By School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL
/ Published June 07, 2018
There is no need to suppose that human beings differ much from one another; but it is true that the ones who come out on top are the ones who have been trained in the hardest school. -King Archidamus, Sparta, 5th c.B.C.
The most important thing that air power theorists can do today is to try to get their perceptions of the future right. —Carl Builder
Members of SAASS Class XXVIII,
Congratulations on your selection to America's premier school for military strategists! Getting here was not easy. You were chosen from a significant number of highly qualified applicants, and you are among the finest officers anywhere---SAASS will make you even better. Our rigorous curriculum and one-on-one mentoring will challenge you to develop the life of the mind. As you explore the intellectual terrain of those who traveled before you, you will discover a broad landscape of thought and develop the perspective of an educated strategist, someone who perceives the vital connections between power and statecraft. Your journey will be arduous, enlightening, and invaluable. Your full commitment will enable you to think anew so you can act anew.
Your class will in-process as a group at 0830, Wednesday, 9 July 2018. For those of you who arrive prior to 9 July, please sign in with our administrative section and provide us with your contact information. I need your cell, email, and address for accountability purposes while you are on casual status.
An example of the kind of reading you will be expected to digest at SAASS is Stanley Karnow's Vietnam: A History. You should have received this landmark work from SAASS by now, and are asked to read it prior to your arrival. Itwill help you prepare for Class XXVII's field study. Beyond Vietnam, please do not ask for books, syllabi, reading lists, or thesis topic information prior to the start of the academic year. The fast paced environment of SAASS will require your full concentration with little time for personal leave-take advantage of any down time you have this summer to the maximum extent practical. The SAASS curriculum is like no other you have experienced, and navigating it requires deliberate engagement and an intellectual rhythm difficult to delay or accelerate. If you have questions or concerns about your scholarly transition, please call Sheila McKitt at DSN 493-5155 or commercial (334) 953-5155.
The SAASS faculty and I are looking forward to seeing you in July. We take pride in creating an educational experience both personally and professionally valuable, and we hope you develop lifelong friendships with your classmates as we travel our intellectual journeys together. Our services need a community of officers who can think through the complex problems facing our nations and the world. Upon completion of SAASS, you will become one of those officers. Welcome to SAASS!
SHAWN T. COCHRAN, Colonel, USAF
Commandant and Dean
School of Advanced Air and Space Studies
125 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6335