Brandon Dues

PRGS Fellow Recognized as 2007 Air Force Cadet of the Year — Jan. 4, 2008

The Air Force honored one of our own Pardee RAND Fellows, 2nd Lt. Brandon Dues, as the 2007 Cadet of the Year on January 3 in a ceremony at the Pentagon. The Cadet of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program. Lieutenant Dues, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, is only the seventh Airman to receive this award since its inception.

The award was presented to Lieutenant Dues by Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Duncan McNabb. “Lieutenant Dues excelled in academics, athletics and military performance while at the academy, and was ranked number one of 991 cadets in his class for military performance,” said General McNabb. “Winning this award makes him number one of more than 4,600 cadets in the Reserve Officer Training Corps and Air Force Academy.”

Established in 2000, the Cadet of the Year award is a tribute, by the private British Air Squadron organization, in recognition of the U.S. military's support of the United Kingdom. The recipients’ names are engraved on the Millennium Sword of Friendship which is kept on permanent display in the Pentagon. It serves as a symbol of the enduring British–American friendship.

The Millennium Sword was presented to Lieutenant Dues by Winston S. Churchill, the grandson of former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. “I have the greatest admiration for the U.S. Air Force, and indeed I am proud to be able to claim that I have shared the dangers of combat with your aviators,” said Mr. Churchill. “We’re here today to mark the friendship between our two air forces and to celebrate excellence in leadership. The standard is set by all those young men and women who volunteer each year to join the Air Force and strive to attain the highest standards, and Lieutenant Brandon T. Dues has demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership.”

Lieutenant Dues graduated from the academy in May 2007 and is one of only 20 people nationwide accepted into the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, Calif., where he is currently pursuing a doctorate in policy analysis.

Lieutenant Dues attributes winning the award to his leadership at the academy and the teamwork of his fellow cadets.