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Lessons in Leadership from a Janitor

June 30, 2022

As the run of Retiree News ends, the story of William “Bill” Crawford, a Army retiree who worked as a janitor at the Air Force Academy, needs to be retold.

Colonel James E. Moschgat told Bill Crawford’s story in an article in the December 2001 issue of the Wharton Leadership Digest.

There was an earlier Retiree News post but we found additional information and believe it needs sharing.

William “Bill” Crawford certainly was an unimpressive figure, one you could easily overlook during a hectic day at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mr. Crawford, as most of us referred to him back in the late 1970s, was our squadron janitor. 

While we cadets busied ourselves preparing for academic exams, athletic events, Saturday morning parades and room inspections, or never-ending leadership classes, Bill quietly moved about the squadron mopping and buffing floors, emptying trash cans, cleaning toilets, or just tidying up the mess 100 college-age kids can leave in a dormitory. Sadly, and for many years, few of us gave him much notice, rendering little more than a passing nod or throwing a curt, “G’morning!” in his direction as we hurried off to our daily duties. 

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