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Wings Over the Rockies

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May 31, 2019
Top Cover

'There's a Nation ... Depending on You'
A total of 991 members of USAFA's Class of 2019 graduated during a commencement ceremony featuring guest speaker President Donald Trump Thursday, May 30.

President Trump Says Mission of Academy Grads Is Vital to Keeping U.S. Safe
The stats on the Air Force Academy's Class of 2019
View graduation photos


Academy Prep School Celebrates Graduation of 180 Cadet Candidates
An auditorium filled with families, friends and faculty celebrated the graduation of 180 Air Force Academy Preparatory School cadet candidates May 20. The ceremony marked the successful completion of the Prep School's 10-month curriculum.


Brig. Gen. Michele Edmondson Assumes Command of Cadet Wing
As commandant, Brig. Gen. Michele Edmondson will command the 4,000-member Cadet Wing and more than 200 Air Force and civilian personnel. Her responsibilities will include character and leadership development, military training, supervising cadet life activities, and providing facility and logistical support to all cadets.


Cadet's Resiliency Helps in Battle Against Cancer
Parker Hammond '19 was in the best shape of his life. The Air Force Academy cadet had recently completed a challenging global obstacle race and rebounded after a string of sports injuries ended his Falcon football career. But cancer doesn't discriminate.

Trump invites grad who battled cancer to stage


Purple Heart Recipient's Last Jump with Wings of Blue
Master Sergeant Israel Del Toro has proven time and time again anything is possible. DT, as his friends call him, made his way back to the airfield after nearly losing his life.

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

USAFA Endowment

The 2019 All Academy Challenge is Underway!
As an Air Force Academy graduate, you can help the Academy and your squadron come in first in the All Academy Challenge through June 3, 2019. Make a gift today in support of cadets in your squadron or other Academy programs.

  All Academy Challenge

Spring 2019 Leading Edge Newsletter
The Endowment's Leading Edge newsletter for spring 2019 is available online. From reopening the planetarium to honoring outstanding airmen to providing cadets with opportunities for community service, the newsletter highlights how private philanthropy is making a difference at the Academy.

  Leading Edge

Shavers Joins USAFA Endowment Board
Dr. Cheryl Shavers has joined the board of directors for the United States Air Force Academy Endowment. CEO of Global Smarts, Inc., she has also held management and engineering positions with Motorola, Hewlett-Packard and Intel, and served as undersecretary of commerce for technology.


Leave a Lasting Legacy
Take the first step toward wise estate and retirement planning. The Endowment's free Estate Planning Guide is available online to help you get started.

  Estate Planning Guide
Grads in the News

Schulte Award Marks Decade Since Namesake, Academy Graduate Killed in Afghanistan
On May 20, 2009, 1st Lt. Roslyn "Roz" Littmann Schulte became the first female Air Force Academy graduate to be killed in action in the War on Terror. In honor of their daughter's sacrifice and legacy, Schulte's parents have made a trip to the Air Force Academy every May since 2010 to recognize an outstanding cadet first class who embodies their daughter's "impeccable character, unwavering leadership and spirit of service."


'War Costs People': Vietnam Vet, Academy Grad Honors Classmates Killed in Action
Every year on Memorial Day, Andrew Biancur '60 and his wife visit the Air Force Academy Cemetery. He holds a bucket full of soapy water while his wife kneels and cleans each gravestone from the graduating Class of 1960. She never lets him help, although he's often offered, because she says he's done his part. Biancur was the first Academy graduate to see combat in Vietnam.


Across More Than Two Decades Two Commanders Talk About the Road that Brought Them to Command the 173rd FW
On June 1, 2019, Col. Jeff "Sled" Smith '95 will step down as the Commander of the 173rd Fighter Wing, and Col. Jeff "Thug" Edwards '95 will take command of the wing. It marks the next chapter in their careers which began when they stepped off the same bus at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991.


New Commander Named at Keesler Air Force Base
A new commander is now in charge of the 81st Training Wing at Keesler Air Force Base. Col. Heather Blackwell '97 officially took over from commander Col. Debra Lovette '94 Thursday morning during a change of command ceremony.


Col. Schreiner Takes Command of 509th Bomb Wing
A salute and a deep breath later, the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base had a new commander. Brig. Gen. John Nichols '92, 509th Bomb Wing commander, relinquished command Thursday, May 9, to Col. Jeffrey Schreiner '96 in a change of command ceremony.


Marathoner Competes Worldwide — and Learns Plenty as He Goes
Bob Welbaum has been running a long time and making a difference along the way.


Reflecting on Time as Secretary
When the University of Texas approached Heather Wilson '82 with a job offer around the same time as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' departure, her decision wasn't difficult to make.

'You have the watch': Air Force salutes departing Secretary Wilson


Cadets Are Promise, Purpose and Passion of 10th Air Base Wing
The Air Force Academy prides itself on developing leaders of character and we are making good on that promise, purpose and passion.


Military and Strategic Studies at Air Force Academy Put Cadets at 'Tip of the Spear'
All those Air Force Academy graduates flying combat missions overseas? If they're under 30, they were all students in a military and strategic studies class. It's not just pilots who say they've benefited from these studies -- its officers in more than 150 career fields across the Air Force.


Defining Leaders of Character at the 306th Flying Training Group
Like steel, character is forged through a process of continual refinement, which includes overcoming fear, adversity and doubt. Airmanship programs at the Academy develop and forge character that is pure and strong.


Academy Cadet, Naturalized Citizen One Step Closer to Aviation Dream
As a cadet, Rodrigo Orellana '19 took advantage of leadership opportunities, worked hard to meet standards, and carried his sense of graciousness and hospitality from his birth country into his squadrons.


Class of 2020 Ring Dining In and Dance
The Class of 2020 received their class rings on May 25. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein '83 was the event's guest speaker.

  Ring Dance

Academy Hosts Wing Commanders, Command Chiefs
The Air Force Academy is slated to welcome more than 700 wing commanders and command chiefs this year as it supports an Air Force initiative to create greater understanding between its wing leaders and the accessioning sources that produce officers.

  Academy Hosts
From the Bleachers

Athletic Director Encourages Class of 2019 To Look Back on an 'Incredible Journey'
Air Force Athletics would like to congratulate the Class of 2019 on the impressive accomplishment of graduating from the Academy. This long, four-year journey started when you committed to be different, to selflessly serve your country and become part of something bigger than yourselves. As you prepare to join the Long Blue Line, take a few minutes to look back at your incredible journey.

Air Force Athletics recognizes Top 6 Award winners, MVPs


Air Force Flies To Women D1 7s Title
Six months after winning the Women's D1 fall championship, the U.S. Air Force Academy made it two titles in a single school year.

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