for help so that others can prevail,” Faulkenberry said. “You cannot have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without security, stability and freedom.”

But the military cannot serve its mission without citizens doing their part, Faulkenberry. She summed up four ways in which success depends on the commitment of the American people she serves:

  • Technology — Continued advances in medicine, in safety/protection, in the construction of state-of-the-art, sustainable transport crafts
  • Education – Knowledge of culture and lifelong learning are critical.
  • Diversity and Tolerance – One of America’s key strengths must be nurtured and safeguarded.
  • Vote – The military serves at the direction of leaders elected by the people. “I’m taking your orders,” Faulkenberry said.

The next Contemporary Conversations talk and reception is Wednesday, May 7, with commencement speaker Koko Tanimoto Kondo, an atomic bomb survivor and internationally recognized peace advocate.

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Category: Campus Snapshots, Military, St. Louis Campus News

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