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Wings Over the Rockies

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June 14, 2019
Top Cover

Checkpoints Online
The June issue of Checkpoints Online is posted, featuring a grad riding for a cause, miniature Air Force aircraft, international cadets and Mrs. Colorado. Also check out bonus articles online that are not found in the printed issue!


Family Celebrates Fourth USAFA Graduate
The Echeverry family is like any other ordinary family when they're together and with five siblings, four in the Air Force, there's a bit of sibling rivalry.


Are You Oshkosh Bound?
Checkpoints magazine is traveling to the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture (50th Anniversary) event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in late July. We are planning to do a story on this year's "Year of the Fighter" themed event for our September 2019 edition. If you are a USAFA graduate and going to be a vendor, performer or involved in the huge aviation gathering in some way, please let us know so that we can connect. We'd love to interview you while there and take a few pictures. Send an email to jeff.holmquist@aogusafa.org with details about your individual role and the exact days you will be attending.


USAFA Visitor's Center Docent Program
The Air Force Academy is looking for additional volunteers to participate in our new USAFA Visitor's Center Docent Program. This volunteer opportunity is a chance for you to share information and history about our institution and provide positive stories about your experience here as a cadet.

7258' — Your Association at Work
Read the latest issue of the AOG's newsletter.

USAFA Endowment

All Academy Challenge Update
Air Force Academy graduates participated in the 2019 All Academy Challenge, May 30 - June 3. More than $326,000 was raised to support cadet programs and activities, including the Squadron Improvement Fund.

  All Academy Challenge

Leave a Lasting Legacy
Chris Taravella '73 recently arranged for a future legacy gift to the Air Force Academy through a charitable bequest in his will. "The importance of private support for our Academy is greater than ever, and I'm pleased to help. I challenge all my classmates, indeed all grads, to support our school, both now and in the future."


Earn Sabre Society Recognition
Gifts of $1,000 or more to the Air Force Academy Fund earn the donor Sabre Society recognition. Gifts to the Air Force Academy Fund help the USAFA Endowment fulfill its mission to provide enhanced support to the Academy, cadets and graduates.

  Sabre Society

Class Giving Impacts Academy Programs
Support for reunion or class giving campaigns help launch leaders and create more than a margin of excellence across the Air Force Academy. Current class giving projects support Academy heritage, capital projects, leadership programs and more. The full list is available online.

  Class Giving
Grads in the News

Bunch Takes Command
Amidst a sea of aviation history, Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr. '84 assumed leadership of the Air Force Materiel Command during a ceremony at the National Museum of the Air Force, May 31.


Former Mission Support Group Commander Closes Out Career at Alma Mater
The Air Force Academy's former mission support group commander gets to end his military career where it started: at the Academy. To Col. David Kinkaid '92, participating in the Academy's mission of developing leaders of character, its annual institutional events and unexpected emergencies, has taught him a lot about organizational management.


101-year-old WWII Veteran Flew 1,500 Miles to Commission Grandson at Air Force Academy
Joseph Kloc '19 was among the members of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Class of 2019, but a unique moment with family set his graduation week apart. His grandfather, 101-year-old World War II veteran Walter Kloc, flew from Amherst, New York to commission his grandson.


National Commander Honors Top Air Force Academy Graduates
Forty-five years after his own graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Civil Air Patrol National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith '74 was on hand to congratulate two 2019 graduates.


Vietnam Veterans Lead Effort to Create Memorial Park
Thousands gathered for the dedication of a new Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in Tukwila, WA. The new park includes a B-52 bomber nicknamed the Midnight Express and a bronze statue of an airman coming back from a mission, created by sculptor James Nance '71.


10th ABW Commander To Leave Academy for Pentagon Staff Position
Col. Shawn Campbell's tenure as commander of the 10th Air Base Wing is almost up, but you wouldn't know it unless you took a look at the bare walls in his office, a tell-tale sign he's moving out. He's still deeply involved in leading the wing and working to provide what he calls a "smooth transition" for his replacement, Col. Brian Hartless, who takes command of the wing June 17.


Academy Cadet Pushes Past Comfort Zone with Beauty Pageant, PEER Mentoring Program
C2C Savannah Menken isn't afraid to test the limits of her comfort zone. Whether it's applying to the Air Force Academy or entering a beauty pageant on a whim, Menken believes life is meant for adventure.


Academy's Summer Programs To Increase Airfield Activity
The Air Force Academy's summer flying training operations run June 4-Aug. 2. Flying operations, which take place all year but increase during summer, are part of the Academy's airmanship programs, which include soaring, powered flight and parachute operations.

  Summer Programs

27 Cadets Earn Wings of Blue Suits, Join Air Force Academy Parachute Team
The Air Force Academy's Wings of Blue parachute team is made up of the most elite parachutists in the country.

From the Bleachers

Athletics Produces Banner Year
Air Force athletics has had another banner year. Air Force has had one national championship with the air rifle team winning the discipline at the NCAA Championships. The Academy has had five conference champions with men's soccer (WAC), men's and women's rifle (Patriot), women's gymnastics (MPSF), women's tennis (MW Mountain Division) and lacrosse (Southern).

Cadet-Athlete Assignments


Jaci Smith Nabs Fourth Career All-America Award
The senior capped her stellar track and field career with four All-America awards — the most ever by an Air Force female runner at the Division I level (two indoor, two outdoor) and a total that is tied for the most in Academy DI history.

Michael Rhoads Shatters Record in All-American Performance


Nic Ready Selected by the Miami Marlins in 2019 MLB Draft
Recently graduated Air Force Academy baseball player Nic Ready '19 was selected in the 23rd round, 681st overall, by the Miami Marlins in the 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft Wednesday afternoon, June 5. Ready becomes the 10th Falcon baseball player all-time to be drafted into the MLB.


Cadet-athletes Get Unique Leadership Experience at 2019 Gettysburg Leadership Summit
The leadership summit uses a battlefield tour to emphasize leadership, teamwork and warrior ethos.

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