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1st woman to head Air Force Academy: Competence, confidence helped overcome gender resistance

The first woman to lead the Air Force Academy says she faced resistance and harassment in her career, but competence and confidence helped her push through the ranks to one of the top jobs in the service.

Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson said in an interview Tuesday she isn't surprised that 32 years passed between her graduation from the academy and her appointment as its first female superintendent.

She says it takes years to reach the rank required for the job.

Johnson became superintendent on Aug. 12 amid increasing pressure on the military to prevent sexual assaults.

She brushed aside questions about whether the military as a whole is improving but said the academy is making progress, citing an increase in the number of victims willing to provide information to investigators.

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