United States Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA or Air Force)is a military academy for officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The Academy's stated mission is "to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation."
Prior to the Academy's establishment, air power advocates had been pushing for a separate air force academy for decades. As early as 1918, Lieutenant Colonel A.J. Hanlon wrote, "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. No service can flourish without some such institution to inculcate into its embryonic officers love of country, proper conception of duty, and highest regard for honor." Other officials expressed similar sentiments. In 1919, Congressman Charles F. Curry introduced legislation providing for an Academy, but concerns about cost, curriculum and location led to its demise. In 1925, air power pioneer General Billy Mitchell testified on Capitol Hill that it was necessary "to have an air academy to form a basis for the permanent backbone of your air service and to attend to the...organizational part of it, very much the same way that West Point does for the Army, or that Annapolis does for the Navy." Mitchell's arguments did not gain traction with legislators, and it was not until the late 1940s that the concept of the United States Air Force Academy began to take shape. Support for an air academy got a boost with the National Security Act of 1947, which provided for the establishment of a separate Air Force within the United States military. As an initial measure, Secretary of the Air Force W. Stuart Symington negotiated an agreement where up to 25% of West Point and Annapolis graduates could volunteer to receive their commissions in the newly established Air Force. This was only intended to be a short term fix, however, and disagreements between the services quickly led to the establishment of the Service Academy Board by Secretary of Defense James Forrestal. In January 1950, the Service Academy Board, headed by Dwight D. Eisenhower, then president of Columbia University, concluded that the needs of the Air Force could not be met by the two existing U.S. service academies and that an air force academy should be established. Following the recommendation of the Board, Congress passed legislation in 1954 to begin the construction of the Air Force Academy, and President Eisenhower signed it into law on 1 April of that year. The legislation established an advisory commission to determine the site of the new school. Among the panel members were Charles Lindbergh, General Carl Spaatz, and Lieutenant General Hubert R. Harmon, who later became the Academy's first superintendent. The original 582 sites considered were winnowed to three: Alton, Illinois; Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; and the ultimate site at Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Secretary of the Air Force, Harold E. Talbott, announced the winning site on 24 June 1954. Meanwhile, Air Training Command (ATC) began developing a detailed curriculum for the Academy program.
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Alonzo Babers 1983 Winner of two gold medals (400m and 4ï¿½400m relay) at the 1984 Summer Olympics; Boeing 777 pilot for United Airlines Troy Calhoun 1989 Head coach of the Air Force football team (2006ï¿½); former offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans (2006) Larry Cole DNG Played for the Dallas Cowboys Bryce Fisher 1999 Played for Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans Ben Garland 2010 NFL Defensive End for the Denver Broncos 2012-Present. Personal hero is Curtis Widener, second academy graduate from G-town Colorado. Ron George DNG Played for the Atlanta Falcons and the Kansas City Chiefs Chad Hall 2008 NFL Wide Receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles 2010-2012; Wide Receiver for San Francisco 49ers 2012-Present Chad Hennings 1988 A-10 Thunderbolt pilot; Winner of the Outland Trophy; Football player for NFL's Dallas Cowboys (1992ï¿½2001); earned three Super Bowl rings; 2006 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame Gregg Popovich 1970 Head coach (1997ï¿½) of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) San Antonio Spurs who led the team to NBA championships in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007; NBA Coach of the Year Award for the 2002ï¿½2003 season William Roy 1981 Former U.S. Olympian and world champion in skeet shooting; Captain of 1996 U.S. Olympic Shooting Team; Professor of English at United States Air Force Academy; Boeing 747 pilot for United Airlines. Len Salvemini 1975 1972 Third Team and 1974 Second Team All American soccer player. Holds Falcon career goals and points records. Played for 1976 U.S. Olympic Soccer Team. Played professionally in the Major Indoor Soccer League. Randall W. Spetman 1976 Athletic Director at Florida State University (2008ï¿½); former Athletic Director at the Academy (1996ï¿½2003) and Utah State University (2004ï¿½2008)
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