Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Torey Holderith '09: US Air Force conference recap

That's Torey on the left wearing the tie.

USAFA Roundtable

Professor O'Neil,

Attached is a pair of photos from my time at USAFA. My camera died after three pictures, and so attached are the best two.

The first picture is of my roundtable discussion group. I spent a total of 15 hours or so, discussing and developing ideas with this diverse group on how to "Dismantle Terrorism." Within my group was an Iraqi surgeon, a USNA Midshipmen, two USAFA cadets, a NMMI cadet, a cadet from the Greek Air Force Academy, and students from across the States. The round table leader was Dr. Mary-beth Ulrich, a graduate of USAFA and current professor at the US Army War College. All in all the conference represented students from 15 different countries, and over 60 US colleges. It was a very interesting experience that I strongly encourage students to attend next year. It offers a special opportunity to think about policy formulation and implementation, as well as many new perspectives on current issues from within the government.


Of course no trip to USAFA would be complete without a tour of the distinct chapel on campus, and so the second picture is of the chapel. The chapel is often used as a symbol of USAFA, and is fittingly lined with blue stained glass, making the entire inside glow blue. Somewhat fitting for the Air Force...

The final product of the conference was a 70 page book of policy recommendations on how to defeat terrorism on the Diplomatic, Intelligence, Military, and Economic levels that will be sent throughout DOD, DHS, and while no one is naive enough to think that we really solved any problems the practice in developing and thinking about policy was extraordinary. I would happily provide more information to anyone who desires it. I cannot stress enough how positive of an experience this was for me, and so I urge those interested in pursuing a career within Politics and Government to consider going to this or similar conferences during their undergraduate career.


Torey Holderith
Class of 2009