From the Heart of the Long Blue Line

As an Academy cadet, Mark Howes ’75 learned important lessons in character and leadership. Those lessons served him well as an Air Force officer and became the foundation for a successful business career that included serving as the vice president of integrated delivery system at Honeywell Aerospace and president of Honeywell Aerospace Asia-Pacific Region.

“Leadership is complicated—challenging,” says Howes. “Many folks in business find themselves thrust into leadership roles with no life experience to depend upon. Despite the difficulties, I always found that academy grads (West Point, Annapolis, USAFA) almost always addressed these tough circumstances with a predisposition to do the right thing, especially when it was hard.”

In post-retirement, Howes began to explore ways to make a greater impact on the Academy by sharing his business expertise and engaging in projects and programs that are important to him, including the Center for Character and Leadership Development and the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership.

In the process, Howes helped pave the way for the development of the Champion’s Program at the Academy.

“It’s a process through which academic departments establish relationships with graduates to enhance aspects of the existing curriculum with non-Academy examples from business, government or other military environments,” Howes explains. “Generally, through an established management process, we will be bringing external professionals into the classroom or other setting to emphasize key teaching concepts as selected by faculty members. I have been accepted as the Champion for the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership.”

Howes encourages other alumni to engage with the Academy, using their military and business experiences to help enhance character and leadership development throughout the institution.

“Our Academy introduces some 1,000 officers into the Air Force every year. These officers work their way into all manner of leadership roles throughout their lifetimes. Perhaps in these days, as much as any other, we need leaders operating throughout our system who have a predisposition to do the right thing.”

Gifts to the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership can be given online through the DFBL Strategic Fund

Mark Howes ’75 with his grandson Gabriel and son, Maj. Adam Howes ‘03, who is a physician serving at the teaching hospital at Travis Air Force Base in California.

The USAFA Endowment

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