The U.S. Air Force Academy Day is marked on April 1 each year. Do you know that the U.S. Air Force Academy is the youngest of the five U.S. service academies? However, despite that, admission into this exquisite academy is highly competitive — only applicants with S.A.T. scores between 1230 and 1440 are considered. This makes the academy a home for training, not just any future air officers, but the very bright, lucky ones.
History of U.S. Air Force Academy Day
Although it wasn’t founded until the mid-20th century, the U.S. Air Force Academy has been on the minds of many military supporters since the turn of the century. “As the Military and Naval Academies are the backbone of the army and navy, so must the aeronautical academy be the backbone of the air service.” Those were the words of Lieutenant Colonel A.J. Hanlon— one of the earliest military men that pushed for the creation of an Air Force Academy.
After much speculation, the U.S. Air Force Academy was founded on April 1, 1954, hence, the reason behind its celebration on April 1. It is situated in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where it also serves as a tourist attraction. In 1955, the academy admitted its first set of students — numbering 306 — all of whom were expected to undergo rigorous studies and training for four years before they are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree and sworn into the U.S. Air Force as officers. The Academy graduated its first set in 1959 amidst cheers. Admission into the Academy was strictly for men until 1976 when a group of 157 women joined the cadet wing. This gender inclusion was credited to the then superintendent of the Academy — Lt. Gen. James R. Allen.
Life in the Academy is a blend of military, educational, and athletic activities. To encourage excellence, many award categories have been instituted to reward deserving individuals. Institutional awards including the ‘Col. James Jabara Airmanship,’ ‘Distinguished Service,’ ‘Wakin Character’ and ‘Leadership Development Awards,’ as well as cadet awards such as ‘academic, military,’ ‘airmanship,’ and ‘athletic awards’ are all available for the taking of deserving students. The Academy is a citadel of healthy competition in its strive for excellence.
U.S. Air Force Academy Day timeline
The U.S Air Force Academy is founded.
The first set of students graduates from the academy.
Captain Lance P. Sijan becomes the first academy graduate to die.
157 women are admitted into the academy.
An academy graduate — Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger III — safely lands a crashing plane saving all 155 people on board.
U.S. Air Force Academy Day FAQs
Do you get paid while in the U.S.A.F.A?
Just like the other U.S. military academies, cadets enjoy a monthly payment of 35% out of the original pay grade of commissioned officers in the pay grade of zero to one.
What is the G.P.A. requirement for Air Force Academy?
To maintain their stay in the U.S. Air Force Academy, cadets need to remain at the top of their classes with a GPA of 3.87 — which is generally achievable with a high number of A’s.
Can you date in the Air Force Academy?
Intimacy between cadet officers, enlisted personnel, and/or academy staff is strictly disallowed.
How to Observe U.S. Air Force Academy Day
Apply to the academy
Get that high S.A.T. score, fill out that application form, and forward your application. The academy awaits you!
Visit the academy
Pack your belongings and board the bus to Colorado Springs. The sight of the Academy is something to behold.
Honor the academy heroes
Is it Captain Sijan or Pilot officer Sullenberger III? What better way to observe this day than to honor them by remembering their heroic acts?
5 Interesting Facts About The U.S. Air Force
Formerly in the army
The U.S. Air Force was previously a part of the U.S. Army.
Birthed together with the C.I.A.
Both the Air Force and the C.I.A. were founded in September 1947.
Best Air Force in the world
The U.S. Air Force remains the best air force in the world.
The largest number of warplanes
It owns warplanes almost equal to that of the rest of the world combined.
Directly fought the Soviet Union
It fought the Soviet Union in a pitched battle during WWII over a town in Serbia.
Why U.S. Air Force Academy Day is Important
The Air Force Academy is exceptional
The U.S. Air Force Academy is one of the most celebrated military academies in the world. It strengthens the U.S.A.F. in exceptional ways.
An academy with a touch of tourism
Aside from being a top-class military academy, the site of this academy is also a tourist attraction. It welcomes around a million tourists each year.
It fosters healthy competition and presents worthy challenges
By nature, humans are competitive. The academy utilizes this trait and sets down various recognition awards for exceptional air officers and cadets, promoting excellence and grooming future heroes/heroines.
U.S. Air Force Academy Day dates