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Wings Over the Rockies

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July 8, 2021
Top Cover

We have received many comments and questions from graduates about the recent Washington Post opinion column by Lynne Chandler-García, an associate professor of political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy. We have shared, and will continue to share, all feedback we have received from graduates with the Superintendent's Office. The AOG does not comment on USAFA policy and curriculum matters. At this time, we can share with you the following statement issued by USAFA providing clarification:

"USAFA does not have a course on Critical Race Theory (CRT), nor is CRT a part of any course description. However, as an academic institution and an accredited university, USAFA encourages cadets to engage in critical thinking and discourse, which may drive classroom discussion involving themes that may be explicitly or implicitly related to CRT. USAFA supports an instructor's responsibility to challenge students to evaluate issues from different perspectives and to do so in an environment of academic freedom. While Dr. Chandler-Garcia includes some elements from CRT canon in the course to encourage critical thinking, it is not a theory endorsed by USAFA as institutional doctrine."


Class of 2025 Swearing In Ceremony
The Swearing In Ceremony for the Class of 2025 took place on Stillman Field July 2, 2021. The Basic Cadets recited the Cadet's Oath of Allegiance in front of USAFA leadership and pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Col. Clarence Lukes '92, vice commandant of cadets, was the speaker for the day. View more photos shared online from the ceremony.

  Swearing In Ceremony

Basic Cadet Training Underway for Academy's Class of '25
More than 1,100 young men and women arrived at the U.S. Air Force Academy June 24, 2021 to begin basic cadet training — six weeks of rigorous mental and physical challenges.


Grad Business Gratitude
The Association of Graduates and the Air Force Academy Foundation would like to thank Insigniam and their founding partner, Nathan Owen Rosenberg '74, for providing pro bono public consulting. Insigniam worked with senior leaders of the AOG and Foundation to help foster collaboration and create a vision for the future of both organizations.


Distinguished Graduate Award Banquet
Please join us August 6th as we celebrate and recognize our nine Distinguished Graduate Award honorees from 2019 and 2020. The evening's 2019 honorees include Col. (Ret.) Les Denend, Class of 1963; Mr. Fletcher "Flash" Wiley, Class of 1965; Gen. (Ret.) Norton "Norty" Schwartz, Class of 1973; Gen. (Ret.) Ed Rice Jr., Class of 1978; and Mr. John "Jack" Kucera, Class of 1978. Our 2020 honorees include Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jay Kelley, Class of 1964; Mr. Hugh Williamson, Class of 1964; Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Ron Sega, Class of 1974; and Col. (Ret.) Gail Benjamin Colvin, Class of 1980.

  DG Award Banquet

Virtual March Back
Let's come together as a USAFA family and support the Class of 2025! Though the in-person Graduate March Back has been cancelled for 2021, it's going virtual and expanding participation to the entire USAFA family! Between July 12-24, you are invited to join the USAFA community and walk, run or march 6.2 miles in support of the Class of 2025 cadets returning from Basic Cadet Training in Jacks Valley.

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

Air Force Academy Foundation

Accelerating Airmanship
The Airmanship Next program, since it began at the Academy in 2019, has given cadets the opportunity to utilize immersive training devices (ITD) to experience virtual flight training and provide more hands-on exposure before even getting in a plane. Through the help of donor funding, the Academy now has more than 40 ITDs across several locations on campus, providing more cadets with opportunities for the experience.

  Accelerating Airmanship

CSRP Reimagined
Organizers of the Cadet Summer Research Program (CSRP) have proven to be nimble over the past two summers during the pandemic. With many cadet opportunities canceled this summer and last, CSRP has more than doubled its number of cadet participants in the program.


Give a Gift of Tangible Personal Property
One can support the Air Force Academy directly or through a gift model that can provide tax benefits. One model is through a gift of tangible personal property, which is defined as property that can be physically touched, excluding land and improvements. Examples of tangible personal property include antiques, artwork, precious gems and metals, cars, boats and aircraft. Tangible personal property is frequently given on an outright basis, or as a testamentary gift through a donor's will or trust.

  Give Gift
Grads in the News

New 910th Commander Comes Home
The Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 910th Airlift Wing welcomed back Col. Jeff "VD" Van Dootingh '85 as the unit's 28th commander during an assumption of command ceremony, June 6, 2021, at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio. Nearly 17 years of Van Dootingh's 36-year Air Force career was spent at YARS, and now Van Dootingh holds the 910th AW flag and bears the responsibilities it represents.

  Van Dootingh

New Chapter Begins as Warakomski Takes Command
The Peterson-Schriever Garrison held its change of command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, June 28. U.S. Space Force Col. James E. Smith '97, relinquished command to incoming commander U.S. Space Force Col. Zachary S. Warakomski '98. Prior to taking command of the P-S GAR, Warakomski was the 375th Communications Group commander at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.


New Commander Takes Over at Grand Forks Air Force Base
The Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, has a new commander. Col. Timothy Curry '99 took over the top spot from Col. Cameron Pringle '96 during a change of command ceremony for the 319th Reconnaissance Wing.


Offutt Air Force Base's 55th Wing Gets New Leader
Offutt Air Force Base's 55th Wing in Nebraska has a new leader as Col. Kristen Thompson '01 has taken command. Thompson flew 600 combat hours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was most recently commander of the 380th Expeditionary Operations Group at a base in United Arab Emirates. The 55th is the largest wing in Air Combat Command and the second largest in the Air Force.


Little Rock Air Force Base Names New Wing Commander
Col. Angela Ochoa '01 took the helm of the 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, during a change of command ceremony June 25. Ochoa is a command pilot having flown more 2,800 hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Resolute Support and Operation Freedom Sentinel. As installation commander, she is now responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the personnel who operate, maintain and sustain more than 62 C-130 aircraft, enabling support for combat, contingency and humanitarian requirements around the world.


Pikes Peak Visitor Center Now Fully Open to the Public
Jack Glavan '73 is the manager of America's Mountain. The tourist attraction had limited visitors for months as a new Summit Visitor Center was being constructed, but now the new building is finally open to the public.

Watch Checkpoints feature video on Jack Glavan '73


Exchange Officer Learns to Use Heart, Mind to Win Friendships Abroad
When then-Capt. Paul Morris '01 stepped off the aircraft in Lima, Peru, to report for his first assignment as a foreign exchange officer, he faced three years away from family and friends in an unfamiliar country. Ahead lay uncertainty, accompanied by the tempting sense of adventure and intrigue of the unknown.


Guardian of the Galaxy
2nd Lt. Adam Morris '21 is the first person from New Hampshire to be commissioned as a U.S. Space Force officer out of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Morris said he's excited to be at the forefront of a new military branch, with opportunities to take on leadership roles, influence the formation of new protocols and establish its identity. But most of all, he's looking forward to advancing American interests and human civilization with scientific discovery.


Presidents Club to Honor Reynolds
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Richard V. "Dick" Reynolds '71 will be the 70th recipient of the 2021 Citizen Legion of Honor Award from The Presidents Club of Dayton. The award, given annually since 1951, is the oldest, most continuous and prestigious recognition of volunteer servant leadership in the Dayton region.


Trapper Carpenter Retires After Decorated Military, Civilian Career
William "Trapper" Carpenter '73, associate athletic director for recruiting support at the Air Force Academy, retired after a long, decorated career in the military and as a civilian. Carpenter had been in his current role since September 2007 and concluded 22 years overall at the Academy. Carpenter previously served the Academy as vice commandant and director of admissions before coming to the athletic department. Carpenter played a major role in admitting around 300 cadet-athletes to the Academy annually.


Coming Full Circle: Service Member Works on Doctoral Degree to Teach
Lt. Col. Robert Newton '06 aims to teach in the Academy's operations research program in the math department. "I want to give back to my alma mater and help educate the future Air Force officers," Newton said. "Some of my strongest, most impactful relationships are with faculty members."


Missing-Man Flyover for C2C Duran
A Missing-Man flyover was conducted over USAFA June 28 in honor of C2C Nick Duran. C2C Duran died June 24 as a result of a single-engine plane crash while he was home on leave. Four F-16s from Buckley Air Force Base participated in the flyover. We at the AOG and the Air Force Academy Foundation offer our condolences to the family and friends of a young man who died much too soon.


Academy to Send Cadets to South Korea for Semester
The Republic of Korea air force academy will begin hosting cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy for a semester of study later this year. The semester exchange program is the result of an agreement signed by the U.S. and South Korea on June 8.

  South Korea
From the Bleachers

AF Athletics Statement on the NCAA's New Rule on Name, Image, and Likeness:
Air Force Academy cadets-athletes may not participate in NIL activities because of their government standing. Cadet-athletes may be able to be compensated for NIL under certain circumstances if such compensation is unrelated to athletics participation at USAFA and they otherwise do not leverage their official capacity or duties.

Athletics Dept
USAA is the Premier Sponsor of the AOG



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