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HQ AETC appoints new Chief Learning Officer

Dr. Matthew Stafford discusses the Continuum of Learning with a visitor at Air Education and Training Command headquarters, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, June 1, 2018.  Stafford, appointed as AETC Chief Learning Officer on May 23, 2018, is the first person to hold the position in approximately seven years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex Goad)

Dr. Matthew Stafford discusses the Continuum of Learning with a visitor at Air Education and Training Command headquarters, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, June 1, 2018. Stafford, appointed as AETC Chief Learning Officer on May 23, 2018, is the first person to hold the position in approximately seven years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex Goad)

Dr. Matthew Stafford reviews a learning project at Air Education and Training Command headquarters, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, June 1, 2018.  Stafford, appointed as AETC Chief Learning Officer on May 23, 2018, is the first person to hold the position in approximately seven years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex Goad)

Dr. Matthew Stafford reviews a learning project at Air Education and Training Command headquarters, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, June 1, 2018. Stafford, appointed as AETC Chief Learning Officer on May 23, 2018, is the first person to hold the position in approximately seven years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alex Goad)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast, commander of Air Education and Training Command, announced Dr. Matthew Stafford as the command’s new chief learning officer May 23, here.

In the role, Stafford is responsible for the planning and monitoring of the command’s new learning paradigm, the Continuum of Learning, as well as assisting the AETC commander with his force development commander responsibilities.

“Force development is the ability to develop every human being to their full potential, consistent with their passion in education, training and recruiting,” said Kwast. “We are excited to have Dr. Stafford on the team to guide our force development and continuum of learning strategies more efficiently as move training into the 21st century.”

Foundationally, using innovative ideas to reshape the learning landscape across the Air Force enterprise is at the top of Stafford’s job description.

“The Air Force has come to accept that innovation for the future is going to start with Airmen,” Stafford said. “That means we have to design our learning environments differently to promote that kind of ingenuity.”

Two of Stafford’s top priorities are the development of the Air Force Learning Services Ecosystem and the Airman’s Learning Record that will form the technological foundation of the Continuum of Learning.

“Learning is so critical to Air Force readiness that we need a means to quantify and track it, which is what the Air Force Learning Services Ecosystem allows us to do,” Stafford said.  “The ecosystem will allow commanders at all levels to make better operational and developmental-investment decisions, enabling us to build the most effective, most innovative and most lethal multi-domain warfighters in Air Force history.”

Stafford noted the ecosystem will provide a centralized data collection and distribution point for core learning services such as content development and delivery, student management, evaluation and testing, and advanced analytics. 

“From the AFLSE, we’ll access the Airman Learning Record, which is basically the collection of what Airmen know and what they can do in ways that haven’t been tracked before,” Stafford said. “Again, learning gained through education, training and experience.” 

Stafford, who has been serving as the interim chief learning officer since July of last year, is a retired Air Force officer who served 29 years on active-duty.  His previous position was vice president of academic affairs at Air University, located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.