Happy 60th USAFA; reflections from Dr. Hans Mueh, AD

     

    As I reflected back on 60 years of history for our still-young Air Force Academy, I had to come to grips with the realization that I've been associated with the Academy in some capacity for 42 of those 60 years.  It's hard to believe that it's been 52 years since I stepped off the bus from Denver and started a journey that no one could have imagined or explained.  The early years of the Academy were tough because we were trying to build our own traditions and show those Army guys who helped forge our direction that we were just as tough or tougher and would find our own way. 

    The interesting constant during all of those 60 years is the cadets.  We got the best the country could send back in the early years, and we're still getting the best the country can send us as we look to the future. 

    The academics were tough back then, but they're tougher now because we've brought so much more into the classroom and laboratory than in our day.  The research opportunities were already there when I was a cadet, but we've pushed that to levels that will match major research universities today. 

    The Commandant is still "The Comm" and the cadets will always have a love-hate relationship with that military leader.  Back in the "old brown shoe days", we pushed the Comm's tolerance on more than one occasion, moving airplanes, climbing flagpoles, painting airplanes red (our class color), and doing lots of other "Spirit Missions", but we tried not to embarrass the institution always took pride in the Academy.  We partied hard when we could, since the drinking age was 18 and the whole Cadet Wing could party together.  We might have been a little cynical here and there and complained about the same things cadets complain about today, but we stood tall and defended this institution against anyone who would disparage us. 

    Vietnam had a huge impact, and we found ourselves on the defensive more and more as the war became more and more unpopular.  Yet we went proudly; we fought against a tough enemy that was trying to impart its Communist tyranny on most of Southeast Asia; we lost a lot of good friends who gave their all for their comrades-in-arms and the cause, but also built even stronger bonds with those friends and classmates.  That same camaraderie is there today as we wind down from several decades of war in Southwest Asia, so that same constant, the great cadets and future officers, still makes this institution one of the greatest on earth. 

    Maybe the biggest change I've personally observed has been in the area of athletics.  The Academy started off strong from the very beginning when it came to recognizing the impact of big time athletics as a way of gaining immediate credibility, not just in athletics.  Army and Navy had both established themselves as powerful performers, particularly on the gridiron, and produced dozens of All-Americans and several Heisman Trophy winners.  Our early success in football, to include an undefeated season in 1958, did much to put the new Air Force Academy before the American people and certainly helped us recruit future generations of cadets.  We have one of the real long-standing traditions at the Academy in the form of the dreaded Physical Fitness Test, the PFT, and that actually gives us a great measure of the change in athletics and athleticism over the course of those 60 years.  The PFT is basically the same test it was back then and is actually a little harder due to the change in number of pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups required to max the test.   To put this in context, we had one member of my class, the Class of 1966, Tom Brandon, Col, USAF (Ret), achieve the max score of 500 on the test.  The Class of 2014 has almost 100!  This dramatic change in physical fitness is also evident among our almost 1000 intercollegiate athletes, who are breaking long-standing performance records in all sports.  When we were cadets, no one ran around the Academy grounds to get or stay in shape.  Very few of us lifted weights.  Now, everyone runs around the Academy, and every sport has a strength and conditioning program.  All of that contributes to a better-prepared, more self-confident, physically fit future officer.

    It has often been said that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  The only real constant here is the quality of the cadets we're bringing into the Academy.  The Academy is still producing the best that America has a right to demand of its military leaders, and that level of excellence is far beyond where we were 60 years ago.  I'm just glad I applied when I did, because I'm pretty sure that I couldn't get into the Academy today with the credentials I had back then.  Happy 60th Birthday, Air Force Academy - here's to the next 60 years.

    USAFA 60th Anniversary continues with April highlights

    The following highlights are from 60 years of Air Force Academy history and were compiled by Steve Simon from Academy communications.

    1 April 1954 -- President Eisenhower signs Public Law 325, Eighty-third Congress, Second Session, the legislation that establishes the Air Force Academy.

    1 April 1958 -- The Department of Military History and Geography is renamed the Department of Geography.

    1 April 1958 -- The Department of Astronautics is activated.

    1 April 1959 -- The first Academy Assembly opens with 60 undergraduate representatives from 30 colleges.  The theme was "International Stability and Progress" and Paul H.Nitze,an expert on military power and strategic arms who later served as Deputy Secretary of Defense,delivered the keynote address.

    1 April 1964 -- The sixth annual Air Force Academy Assembly begins.  Principal speakers include Secretary of the Air Force Eugene M. Zuckert and Mr. James E. Webb, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

    1 April 1974 -- The Air Force Academy Band is forced to reduce its size by 29 people, so the Drum and Bugle Corps is eliminated.

    1 April 1979 -- CMSgt Ronald Miller becomes the Academy's fourth Cadet Wing Sergeant Major.

    1 April 1993 -- The Senate Armed Services Committee proposes deactivating the three service academy bands.  Three months later, the United States Air Force Academy Band is assigned to Air Force Space Command and designated as the Band of the Rockies.

    1 April 2004 -- In conjunction with the Academy's 50th "birthday,"the Academy's Cadet Area is designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.  In addition, the U.S. Postal Service issues a commemorative 37-cent stamp featuring the Cadet Chapel.

    1 April 2004 -- Lieutenant General Hubert R. Harmon is named "The Father of the U.S. Air Force Academy."

    1 April 2004 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsors a gala in Doolittle Hall to celebrate the release of The Friends-sponsored DVD on the first 50 years of the Air Force Academy, Expect Great Things.  On hand were more than 200 guests.  Former Academy Superintendent Lieutenant General Brad Hosmer, Class of '59, introduced the showing of the DVD.

    3 April 1892 -- Hubert R. Harmon, the "Father of the Air Force Academy" and its first Superintendent, is born in Chester, Pennsylvania.

    3 April 1959 -- The Department of Aerodynamics announces that calibration had been started for the transonic wind tunnel; the tunnel was designed for pressure of 3000 pounds per square inch, allowing it to more closely simulate free flight conditions than most other tunnels of comparable size.

    3 April 1963 -- The fifth annual Academy Assembly begins, with the  theme "Secretary of State."  Secretary of State Dean Rusk and General Ira C. Eaker attended the event.

    4 April 1949 -- The Service Academy Board recommends the establishment of an air force academy.

    4 April 1983 -- Karol Bobko, Class of '59, becomes the first Air Force Academy graduate in space, as pilot of the Challenger crew on mission STS-6.  This was the Challenger's maiden flight.

    4 April 2002 -- The Academy begins hosting the three-day Former Superintendents Conference.  Four of the seven former superintendents attended the event, intended to provide the Superintendent with advice and opinions on key Academy issues, update the former superintendents on Academy issues and plans, and allow former superintendents to participate in Founders Day events.

    5 April 2002 -- The Academy and the Association of Graduates present the first two Distinguished Graduate Awards.  The first recipients are General (Retired) Ron Fogleman, Class of '63, and Mr. Harry Pearce, Class of '64.The award honors graduates "whose lifetime of achievement is of such significance as to set them apart from their contemporaries."

    5 April 2008 -- Cadet Ryan Mudry, Class of '09, receives recognition for his research into an implant device for glaucoma treatment at the 45th International Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium.  Involved in research at the Academy's Life Sciences Research Center, he was the first undergraduate to receive the Program Chairman's Award for Excellence.

    5 April 2010 -- Air Force Academy researcher Stefan Siegel forms Atargis, a wave-energy company launched from research in the Academy'sAeronautics Department.

    6 April 1954 -- Secretary of the Air Force Harold E. Talbott establishes the Air Force Academy Site Selection Commission.

    6 April 1954 -- The Department of the Air Force mails a form letter and questionnaire to all architectural firms that had expressed an interest in the academy project.

    6 April 1967 -- A dedication ceremony isheld on the Terrazzofor the F-104 Starfighter, an aircraft retired from the flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base.  The aircraft remained on the Terrazzo until replaced by the F-15 in 1994.

    6 April 1999 -- The Academy instruction establishing the Distinguished Graduate Award is issued.  The award honors a graduate "whose lifetime of achievement is of such significance as to set them apart from their contemporaries."  It has been presented to two graduates annually since 2002.

    6 April 2000 -- Air Force hosts the three-day National Collegiate Boxing Association National Championships.  Twelve Air Force Academy boxers qualified for Nationals, and the team won the championship for the second consecutive year.

    6 April 2008 -- First Lieutenant Prichard R. Keely, Class of '04, flies the mission for which he received the 2010 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship.  LieutenantKeely, leadWeapon Systems Officer of an F-15E two-ship, distinguished himself through his heroic actions supporting United States and Afghan National Army ground forces in the Nuristan province of Afghanistan.

    7 April 1956 -- The baseball program plays its first game, a 15-9 loss to Colorado Mines at Lowry Air Force Base.

    7 April 1964 -- The 1964 National AAU Platform Diving Championships are held at the Academy.

    7 April 2003 -- After providing close-air support of ground troops in Baghdad, the A-10 flown by Captain Kim Campbell, Class of '97, is struck by a surface-to-air missile.  Despite losing hydraulics, she was able to land safely in Kuwait.  She received the Distinguished Flying Cross for the mission.

    8 April 1987 -- Dr. David MacIsaac from Airpower Research Institute presents the 30th Harmon Lecture, "Leadership in the Old Air Force: A Post-Graduate Assignment."

    8 April 1995 -- Former President George H. W. Bush is presented the 1994 Thomas D. White Award during a visit to the Air Force Academy.  The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

    9 April 1964 -Headquarters Air Force approves the Academy'ssplit-curriculum concept, a program wherein each cadet would graduate with a major, the first in service academy history.

    10 April 2000 -- Joe Scott is introduced as head coach of the men's basketball team.  Scott installs the Princeton offense and returns the program to winning form, highlighted by the Mountain West Conference Championship in 2004.

    10 April 2003 -- The Special Collections Branch of the Air Force Academy Library is renamed the Lieutenant General A. P. Clark Special Collections Branch.

    11 April 1977--The Academy's Wings of Blue parachute team beats the Army's Golden Knights in team accuracy for the first time ever at the U.S. National meet.

    13 April 1984 -- Academy officials notify local media of a major honor investigation.  A Physics 411 exam had been compromised.  The incident resulted in an extensive review of the honor code.  The Superintendent, Lieutenant General Skip Scott,suspended the code and granted amnesty for a short period of time.  One result was that the Cadet Wing voted to add the Honor Oath.

    14 April 1962-Four cadets perform their first skydives, setting in motion a process that would result in the establishment of the Academy's Wings of Blue parachute team.

    14 April 1994 -- Second Lieutenant Laura Piper, Class of '92, becomes the first female graduate to die in a combat zone.  She was a passenger in a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter on a diplomatic/humanitarian mission in the "No Fly" zone of northern Iraq that was shot down by two U.S. F-15C aircraft.Posthumously promoted to the grade of First Lieutenant, she was also the first female Academy graduate to receive the Purple Heart.

    15 April 1965 -- The Academy hosts the first International Conference of Programming and Control.

    15 April 1966 -- Vice President Hubert Humphrey begins a two-day visit to the Academy.  He also visited the Academy in January 1970.

    15 April 2009 -- Captain Chesley Sullenberger, Class of '73,is presented with the 2009 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship during a Terrazzo Parade. He was recognized for landing US Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River on 15 January 2009.  He shared the 2009 Jabara Award with Captain Travis Burton, Class of '00.

    16 April 1956 -- Architects present a full-size mockup of a cadet room to Air Force officials.

    16 April 2009  --  The biography of Lieutenant General Hubert Harmon, Harmon: Airman, Officer, Father of the Air Force Academy by Phillip Meilinger, sponsored by The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library, is released.

    17 April 2009 -- The General Hubert R. Harmon Memorial, a gift from the Class of '59 with support from the Air Training Officers and the Harmon family, is dedicated during '59's fifty-year reunion.  Due to blizzard conditions, the dedication takes place in Arnold Hall, after which most attendees braved the elements to visit the site.

    19 April 2012 -- The Academy Cyber Competition Team wins the 2012 NSA Cyber Defense Exercise.  The cadet team not only defeated West Point, Annapolis and the Coast Guard Academy, but also scored higher than both teams from the Air Force Institute of Technology and one from the RoyalMilitary College of Canada.

    19 April 2013 -- The AcademyCyber Competition Team wins the NSA interservice Cyber Defense Exercise forthe second year in a row.

    20 April 2000 -- The Commandant of Cadets sponsors a Casual Day.  This was the first (and last?) time cadets were allowed to wear civilian clothes to class.  The casual day was to reward the Cadet Wing's outstanding performance during the semester and for its generosity in support of Wing Open Charities.

    21 April 2003 -- Rhodes Scholar Bart Holaday, Class of '65, and his wife Lynn establish a scholarship to send cadets to Oxford University.  The Holaday Scholarship, named in honor of his mother, is awarded annually to the top-ranking Academy graduate who competes for but does not win a Rhodes Scholarship.

    22 April 1968 -- With construction complete, the final acceptance and transfer of the Field House is made.

    22 April 1993 -- The Recycling Center is opened just outside the South Gate.

    22 April 2009 -- Astronaut and former United States Senator John Glenn is presented the 2008 Thomas D. White Award.   The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

    22 April 2012 -- The Academy Cyber Competition Team places second in theNational Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

    23 April 1966 -- Captain Robert Blake, Class of '59, becomes the first graduate to shoot down an enemy aircraft in aerial combat.  He destroyed a MiG-17 while flying an F-4C north of Hanoi.

    23 April 1979 -- Former President Gerald R. Ford begins a four-day visit to the Academy, during which he teaches political science classes and addresses the entire Cadet Wing in the Field House as part of the Academy's 25-year commemorative activities.  The topic of his address was "The Role of the Military Officer in our Government System."

    24 April 1959 -- The Academy receives academic accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, becoming the only school ever accredited before graduating even one class.

    25 April 1986 -- The Academy Department of History and the Rocky Mountain Regional World History Association co-sponsor a two- day teaching conference on "Africa in World History."

    26 April 1976 -- CMSgt Joseph McBrearty becomes the Academy's third Cadet Wing Sergeant Major.

    27 April 1995 --  Secretary of the Air Force Sheila Widnall and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Ron Fogleman, Class of '63, announce that the resistance and escape components of the former SERE program were being discontinued, effective immediately.

    27 April 2006 --  Music group Mannheim Steamroller performs at Arnold Hall.

    28 April 1989  --  The Department of English hosts science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, author of such works as "The Martian Chronicles," "The Illustrated Man," "Fahrenheit 451" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes."

    28 April 2005 -- Second Lieutenant Delavane Diaz, Class of '04, receives the 2004 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.

    29 April 1945 -- Lieutenant Colonel Albert Patton Clark, who would serve as the Academy's Superintendent from 1970 to 1974, is liberated from the prisoner of war camp at Mooseburg in Bavaria, Germany.  He had been shot down over France while flying a Spitfire and was imprisoned by the Germans in StalagLuft III.  During his thirty-three months of imprisonment, he directed security activities in preparation for The Great Escape, an operation immortalized in the1963 movie starring Steve McQueen.

    29 April 1955 -- The Superintendent, Lieutenant General Hubert Harmon, approves the proposed Academy curriculum comprised of 80 semesters hours in Social Sciences/Humanities, 63 2/3 in Sciences, and 9 5/6 in physical training/ navigation/military training.

    29 April 1979 -- The Silver Anniversary Dinner and Ball takes place.  Entertainer Arthur Godfrey emceed the Mitchell Hall dinner.

    29 April 1985 -- Fred Gregory, Class of '64, becomes the first African-American to pilot the space shuttle, as a member of the Challenger crewon mission STS-51B.

    29 April 1990 -- The Holocaust Torah Scroll is presented to the Air Force Academy Jewish Cadet Chapel for display as a memorial to the six million people who were murdered by the Nazis and as a thank you to the United States for our role in helping the Polish people escape the Nazis.

    30 April 1975 -- The city of Saigon falls, marking the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War, a conflict that took the lives of 141 Academy graduates.

    30 April 2004 -- The Colonel James Jabara statue is dedicated.  The statue was sculpted by John Doubleday and is displayed near Arnold Hall.

    30 April 2008 -- Officials with the Air Force Academy, developer Forest City-Hunt, and Colorado Springs cut the ribbon on several extensively renovated homes located in the Douglass Valley neighborhood.

    Special on 60th USAFA Anniversary to air locally

    Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Station will air two programs this week

    to commemorate the U.S. Air Force's Academy's 60th Anniversary.  "Colorado

    Experience" airs Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 7 p.m.  This 30-minute

    documentary covers the first 60 years of the Air Force Academy and features

    interviews with Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, Superintendent; Dr. Betsy

    Muenger, USAFA Historian; and two current cadets.  It also includes archival

    photos and video footage.  "Colorado State of Mind" airs Friday, April 4, at

    7:30 p.m. and features Lt. Gen. Johnson's interview with show Executive

    Producer/Host Cynthia Hessin.  

    AFA 60th Anniversary Celebration continues with March edition

    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.

    1 March 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 of staff.

    1 March1996 -- Colonel Randy Spetman, Class of '76, becomes the first Air Force Academy graduate to serve as Director of Athletics.

    1 March 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).

    1 March 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.

    2 March 1964 -- The Academy begins closed circuit television classes in mathematics for Academy military personnel and their dependents.

    2 March 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 of War.

    2 March 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.

    2 March 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.

    3 March 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.

    3 March 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.

    4 March 1949 - James Forrestal, the Secretary of Defense, establishes the Service Academy Board to study America's service academies and make recommendations.

    4 March 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.

    4 March 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 2000.

    5 March 1976 -- The Comptroller General of the U.S. publishes its 98-page report on "Student Attrition at the Five Federal Service Academies."

    7 March 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 days.

    7 March 1986 -- The Air Force Academy Band opens for entertainer and impressionist Rich Little in Arnold Hall.

    7 March 1993 -- The Air Force Academy Band performs with guest conductor General Major Nikolaj Mikhailovich Mikhailov, Chief of Military Bands of the Russian Federation.

    8 March 1954 -- The U. S. Senatepasses a bill to establish anair force academy.

    8 March 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 and dismissal.

    8 March 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.

    8 March 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.

    8 March 2008  --  The Department of Astronautics celebrates its 50th anniversary as the world's first undergraduate astronautical engineering program.

    8 March 2010  --  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.

    9 March 1954  --  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.

    9 March 1960  --  The second Air Force Academy Assembly begins.  General LaurisNorstad, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, is the keynote speaker.

    10 March 1992  --  Partial occupation of Doolittle Hall, the Association of Graduates building, takes place.

    10 March 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 North Atlantic.

    10 March 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 Scholarship.

    12 March 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 days.

    13 March 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 the F-16.

    14 March 2004 -- The men's basketball team earns its first NCAA bid since 1962.

    15March 1996 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsors its second annual exhibit:  The Benjamin C. Steele Prisoner of War Art Exhibit.

    15 March 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.

    15 March 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.

    16 March 2006 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's fourth appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament, losing 78-69 to Illinois.

    17 March 1995 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsors its first annual exhibit:  "The Eagle Squadrons of World War II."

    17 March 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 tournament.

    18 March 2004 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's third appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament, losing 63-52 to North Carolina.

    19 March 1966 -- Cadet First Class Pete Johnston, Class of '66, is killed in a parachuting accident at the Academy.

    19 March 1978 -- The Class of '81 hosts the Colorado Special Olympics for handicapped children.

    20 March1968 -- 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 Foss.

    20 March 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.

    22 March 1961 -- The third Air Force Academy Assembly begins.  Dr. Arthur Schlesinger, Special Assistant to the President of the United States, is the keynote speaker.

    23 March 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 designated."

    24 March 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.

    25 March 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.

    27 March 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.

    27 March 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 to Clemson.

    27 March 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 Academy history.

    27 March 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.

    28 March 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").

    28 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.

    28 March 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.

    29 March 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.

    29 March 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.

    31 March 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 Center.

    Air Force Cadet-Athletes sponsoring blood drive

    The Air Force Academy Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is sponsoring a blood drive on Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Arnold Hall Ballroom from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. A valid driver's license is required and walk-ins are welcome. For more information you can contact the blood bank direction at 719-776-5822 or Sierra Suhajda at 719-333-6452.

    Former Falcon football player Bart Holaday earns special honor

    The United States Air Force Academy and the Association of Graduates are proud to announce the winners of the Academy's Distinguished Graduate Award for 2013. Each year, this award recognizes two graduates whose singular and distinctive contributions to our society and nation have set them apart from other alumni of the institution. The winners of the Distinguished Graduate Award for 2013 are Mr. A. Bart Holaday and General (Retired) William R. "Bill" Looney III. They will receive their awards at a formal presentation during the Air Force Academy Founders Day celebration on April 4, 2014. 

     

    Bart Holaday, Class of 1965, achieved a record of exceptional success as an Air Force officer, federal civil servant, venture capitalist and philanthropist. As a cadet, he was a varsity athlete, class president, Cadet Wing Commander and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University.

     

    On active duty, Bart served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis, making several trips to MACV Headquarters in Vietnam. His leadership and accomplishments earned him the Meritorious Service Medal and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Upon leaving the Air Force, he was recruited to a senior leadership position in the Department of Defense, serving as Director of the Econometrics Division in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Systems Analysis). In all, he completed eight years of federal government service in senior management leadership positions in the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior and the Federal Energy Administration finishing as a GS-18 Deputy Assistant Administrator of the FEA. In more than 20 years as a venture capitalist, he was an industry leader ultimately serving as an officer and board member of the National Venture Capital Association. He co-chaired an industry task force that established the first portfolio valuation and performance measurements standards for private equity. In these positions he advanced his vision of building the American economy based on innovation, entrepreneurship, investment and hard work.

     

    As a philanthropist, he founded the Dakota Foundation, a foundation dedicated to funding entrepreneurial, non-profit organizations that help people help themselves in achieving greater economic self-sufficiency. The Dakota Foundation utilizes innovative investment tools and holds to a core belief that non-profit organizations can benefit from the application of business principles. An enthusiastic and life-long supporter of USAFA, he is the Founding Chairman of the USAFA Endowment, the named benefactor of the Holaday Athletic Center and a Trustee of the Falcon Foundation. Additionally, Bart funds a post-graduate Fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford University that each year sends a top graduate of the Air Force Academy to Exeter. He was also instrumental in the production of "Return with Honor," a movie documentary tribute to the Vietnam POWs.

     

    In recognition of his outstanding service and unfailing support of the Academy, he received the Academy's Distinguished Service Award in 2009. Bart Holaday is a man of humility, passion, selflessness, generosity and commitment. He lives the core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in all that he does. His implicit and explicit life's legacy promotes the very best of the Air Force Academy and the Long Blue Line of graduates. 

     

    Also selected to receive the Distinguished Graduate Award is General William R. "Bill" Looney III, Class of 1972. General Looney embodies the core values of our Academy and the USAF--Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in all he does. As a cadet, his leadership abilities were recognized early as he was selected as Cadet Wing Sergeant Major, First Basic Cadet Training Commander, and Cadet Wing Commander, the first cadet to hold all three positions, during his junior and senior years at the Academy.

     

    After graduation, General Looney began a career that would take him around the world and to the highest levels of command in the United States Air Force. Again his leadership abilities were recognized early with selection to the Air Staff Training Program (ASTRA). As a squadron commander, his squadron was recognized as the best squadron in USAFE and the top air-to-air squadron in the Air Force. During his career, General Looney commanded a flight, a fighter squadron, two fighter wings, a joint task force, an air expeditionary force, a military college, a warfare center, a numbered air force, two acquisition centers, and a major command.

     

    At retirement, he had commanded more organizations than any other Air Force officer, past or present. During his 36-year career, he served on the Air Staff, the European Command Staff, and the Joint Staff and logged more than 4000 hours in a number of aircraft, with more than 2500 hours, including 62 combat hours, in the F-15 Eagle. General Looney received the AFA Man of the Year for California in 2001, the Congressional Citation of Merit in 2002, the Schriever Fellow Award in 2003, and the Hoyt S. Vandenberg Award for Aerospace Education in 2008.

     

    After retirement from the Air Force, General Looney has been the President of Integration Innovation, Incorporated (i3), a highly successful defense services company with U.S. and international clients; he has also served on a number of corporate boards and is a national security consultant to many Fortune 500 companies. A published author and sought-after motivational speaker on the power of leadership, he has enabled the next generation of leaders to be better and do better than they ever thought possible. A strong advocate for the Academy, he has been a life member of the Association of Graduates since his graduation and has generously supported the Academy with his time, talent and treasure. He is a guest lecturer on leadership and serves as a Governing Trustee for the Falcon Foundation. He holds the distinction of being the first Academy Falcon Scholar to reach the four-star rank. General Looney's lifetime of service and accomplishments clearly warrants his selection as a 2013 Distinguished Graduate.

     

    The tremendous efforts and accomplishments of Mr. Holaday and General Looney have enhanced the U.S. Air Force Academy, furthered the mission of the Air Force at large, and positively impacted the communities in which they live. Their examples of service and excellence in every endeavor are worthy of emulation and have served to enhance the reputation of the Air Force Academy and its graduates. Both men are truly exceptional representative of the Academy and its vision of "developing leaders of character for the nation."

    USAFA 60th Anniversary continues in February

    In commemoration of the Academy's 60th anniversary, the Academy Spirit will run a weekly feature throughout 2014. In each edition, we will highlight Academy events, milestones, and accomplishments that took place during the current week in history. This will include achievements by Air Force Academy graduates, as well as a few historic events that helped shape the Academy. The information has been compiled by Steve Simon, USAFA public affairs.

    1 February 1990 --The Academy's cadet chorale performs for President George Bush and members of Congress.

    3 February 1995 --Eileen Collins, former Air Force Academy  math assistant professorand T-41 instructor pilot, becomes the first femaleastronaut to pilot the space shuttle, as a member of the Discovery crewon mission STS-63.

    3 February 1999 -- Winds measured at up to 84 miles per hour strike the Academy, breaking windows, uprooting trees, and forcing the cancellation of flying operations.

    4 February 2008 -- Randy Spetman, Class of '76, is hired by Florida State University as its Director of Athletics. He had previously been director of athletics at the Academy and Utah State.

    5 February 1980 -- The Academy Board approves a test Stop-Out program for third classmen.  The program was indented to help reduce attrition. Participants resigned and were in a non-pay status for a one-year period. The program was discontinued in January 1993.

    5 February 2006 -- Bryce Fisher, Class of '99, plays in the NFL's Super Bowl XL for the Seattle Seahawks, who lost to Pittsburgh, 21-10.  He was the second Air Force Academy graduate to play in a Super Bowl, following Chad Hennings, Class of '88.

    6 February 1957 -- The men's basketball team defeats Colorado College 104-53, reaching the 100-point mark for the first time in school history.

    6 February 1978 -- More than 1,000 cadets are seen on sick call suffering from A/USSR/77 influenza.  Classes were cancelled for three days.

    6 February 1991 -- Flying an A-10, Captain Robert Swain, Class of '79, shoots down an Iraqi Bo 105C helicopter during combat operations over Iraq.  This is the first A-10 kill.  The aircraft Swain flew when recording his kill has been on display at the Academy, near the airfield, since 2002.

    6 February 2005 -- The Air Force Academy's Cadet Chorale teams up with the Naval Academy Glee Club, West Point Choir, and the Coast Guard Academy to perform the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida. This was the first time the four academies had performed together since former President Richard Nixon's 1973 inauguration ceremony.

    6 February 2012 -- President Barack Obama nominates Janet Wolfenbarger, Class of '80, for promotion to General, which upon Senate confirmation made her the Air Force's first female four-star general. She received her third star in December 2009 and became the Air Force's highest ranking woman in January 2010.

    7 February 1966 -- The first contract in the $40 million expansion program is awarded to construct the new dormitory (which would become Sijan Hall in 1976), to accommodate the increase in the size of the Cadet Wing to 4,417 cadets.

    7 February 1997 -- Space for the Band of the Rockies is completed at Peterson Air Force Base.  In 1993, the United States Air Force Academy Band had been administratively moved to Air Force Space Command and renamed the Band of the Rockies, but continued to support the Academy.  The Academy regained administrative control of the Band in 2003

    7 February 2003 -- H.T. Johnson, Class of '59, is directed by President George W. Bush to assume the duties of Acting Secretary of the Navy.

    8 February 2012 -- Dave Pilipovich is announced as the men's basketball team's head coach for the remainder of the season.  One month later, he is given the job permanently.

    9 February 2006 -- The Air Force releases a revised version of its religious guidelines, its latest step in a process started after a review at the Academy indicated a need for additional direction.

    11 February 2004 -- Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden speaks at the Academy as part of the National Character and Leadership Symposium.

    11 February 2012 -- The Air Force men's basketball program conducts a banner unveiling ceremony at halftime of its game versus Boise State. The banners honored two of the program's all-time greats, Bob Beckel, Class of '59, and Cliff Parsons, Class of'69. Incidentally, both players wore jersey number 34.

    12 February 1973 -- The release of Prisoners of War from southeast Asia begins in Hanoi, including several Air Force Academy graduates. Operation Homecoming continues until 29 March 1973, when all 591 American prisoners had been released and returned to the United States.

    13 February 1989 -- KAFA, the cadet radio station, returns to the air after a long absence.

    13 February 1980 -- Captain Steve Simon, Class of '77, a member of the Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games Torch Relay Team, participates in the Lake Placid Olympics Opening Ceremonies. He represented Wyoming (where he was stationed) as one of only 52 runners selected to carry the torch on the 1,000-mile relay and take part in all ceremonies during the Games.

    15 February 1961 -- The crash of a Boeing 707 in Brussels takes the lives of 73 persons, including the entire U.S. Figure Skating Team. Cadet Fourth Class William Hickox, Class of '64, and his sister Laurie were among those killed. They were en route to the World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, where they were to have competed in the pairs competition.

    16 February 2002 -- Legendary blues performer B.B. King plays a concert at Arnold Hall.

    16 February 2006 -- Vice Superintendent, Irv Halter, Class of '77, pins on his second star, making him the only Major General Vice Superintendent in service academy history.

    17 February 2004 -- Janet Therianos, Class of '80, isnominated for promotion to the grade of brigadier general, making her the first female Air Force Academy graduate selected for promotiontoflag officer rank.

    17 February 2004 -- Construction begins on the Cadet Area protective perimeter fence. It is the first phase of the plan to install approximately 8,000 feet of fencing in response to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks and the heightened security that followed.

    18 February 1954 -- The Senate Armed Services Committee begins hearings on a bill to establish an air force academy.

    20 February 2005 -- The Academy's Cadet Chorale sings the national anthem at the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game in Denver.

    20 February 2005 -- Fred Gregory, Class of '64, begins serving as Acting NASA Administrator. He served as NASA Deputy Administrator from 12 August 2002 until 4 November 2005 and was the first African-American Deputy Administrator.

    21 February 1981 -- Brigadier General Robert D. Beckel, Class of '59, becomes the first Air Force Academy graduate to serve as Commandant of Cadets.

    22 February 1957 -- General Hubert R. Harmon, first Academy Superintendent, passes away.

    22 February 1958 -- The first death of a member of the Cadet Wing occurs when Richard Davis, Class of '60, is killed in a private aircraft accident near Denver.

    22 February 2013 -- Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe becomes the first recipient of the Air Force Academy's Character and Leadership Award. The award is given to a U.S. citizen whose life, professional career and community service exemplify the finest examples of exemplary character and leadership in public service.

    23 February 1943 -- A U.S. Army Air Force C49J crashes on Blodgett Peak, west of the current Academy site.

    24 February 2009 -- Stubbs, the beloved 46-year-old horse who had been at the Academy Equestrian Center since 1980, passes away. A perfect employee, he worked six days a week, never took a vacation and never filed a complaint of any sort, Center Manager Billy Jack Barrett said of him.

    25 February 1988 -- A then-record crowd of 6,355 spectators at the Academy's Clune Arena watches the men's basketball team's 76-62 loss to Brigham Young.

    25 February 1999 -- The Exemplar Program begins, as the Class of 2000 chooses General Jimmy Doolittle as its exemplar and dedicates a Doolittle exhibit. The program provides each class with a role model to emulate.

    26 February 2013 -- Dr. Thomas Yechout, a professor of aeronautics, receives a patent for his design of angled wing tips for aircraft, known as rakelets. The new design promises to increase fuel efficiency.

    28 February 1979 -- Head Football Coach Bill Parcells makes the surprise announcement that he had resigned to accept a job as an assistant coach for the New York Giants of the National Football League.  He would go on to win two Super Bowls as a head coach at the professional level, both with the Giants.

    29 February 2012 - The Pacific Lutheran University Board of Regents meets to name Tom Krise, Class of '83, as its 13th president. Krise would become President effective 1 June 2012.

    Initial Coaches' Panel Rankings Released

     

    Air Force sophomore Josh Martinez is rated in the initial coaches' panel rankings for the 2013-14 wrestling season, released today by the NCAA. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

    Martinez, an NCAA qualifier as a freshman, is currently rated fifth at 125 pounds with a 24-2 overall record on the season.

    Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches' rankings to earn spots for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches' rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class. In order to be eligible for the rankings, wrestlers must have participated in at least five matches against Division I opponents and have wrestled within the last 30 days.

    Air Force Academy 60th Anniversary countdown begins

      In commemoration of the Academy's 60th anniversary, the following are taken from a list of significant events in the history of Air Force athletics. The information has been compiled by Steve Simon of the Academy's communications area.

    1 January 1956  --  Buck Shaw is hired as the Academy's first football head coach.  He coached at Air Force for two seasons.He also coached in the NFL. He was the San Francisco 49rers first head coach, and also coached the Philadelphia Eagles. The Director of Athletics, Colonel Robert V. Whitlow, coached the Air Force team during the inaugural 1955 season.

    1 January 1959  -- The football team caps an undefeated season with a 0-0- tie against heavily favored Texas Christian University in the Cotton Bowl (when there were only four bowl games).

    1 January 1971  --  The football team loses 34-13 to Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl, the Academy's third trip to a bowl game. The Air Force Academy Band was also featured at the game.

    1 January 1978  --  Bill Parcells begins his tenure as Air Force Academy head football coach.  He left after one season, and went on to win two Super Bowls in 19 years as a head coach in the NFL.

    7 January 1956  -- The Academy fencing team is formed, under the direction of coach Caption Richard Bowman.

    9 January 1986  -- Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry is named the major college football coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association..  He had led the team to a 12-1 record and a number fiveranking in the United Press post-season national poll, an Academy record high finish.

    10 January 1968  -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) passes a rule authorizing freshmen to compete in all intercollegiate varsity sporting events with the exception of football and basketball. The Academy makes these changes to its programs.

    13 January 1968  -- The Air Force basketball team plays Navy for the first time, beating the Midshipmen 98-88 in Annapolis.

    17 January 2004  -- Jeff Heidmous, Class of '77, is inducted into the National Water Polo Hall of Fame in St. Louis.  Heidmous played water polo at the Academy and is currently the head coach.

    29 January 1971  -- Ernie Jennings, Class of '71, is chosen in the 10th round of the NFL draft by San Francisco 49ers. Jennings, a consensus All-American considered the best wide receiver in Academy history.

    31 January 1993  -- Chad Hennings, Class of '88, wins the first of his three Super Bowl Championship rings with the Dallas Cowboys.

    Mountain West Images of the Year on conference website

    The Mountain West Conference has posted Images of the Year on the conference website instagram page at http://instagram.com/mountainwestconference. The images were provided by Clarkson Creative/NCAA Photos.