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Wings Over the Rockies

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January 24, 2020
Top Cover

Air Force and Colorado College Will Faceoff at Falcon Stadium Feb. 17
This will be the first collegiate hockey game ever played in Falcon Stadium and the first outdoor varsity game ever for the Air Force hockey team.

NHL's Colorado Avalance vs. LA Kings on Feb. 15 with country music singer Sam Hunt


Every Minute Matters
The Association of Graduates challenges the Air Force Academy family to have a more meaningful impact in their communities in 2020 by participating in the "Service Before Self Challenge."


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: 'Everybody Can Be Great — Because Anybody Can Serve'
U.S. Air Force leaders sent a letter to all airmen to remind them of the sacrifice and service of Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We have made great progress in our diversity and inclusion efforts — yet we must continually strive to realize Dr. King's dream.

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

Air Force Academy Foundation

USAFA Endowment Has a New NameAir Force Academy Foundation
The United States Air Force Academy Endowment announced this month that it has changed its name to Air Force Academy Foundation, effective Jan. 1, 2020. The foundation has launched an updated website and introduced new branding to support the change.


Remembering the Jolly Green Heroes
In honor of the special role of Jolly Green combat search and rescue teams, the Air Force Academy Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign for securing and installing a static display of a Jolly Green Giant alongside the B-52 bomber and Air Warrior Combat Memorial near the Academy's North Gate.

  Jolly Green

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Sabre Society
The Sabre Society will mark its 25th anniversary throughout 2020. Donors who make the leadership-level commitment in 2020 receive a special edition 25th Anniversary Sabre Society lapel pin and additional communications throughout the year in celebration of the group's milestone.

  Sabre Society

You May Be Able to Double Your Gift
Thousands of companies match their employees' charitable contributions for free. Matching gifts play a crucial role at the Air Force Academy Foundation for supporting the Academy, the AOG and operations. The Air Force Academy Foundation gratefully accepts matching gift requests provided they follow the guidelines of the company providing the match. If your company is eligible, look for its matching gift form or an online program, or you can usually find more information from the human resources office.

Grads in the News

To the Moon and Beyond: USAFA Grad Joins Artemis Astronaut Generation
Air Force Col. Raja Chari '99 is officially a member of the newest class of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts.


Catching Up With a 2018 Rhodes Scholar
Second Lt. Jaspreet Singh '18 said his family's views on service and sacrifice inspired him to apply to the Academy. These days he is pursuing a doctorate in materials science at Oxford University, courtesy of a Rhodes scholarship.


First-Ever Female Piloted B-2 Stealth Bomber Flyover Kicks Off Rose Parade, New Decade
Lt. Col. Nicola "Rogue" Polidor '04 made history in Pasadena on New Year's Day as the first female pilot ever to fly the B2 Stealth bomber over the opening of the Rose Parade.


Jones Takes Command of 436th AW
Col. Matthew Jones '99 took command of the 436th Airlift Wing from Col. Joel Safranek '96 during a change of command ceremony at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, Jan. 7, 2020. Safranek departs the base for an assignment as deputy director of the Strategic Plans, Policy and Logistics Division within U.S. Transportation Command at Scott AFB, Illinois.


Meet 'Cabo,' the Air Force's Newest F-22 Demo Pilot
The Air Force on Tuesday introduced Maj. Joshua Gunderson '08 as the newest pilot of the F-22 Raptor demonstration team. Gunderson, who goes by the call sign "Cabo," will lead the 14-member team during the 2020 and 2021 show seasons.


Col. Flynn Continues Women's Air Force Legacy
With a long list of military, academic and occupational achievements to her name, Col. Dion R. Flynn '95 now serves as the Chief of Active Guard and Reserve Transition office in the Personnel, Manpower, and Services Directorate for Headquarters Air Force Command on Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.


Grad Super Bowl Bound
49ers offensive lineman Ben Garland '10 is headed to the Super Bowl again (previously Garland went with the Broncos and Falcons). If you watched the NFC Championship, you saw Garland spike the ball in the endzone.


Walleye Goalie Christopoulos Uses Military Experience to Excel
Toledo Walleye goaltender Billy Christopoulos '19 credits the demands and rigors of military life for sharpening his disciplinary skills and focus as a netminder. Christopoulos is part of the Air Force's World Class Athlete Program, competing to be on the roster for the 2022 Winter Olympics.


Congressman Welcomes Defense Fellow
Maj. Stephanie N. Mitchell '07 joins Rep. Cooper's office as the 2020 Defense Fellow. She will advise on military, defense, intelligence and veterans matters. She will also assist Rep. Cooper with his role as chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.


Academy's Commandant and Dean Put New Spin on Training, Academics for Cadets
Two generals said their teamwork will positively affect the Air Force Academy in the new year and beyond. Cadet Wing Commandant Brig. Gen. Michele Edmondson and Dean of Faculty Brig. Gen. Linell Letendre '96 said the changes made late last year to the Academy's training and research programs bode well for the school's future.


Moving Beyond a Mistake: Academy Cadet Mentors Troubled Teens in His Hometown
Cadet 2nd Class Prince Njoku believes in second chances. Over winter break, the Academy cadet spent time mentoring middle and high schoolers at the Fort Bend Juvenile Facility in Richmond, Texas. The facility houses juveniles awaiting court appearances for a wide range of illegal behavior from theft to assault.

  Troubled Teens

Learning the Language: Enlisted Airman Improves Chinese Language Skills with Cadets
Watching cadets take the time to learn such a complex language hammers home the idea that we're one family here.

From the Bleachers

Falcons Close the Year Nationally Ranked for First Time Since 1998
Air Force football ranked 22nd/23rd in final polls; enter 2020 with nation's second-longest win streak.

Air Force to extend Troy Calhoun's contract through 2025
Fisher DeBerry honored with Tom Osborne Legacy Award


Falcon Fan Fest
Join the AOG, Air Force Academy Foundation and AF Letterwinners Club as we gather Air Force Fans from around the country to cheer on the Falcons as they take on nationally ranked teams in wrestling, lacrosse and basketball on Feb. 8th!

  Fan Fest
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