Association of Graduates
Roger Carleton Class of 1967

Following graduation, Roger served in the US Air Force for 29 ¼ years retiring as a brigadier general. He earned a MS in Astronautics from Purdue before entering pilot training. His active duty career was spent in operational fighter units and in key staff positions at the Air Staff and USAFE. He flew over 340 combat missions in Southeast Asia. He has served as a squadron commander and commanded three USAFE fighter wings. After retiring from the Air Force, Roger worked for The Boeing Company for 11 ½ years. Roger was elected to the AOG Board of Directors in 2009. He and his wife, Shonnie, reside in Colorado Springs and have two daughters.

Candidacy Statement

Having served on the AOG Board for the past 3 ½ years I can report that “Friendraising” has made dramatic improvements in order to serve the graduate community while fostering a connection back to our Academy. There are, however, many challenges before us as the AOG and the USAFA Endowment (UE) – the “Fundraisers” – seek a more cooperative relationship that will benefit all stakeholders, e.g., graduates, the Cadet Wing, USAFA, and our Air Force. I’ve been involved in the negotiations that resulted in the MOUs between the AOG and UE. My purpose in seeking a second term is to move this relationship forward.

Why did you decide to run for the AOG Board of Directors?

I have decided to run for a second term in order to continue the progress the AOG has made these past 3 ½ years. Not only has the number of local Chapters greatly increased, the MOU between the AOG and USAFA Endowment has helped heal a “rift” within the graduate community. There are still many challenges facing both organizations. I want to be part of the solution in building a more cooperative, cohesive relationship that will benefit our graduates, the Cadet Wing and the AF Academy.

What skills, knowledge, & experience do you have that has prepared you to serve on the AOG Board?

Throughout my Air Force and civilian careers I have always tried to approach problems by first learning all the facts relevant to the problem or issue. Then, I would attempt to develop different courses of action. Finally, by evaluating the pros and cons of each course of action a favorable solution would usually become obvious. This process is not done in isolation. Rather, bringing in peers and subordinates who have a vested interest in the issue/problem ensures support.

What involvement with the AOG or the Academy have you had that has prepared you to serve on the AOG Board of Directors?

Prior to becoming a Director in 2009, I volunteered to facilitate seminars for both the First and Second degrees as part of their character education. In addition, each summer I volunteer to speak to the Basic Cadets as part of their introduction to the Honor Code.

How would you suggest the AOG improve its relevance to the Graduate Community as a whole and to individual Graduates?

This is a multi-faceted problem that deserves more than a few sentences. First, it is my firm belief that the AOG’s relevance begins at in-processing when the Basic Cadet candidates start their Academy journey at Doolittle Hall and through the Heritage Trail. Second, developing AOG Chapters throughout the USA and overseas is absolutely key for graduates to stay connected to the institution. Third, having the Class Advisory Senate and Class representatives spread the word to their classmates while providing feedback to the AOG and the Board of Directors has been most helpful. Finally, AOG Directors should visit Chapters to tell graduates what the AOG is doing and seek feedback on what we ought to be doing to improve the connection back to the institution.

Under the recently adopted Carver governance model, the primary role of the Board is to provide the strategic direction for the organization, while leaving operational administration to the CEO. How do you define strategic direction? What experience have you had in strategic thinking and policy making?

I’ll take these in reverse order. I’ve worked under the Carver model as a Director and find it very useful for providing direction and limits under which the CEO operates. Of importance, the Board at any time can modify or change what the CEO can and cannot do. This model has worked extremely well for the AOG. My personal definition of strategic direction essentially tries to first pose, and then answer, four important questions: (1) “Where should the organization be – or look like-- in three to five years?”; (2) “What external factors can prevent us from achieving our stated goal and how do we mitigate them?”; (3) “What resources are required to achieve our goal and are they on hand?”; and (4) “What other organizations or key personnel do we need to have on our team in order to achieve our goal?”.

How much of your time can you devote to meetings, preparation for Board of Directors meetings, emails/correspondence, committee work, and interacting with members?

Because I am fully retired and live in the local area, I can devote whatever time is required as an AOG Director.

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