The Military History Center is proud to participate in two Air Force programs. One is the Air Force Institute of Technology's Civilian Institution Program. The Air Force Institute of Technology, or AFIT, is the Air Force's graduate school of engineering and management as well as its institution for technical professional continuing education. A component of Air University and Air Education and Training Command, AFIT is committed to providing defense-focused graduate and professional continuing education and research to sustain the technological supremacy of America's air and space forces. AFIT accomplishes this mission through three resident schools: the Graduate School of Engineering and Management, the School of Systems and Logistics, and the Civil Engineer and Services School. Through its Civilian Institution Programs, AFIT also manages the educational programs of officers enrolled in civilian universities, research centers, hospitals, and industrial organizations. Since resident degrees were first granted in 1956, more than 16,000 graduate and 350 doctor of philosophy degrees have been awarded. In addition, Air Force students attending civilian institutions have earned more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the past twenty years. The goal of AFIT is to provide defense-focused technical graduate and continuing education, research, and consultation for air, space, and cyberspace competence.
The second is the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). A revolution in Air Force Professional Military Education (PME) began in the late 1970's following the frustrations of the Vietnam War. Continuing into the 1980's, this revolution led Air Force Chief of Staff Larry D. Welch to charter a new graduate school, the School of Advanced Airpower Studies (SAAS), at Air University in 1988. The first class convened in the summer of 1991 and graduated in June 1992. SAAS was fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1999 and was redesignated the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS) in 2002. Since the graduation of its first class, SAASS has produced many of the US Air Force's most influential airpower strategists and future leaders. SAASS is a 50-week, follow-on school for selected graduates of intermediate-level Department of Defense PME schools. SAASS creates warrior-scholars with a superior ability to develop, evaluate, and employ airpower within the complex environment of modern war. Upon completion of all requirements and with faculty recommendation, graduates receive a master of philosophy degree in military strategy. For a select number of graduates, SAASS offers a Doctorate of Philosophy in Military Strategy. SAASS faculty members hold a doctorate or equivalent in their fields of academic expertise, and the SAASS faculty is equally divided between terminally-credentialed field-grade or senior officers and civilian scholars. The depth, breadth, and diversity of their expertise are demonstrated by their wide-ranging and internationally-renowned publications and presentations. What makes UNT's participation in this program such an honor is that SAASS sends the senior officers who have qualified to teach at SAASS to civilian institutions to earn their PhD. UNT is proud to be numbered among the civilian schools that SAASS sends its future faculty to earn their terminal degrees.