by Pam Zubeck
Maj. Philip D. Ambard, a professor at the Air Force Academy, was killed Wednesday in Kabul, the Academy announced today.
Maj. Philip D. Ambard gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States. Maj. Ambard arrived at the Air Force Academy, Department of Foreign Languages in December 2003.
"The U.S. Air Force Academy family is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own, Maj. Phil Ambard, and our heart-felt condolences go out to his family and friends,” said Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, Superintendent of the Air Force Academy. “While we grieve this loss, we are committed to helping Maj. Ambard's family through this extremely difficult time. Phil's ultimate sacrifice is special in that he touched the lives of so many people — cadets, Airmen, friends and family — and he will have a lasting effect on all."
As a fluent speaker of both French and Spanish, Maj. Ambard served as an instructor in both languages and was consistently rated as one of the top faculty members at the Academy. His superb performance in and out of the classroom led to his selection as the Department of Foreign Languages executive officer and subsequently served in that same role for the Dean of the Faculty.
Major Ambard’s sustained excellence was recognized in 2006 when he earned the distinction of Company Grade Officer of the Year for the Dean of Faculty and the entire Academy. In 2007, he was sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages for a Ph.D. program at Denver University, which he completed in 2010 and was scheduled to return to the Department of Foreign Languages after a 365-day deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan.
“Maj. Ambard embodied the ideals of Integrity, Service and Excellence and this legacy carries on with his family,” said Brig. Gen. Dana Born, Dean of the Faculty. “He leaves a deep void at the Air Force Academy and will be missed by all of his family, friends, colleagues and the many cadets and officers whose lives he has touched.”