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May 29, 2020
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Women of USAFA
40 years ago this week, the '80s Ladies became the first female USAFA cadets to graduate from this esteemed institution. They paved the way for future female leaders to excel in the Air Force and beyond. We salute all 6,000+ female graduates of the Academy on this important anniversary!

This was also the originally scheduled graduation week for the Class of 2020, which was made up of 29% women.

  Women of USAFA

Remembering Fallen Soldiers
Every Memorial Day, retired Air Force Col. Mark Roland makes the difficult trip to his son's grave in Arlington National Cemetery, but not this year because of coronavirus travel restrictions. It's a reality most families who have lost a loved one in military service are dealing with during the pandemic.


USAFA Cadet Runs 50 Miles for Memorial Day
U.S. Air Force Academy cadet Emma Arbanas planned to run in the Academy's Falcon 50 race at the end of April, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19. Arbanas' family said she is not the type to back down from a challenge. At 6 a.m. on Memorial Day, she started running her own 50-mile race to honor her fallen brothers and sisters in arms.


Many Cadets to Return to Air Force Academy This Summer
The U.S. Air Force Academy intends to bring back about three-quarters of its Cadet Wing — basic cadets included — this summer.


Face Masks Required: Base Police Checking Drivers, Passengers at Academy Gates
The top law enforcement official at the Air Force Academy asks everyone coming to base to show up with a face mask.


Air Force Removes Initial Height Requirement for Officer Aviators
As part of the Air Force's on-going effort to encourage a more diverse pool of applicants to pursue careers in aviation, the minimum height requirement for officer applicants who wish to fly has been removed.

  Air Force

Heritage Minute: Falcon Stadium Events
The latest episode of Heritage Minute with Steve Simon '77 chronicles some of the biggest events to ever take place at Falcon Stadium — from Falcon football to graduation, concerts and professional sports!

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

Air Force Academy Foundation

Class of 2020 Prepares for Transition
In only its second year, the donor-supported Firstie Departure program offered by the Association of Graduates was forced to pivot and offer its programs to the Class of 2020 online only.

  Firstie Departure

Online Happy Hour with the Superintendent
The Air Force Academy Foundation and Association of Graduates hosted their first joint virtual event on May 21, an online happy hour with the superintendent. The 45-minute event featured updates from both organizations and the superintendent and answers to participant-provided questions. The video of the event is available online.

  Online Happy Hour

Will Your Company Match 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 Academy, AOG and Air Force Academy Foundation operations. The Air Force Academy Foundation gratefully accepts matching gift requests provided they follow the guidelines of the company providing the match. The Foundation matching gift web page includes a search function to find out if a company participates in a matching gift program.

  Gift Matching
Grads in the News

As Retirement Nears, Goldfein Readies Air Force for Long Struggle Against Coronavirus
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein '83 has led pilots through combat, overseen air operations at war, and even come back safe and sound after being shot down behind enemy lines. But as he nears retirement this summer after 37 years in uniform, Goldfein faces one of the trickiest challenges of his career.


Academy's New Vice Superintendent to Arrive Next Month
The Air Force recently selected Col. Otis Jones '95 to be the Air Force Academy's next vice superintendent.


United's New CEO
Scott Kirby '89 is the new CEO of United Airlines. He's a proud Air Force Academy graduate and has spent his entire career in and around aviation.


'It Takes a lot of Courage': Nurse Spends Time in NYC Responding to COVID-19
From more than 1,000 miles away, Maj. Melissa Laughrey '97 made sure her family had a daily reminder of her love. The nurse practitioner and Air Force reservist went from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa to New York City as part of the Air Force's 927th Aeromedical Staging Squadron in April for the COVID-19 pandemic. She and her husband Ian met at the Air Force Academy in 1994.


Combat Rescue Officer Will Lead 106th Rescue Wing
New York Air National Guard Col. Shawn P. Fitzgerald '96, who completed multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been selected as the next commander of the 106th Rescue Wing.


Prominent Wright-Patt Command Appoints New Leader
One of the most prominent commands at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio has appointed a new leader. Air Force officials announced that Maj. Gen. Shaun Morris '88 has been nominated for promotion to lieutenant general and will become commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at the base.


Shaw Air Force Base Welcomes New Commander
Col. Lawrence T. Sullivan '99 assumed responsibility for more than 6,400 active-duty airmen and civilians and more than 8,000 family members and now oversees 79 F-16 Vipers, the Air Force's largest combat F-16 fleet. The 20th FW's mission is to train and deploy combat-ready F-16 air power, and Sullivan's role also oversees the wing's 17 staff agencies and the support of the 31,000 local military retirees and 29 geographically separated units across nine states.


We Don't Do This for Praise
Citizens tend to think about soldiers on special days, such as Memorial Day, but perhaps not as much on other days of the year. Maj. Aaron Traver '10 says military members toil so American citizens don't have to worry daily about the world's troubles.


A Memorial Day Weekend Tradition
As part of NASCAR's and Charlotte Motor Speedway's annual 600 Miles of Remembrance, each car in the Coca-Cola 600 carried the name of a service member who died serving their country. This year, the Menards/FVP Mustang carried the name of Air Force Major Lucas F. Gruenther '03.

Air Force Recruiting, NASCAR honor fallen Tuskegee Airman Memorial Day weekend


San Francisco 49er and Air Force Guardsman Aids Digital Memorial Day Tribute
USAA drafted an NFL offensive lineman to help honor fallen heroes on Memorial Day. Ben Garland '10, a player for the San Francisco 49ers and a captain in the Air National Guard, helped the financial services and insurance company promote their digital wall of honor.


DOD Super Computer Aids Cadets' Aero Research at Academy
Cadet researchers at the U.S. Air Force Academy are relying on the Defense Department's High Performance Computing Modernization Program to conduct aeronautic research this summer. The U.S. Army maintains the Defense Department's High Performance Computing Modernization Program, which provides hardware, network and software for the high performance computing needed by government and military researchers.

  Super Computer

Micah J. Tice Memorial Ceremony
A stone memorial plaque along with an oak tree were established at the south edge of the Prep School's Black Field to pay tribute to former cadet candidate Micah Tice. In November 2018, Micah went hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. The day he was hiking, extreme weather and blizzard conditions were reported. Tragically, Micah never made it back and his remains were later discovered.


Finals Week from Home
Check in on finals week for the cadets, most of whom are taking their classes remotely due to the current pandemic.

  Finals Week
From the Bleachers

Maria Mettler, Michael Rhoads Earn All-America Status
Air Force's Michael Rhoads and Maria Mettler were named All-Americans for the indoor track and field season. Rhoads became the program's most decorated indoor All-American with his third honor. Mettler's award marks the third time in the last five years that a member of the women's team has earned an All-America honor in the 5,000-meter run.


Top Play
Air Force football made SportsCenter's top play of the 2019 NCAA football season!

  Top Play

Pluemer Earns NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
Air Force hockey player Pierce Pluemer earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, the first Academy cadet-athlete to earn the honor since 2012-13. He is the second hockey player in school history to earn the honor and the first since Brian Gornick in 2001-02.


TJ Fumagalli Earns ITA Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Honor
Senior TJ Fumagalli of Air Force women's tennis earned the 2020 Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Honor for the Mountain Region, announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). It is the second consecutive Ashe Award for Fumagalli, who was also recently named Mountain West Women's Tennis Player of the Year.

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