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Wings Over the Rockies

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June 10, 2021
Top Cover

30th USAFA Commandant Assumes Command
Brig. Gen. Paul D. Moga '95 assumed command as USAFA commandant of cadets at a sun-drenched May 27 ceremony on Stillman Field.


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

Air Force Academy-bound Alabama Teen Donates His Hair to Kids Battling Cancer
Kieran Moïse, 17, is heading to the Air Force Academy soon where he was set to get the customary head shaving. Inspired by the loss of a friend, Moïse decided to donate his hair ahead of time to a nonprofit that provides free human hair replacements to children and young adults who've lost their hair due to medical reasons.

  Donate Hair

Grads Awaiting Pilot Training Offered Non-thesis Master of Science Degree Program
The Air Force Institute of Technology's history of providing innovative academic programs to the U.S. Air and Space forces continues with its announcement of a non-thesis master's degree program option for officers in the USAF pilot training pipeline. Seventy-two USAFA graduates have been accepted to the new 12-month program and are set to arrive at AFIT in July.


Service Academies Global Summit (SAGS)
This year's SAGS will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 15. It is a great opportunity to hear from a strong lineup of graduate leaders such as Dana Born '83, Jay Silveria '85, and Chris Howard '91. See a full list of speakers and register today!

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

Air Force Academy Foundation

Donations Pour in Honoring Endowed Chair Namesake
The ARDI Foundation's Coleman-Richardson Endowed Chair for computer science saw a flood of donations after the death of Bill Coleman '71 sparked his tech industry colleagues to donate in his memory.


2021 Schulte Award Winner Recognized
Newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Julia Rochester was honored as the 2021 1st Lt. Roslyn L. Schulte Cadet Award winner during graduation week. Schulte '06 was the first female USAFA graduate to be killed in action in the global war on terrorism. In her memory, her parents and friends endowed the award, which is given to a first-class cadet who embodies the values Schulte lived and served by.


Request an Estate Planning Guide From the Air Force Academy Foundation
Are you ready to plan your will or trust? Curious about how to include the Air Force Academy Foundation in it? The Foundation would like to offer you a free estate planning guide. This helpful information may enable you to successfully plan your estate and further give back to the Air Force Academy down the line.

  Arnold Hall
Grads in the News

Air Force's Last Serving POW Retires
As Lt. Col. Rob Sweet '88, the last serving Air Force prisoner of war, approached retirement, he recalled the moment during Operation Desert Storm when his A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft was shot down by enemy forces southwest of Basra, Iraq.


Ellsworth Air Force Base Bomb Wing Gets a New Commander
Col. Joseph Sheffield '97 has been named the new commander of the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota. Sheffield will lead Ellsworth AFB — the world's largest B-1B bomber combat wing.


New Wing Commander Takes Helm; Encourages Airmen to Use Voices
As the 403rd Wing commander, Col. Stuart M. Rubio '98 will lead 1,900 Reserve citizen airmen and civilian professionals who train, equip and employ airlift forces in support of the nation's interests. This includes the only weather reconnaissance mission in the Department of Defense in addition to tactical airlift and airdrop, aeromedical evacuation and agile combat support.


Battle-tested Special Tactics Officer Recognized
U.S. Air Force Capt. Nate Peeler '15, a special tactics officer assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, was recently recognized as one of Air Force Special Operations Command's 2020 Outstanding Airmen of the Year in the Company Grade Officer category. According to Peeler's award citation, he controlled approximately 114 aircraft and conducted 121 precision strikes, many of which were in danger close range.


Two Generations Learning to Soar in Littlefield
For years, the Air Force Academy has sent the Sailplane Racing Team to Littlefield, Texas, to sharpen cadets' cross-country flying skills and prepare for racing competitions. This year, C1C Walker Carroll was joined by his father, John Carroll '90, who also attended the Air Force Academy and trained on gliders in the same program 32 years ago.


Instructor Earns Doctorate, Joining Air Force Academy Faculty
The ability to influence future Air Force officers and improve his own leadership abilities led Lt. Col. Roland "Woody" Olmstead '06 to the Air Force Academy Faculty Pipeline program. The program gave him the chance to pursue a doctorate and eventually become a professor at the Academy.


Former Air Force Academy Pitcher Griffin Jax Becomes the First Falcon to Reach MLB
1st Lt. Griffin Jax '17 is a big leaguer. The right-handed pitcher recently received the call-up from the Minnesota Twins, becoming the first Air Force Academy graduate on a Major League Baseball team. Jax made his MLB debut June 8 against the Yankees and notched his first career strikeout.


Cadet Education Advances with Changing Needs of Warfare
The Strategy and Warfare Center helps develop cadets to become agile warfighters prepared to lead the Air Force and Space Force through a combination of research and experiential learning. Developed internally by USAFA faculty and cadets, it ensures every cadet learns, applies and experiences strategy and operational design, joint operations, and air and space power in a realistic and tangible way.


Countering the Coronavirus: Academy's Outdoor Rec Activities Continue During Pandemic
Many services at the base came to a near standstill during the initial days of the pandemic, but the Outdoor Recreation staff continued to offer scores of activities to thousands of customers. In addition to hiking, the Academy Outdoor Recreation office continues to offer white water rafting, rock climbing, biking and more.


Flying Hours Increase for Summer Program at Air Force Academy Airfield
Flying operations, which take place all year but increase during the summer, are part of the Academy's Airmanship programs to include soaring, powered flight and parachute operations.

From the Bleachers

Air Force Duo Heads to NCAA Championships
The collegiate track and field season comes to a close this week as seniors Maria Mettler and Mahala Norris travel to Eugene, Ore., to represent the Academy at the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.


Paul Skenes Named a Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist
Air Force Academy baseball freshman utility player Paul Skenes was named one of 25 semifinalists for the 43rd annual Golden Spikes Award. Skenes is the first AF baseball player ever to be named a semifinalist for the award that honors the top amateur baseball player of the year. Vote for the only D-1 baseball player to have double-digit home runs and saves!

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