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AF selects 6 captains for prestigious PhD program

  • Published
  • By Debbie Gildea
  • Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs
Three primary and three alternate program participants were selected for the 2014 Chief of Staff of the Air Force Captains Prestigious PhD Program, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced.

Primary selectees include Captains Peter Dyrud, Air Combat Command; Christopher Berardi, Air Force Materiel Command and Kelly Elizabeth Atkinson, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency.

Alternates include Captains Matthew Hammerle, Air Mobility Command; Philip Cho, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center and Caleb Slayton, Air Force Special Operations Command.

"The panel assessed applicants based on job performance and academic experience, and some truly outstanding officers applied. It was a very competitive group and selection was far from simple," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Franklin, the AFPC Officer Developmental Education section.

The purpose of the program is to develop a cadre of strategic thinkers who can be mentored and guided, Franklin said.

"Providing opportunities for intellectual development - coupled with other leadership programs - helps the Air Force prepare young officers to be strong joint leaders, able to communicate at a strategic level with civilian leaders across enterprises," said Maj. Yulanda Bogany, the Officer Developmental Education section chief.

Officers selected for the program may pursue studies in history, political science, international relations, economics, philosophy, international business relations, international security studies, or political systems and theories.

For more information about the annual program and other personnel issues, go to the myPers website at