The Air Force Academy is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The list below contains historical things that have happened in the month of March in the Academy's history.
1962 -- The Thomas D. White Award is established by the Air Force Academy. The award, presented annually to a U.S.
citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United
States, is named in honor of Gen. Thomas Dresser White, former Air Force chief
-- Colonel Randy Spetman, Class of '76, becomes the first Air Force Academy
graduate to serve as Director of Athletics.
2004 -- Air Force men's basketball defeats San Diego State 61-49 in Clune Arena
to win its first Mountain West Conference title (and its first conference
championship in any league).
2012 -- The Academy's National Resources Office is selected as the winner of
the 2011 National Military Conservation Partner Award by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. The award was created
in 2004 and acknowledges a military installation for its outstanding
accomplishment in promoting conservation on military lands.
1964 -- The Academy begins closed circuit television classes in mathematics for
Academy military personnel and their dependents.
1965 -- First Lieutenant Hayden Lockhart, Class of '61, flying an F-100, is
shot down and captured, becoming the first Air Force Academy graduate Prisoner
1967 -- The Academy Office of Information issues a press release stating that
the Cadet Honor Committee had completed hearings into honor violations
originally reported on 24 February. The
release reported that 46 cadets had resigned and left the Academy. After receiving criticism for secrecy after a
1965 honor incident, the Academy received praise for its openness this time.
1979 -- Ken Hatfield becomes the fourth head football coach in Air Force
history. He hired Fisher DeBerry as his
quarterback coach and later offensive coordinator, and the two of them
instituted the option offense which allowed the team to have great success.
1964 -- President Lyndon Johnson signs Public Law 88-276, which authorizes both
the Air Force Academy and West Point to expand to the Naval Academy's strength. The Air Force Cadet Wing soon expands from
2,529 to 4,417.
2012 -- Dave Pilipovich is named permanent head coach of the men's basketball
team. He had served in an interim
capacity for the previous month.
1949 - James Forrestal, the Secretary of Defense, establishes the Service
Academy Board to study America's service academies and make recommendations.
1976 -- Captain Lance P. Sijan,Class of '65, becomes the first and so far only
graduate to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
President Gerald R. Fordpresented the award toCaptain Sijan's parents at
a White House ceremony.
2004 -- Second Lieutenant Christopher Ayoub, Class of '03, receives the 2003 Cadet
of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony.
The Air Force-level award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an
Air Force commissioning program. He is
the first Air Force Academy graduate to win the award, which was established in
1976 -- The Comptroller General of the U.S. publishes its 98-page report on
"Student Attrition at the Five Federal Service Academies."
1960 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's first appearance in the
NCAA basketball tournament, losing 69-63 to DePaul. Only 25 teams made the tournament in those
1986 -- The Air Force Academy Band opens for entertainer and impressionist Rich
Little in Arnold Hall.
1993 -- The Air Force Academy Band performs with guest conductor General Major
Nikolaj Mikhailovich Mikhailov, Chief of Military Bands of the Russian
1954 -- The U. S. Senatepasses a bill to establish anair force academy.
1968 -- Captain Dale Noyd, fighter pilot and former Academy assistant professor
in the Department of Psychology and Leadership, is convicted at a Cannon AFB court-martial
for wilfully disobeying a lawful military order. He had claimed conscientious objector status
and refused to train student pilots for the Vietnam War. He was sentenced to one year's confinement
2004 -- Nick Welch, Class of '07, wins Mountain West Conference co-player of
the year award. Also, Air Force head
coach Joe Scott was named coach of the year.
2007 -- FalconSAT-3 is launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station, one of five deployed from the first -ever Secondary Payload
Adapter Ring used with the current generationEvolved Expendable Launch Vehicles.
The Department of Astronautics celebrates its 50th anniversary as the
world's first undergraduate astronautical engineering program.
Lieutenant General Albert Patton (A .P.) Clark, the sixth Air Force
Academy superintendent and President of the Friends of the Air Force Academy
Library, passes away.
Nathaniel Owings submits a formal request to Secretary of the Air Force
Harold E. Talbott requesting that Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) be
considered as architects-engineers for the Academy. SOM would eventually win the contract.
The second Air Force Academy Assembly begins. General LaurisNorstad, Supreme Allied
Commander Europe, is the keynote speaker.
Partial occupation of Doolittle Hall, the Association of Graduates
building, takes place.
1994 -- Captain Harold Waters, Class of '85, flies the mission for which he
received the 1995 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Captain Waters recovered his RC-135 with 32
crewmembers aboard after catastrophic electrical failure occurred over the
2010 -- First Lieutenant Roni Yadlin, Class of '09, plays on the University of
Oxford soccer team as the Blues beat Bedfordshire to win the British collegiate
national championship. Yadlin, who also
played at Air Force, was at Oxford on a Holaday Scholarship, awarded annually
to the top-ranking Academy graduate who competes for but does not win a Rhodes
1962 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's second appearance in the
NCAA basketball tournament, losing 68-66 to Texas Tech. Only 25 teams made the tournament in those
2000 -- Second Lieutenant Shawna (Ng-A-Qui) Kimbrell, Class of '98, the first
female African-American fighter pilot in the Air Force, becomes qualified in
2004 -- The men's basketball team earns its first NCAA bid since 1962.
1996 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsors its second annual
exhibit: The Benjamin C. Steele Prisoner
of War Art Exhibit.
1997 - A major library exhibit opens to commemorate the receipt of the
collections of the Former Prisoners of War of StalagLuft III. The library has the largest collection of
American POW manuscripts from StalagLuft III in the world.
2007 -- Cadet First Class Eric Ehn, Class of '08, becomes the first service
academy hockey player to be named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial
Award, given to the best player in the country. It is the hockey equivalent of college
football's Heisman Trophy. Two weeks
later, he would berecognized as one of the top three intercollegiate hockey
players in the nation by his inclusion on the Hobey Baker Hat Trick list.
2006 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's fourth appearance in the
NCAA basketball tournament, losing 78-69 to Illinois.
1995 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsors its first annual
exhibit: "The Eagle Squadrons of World
2007 -- The Academy hockey team beats Army 6-1 to win the Atlantic Hockey
Association championship and qualify for the 16-team NCAA hockey
tournament. The team was the first
service academy hockey team to win a conference title and to play in the NCAA
2004 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's third appearance in the
NCAA basketball tournament, losing 63-52 to North Carolina.
1966 -- Cadet First Class Pete Johnston, Class of '66, is killed in a
parachuting accident at the Academy.
1978 -- The Class of '81 hosts the Colorado Special Olympics for handicapped
-- The Falcon Foundation donates the music for "Bring Me Men" to the Academy.The
phrase is from the poem "The Coming American" written in 1894 by Sam Walter
2012 -- The artificial turf glider landing strip at the airfield is
unveiled. The turf measures 1.41 million
square feet, (430 feet wide and 3,000 feet long,the equivalent of 23 football
fields). It isthought to be the largest
single installation of synthetic turf in the world.
1961 -- The third Air Force Academy Assembly begins. Dr. Arthur Schlesinger, Special Assistant to
the President of the United States, is the keynote speaker.
1954 -- Governor Dan Thornton signs Colorado General Assembly House Bill Number
5, which established a commission to work with federal agencies " . . .
relative to the selection of a permanent location within the state for a United
States Air Force Academy and to procure and convey real property selected or
2007 -- The Academy hockey team becomes the first service academy hockey team
to play in the NCAA tournament, falling to #2 ranked Minnesota by the score of
4-3 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
1964 - Cadet First Class Jay Kelley, Class of '64, and Cadet Third Class Pete
Johnston, Class of '66, take home the Air Force Academy's first collegiate gold
medals in parachuting accuracy.
1999 -- Major James Cardoso, Class of '88, flies the mission for which he
received the 2000 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Major Cardozo flew his F-117 stealth fighter
on a combat search and rescue mission over Serbia.
2007 -- The Air Force men's basketball plays in the semi-finals of the National
Invitational Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City, losing 68-67
2009 -- The Academy hockey team wins its first-ever NCAA tournament game with a
2-0 win over #3 ranked Michigan. The
next day, the team would fall in double overtime to #10 ranked Vermont. The "Elite Eight" finish is the best in
2011 -- Captain Christopher D. McConnell, Class of '05, flies the mission for
which he received the 2013 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. His heroic actions occurred during a 21+ hour
Operation ODYSSEY DAWN mission supporting the Libyan rebels that marked the
first time B-1s had launched on a combat mission from the continental United
States in order to strike enemy targets.
2003 -- The phrase "Bring Me Men" is removed from its spot over the battle
ramp. The phrase is from the poem "The
Coming American" written in 1894 by Sam Walter Foss. In September 2004, the words would be
replaced by the Core Values ("Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence
in All We Do").
March 2007 -- Cadet First Class Eric Ehn, Class of '08, is recognized as one of
the top three intercollegiate hockey players in the nation by his inclusion on
the Hobey Baker Hat Trick list.
2008 -- The Academy hockey team, winner of its second consecutive Atlantic
Hockey Association championship and second straight trip to the NCAA hockey
tournament, falls 3-2 in overtime to #2 ranked Miami.
1954 -- The House and Senate convene a conference committee to resolve
differences in legislation to establish an air force academy. Final approval is given on the same day.
1959 -- Donations were taken at all Air Force Base Chapels around the world. Collection
proceeds from this Easter Sunday were used to fund the liturgical fittings and
the organs in the Air Force Academy Chapel.
2012 -- Cadet Second Class Craig Nowadly, Class of '13, receives the Frank G.
Brooks Award for outstanding research paper presentation at the regional TriBeta
National Biological Honor Society. He
won the award for research he performed at the Academy's Life Sciences Research