USAFA Graduation Week 2017
19 - 24 May 2017

Graduation Visitor Information
Graduation Week activities for the USAFA Class of 2016, the 58th Graduating Class and the Major David Brodeur Class will commence on Thursday, 26 May, and end Thursday afternoon, 2 June 2016, with the Graduation Ceremony and an exciting demonstration from the USAF Thunderbirds in the skies over Falcon Stadium.

The following information is provided to assist you with planning for graduation week. Please review this information so that you can closely coordinate your visit with your cadet.

Articles on this page (click on article below; to return to the index, use your browser's back arrow): Graduation Week Security Requirements
Grad Week Parking and Transportation
Graduation Photos, Video and Yearbook
High Altitude Health Concerns
Grad Week Handicapped Assistance
Grad Ceremony Handicapped Parking and Seating
Lodging in the Colorado Springs Area
Emergency Phone Numbers
Appropriate Attire during your Visit
Local Shopping
Graduation Week Weather
USAFA Recreational Facilities
How to Contact Cadets
Handicap Information
Grad Week Security
Throughout Grad Week, you may enter the base via the North Gate by showing your driver’s license or a military ID. You may also be asked to show proof of insurance and a valid vehicle registration. All vehicles entering the base are subject to inspection/search by security personnel. Guests should refrain from bringing large bags, coolers, backpacks or other items that will require additional scrutiny or searches from security personnel. If you are driving a rental car, please keep the rental agreement and current proof of insurance in the vehicle at all times. Note that seatbelts must be worn by all vehicle occupants at all times when driving on the Academy. The parking pass identifies your vehicle as belonging to a USAFA visitor – please print the pass in color or on blue paper and place it in your driver's side dash. Remember that the pass does not get you on base – you must show a valid driver's license or military ID to enter the base. All non-DOD visitors must enter through the North Gate.

USAFA does not issue handicapped or special parking passes, so please bring your own handicapped placard in order to access the handicapped parking lot (immediately north of Stillman Parade Field) and the handicapped parking at the stadium on graduation day. If you do not have a handicapped placard, you may speak with the parking attendant to be allowed to park in the handicapped lots. Handicapped shuttles will operate throughout the Cadet Area during Grad Week – we ask that no more than one guest accompanying the handicapped individual.

Please make sure to follow all posted speed limits when driving on the base. Drivers may not use hand­held cellular phones while the vehicle is in motion. If you need to make or take a call, please use a hands-free device or pull to the side of the road. Also, be aware that radar detectors are not permitted on base. Finally, keep in mind that wildlife such as deer, elk and wild turkeys can be a hazard while driving on the Academy. Please be alert for them and drive carefully. Remember, they have the right-of-way!

If Force Protection Conditions (FPCONs) change due to world events or events closer to home, some scheduled events may change or require additional security precautions for the safety of all our guests. Any event changes will be advertised in local media and on the message boards at the base entry gates.

If you have a medical, fire or police emergency, please call 911 immediately. There are several major medical facilities in Colorado Springs to handle medical situations: Memorial Hospital Central, (719) 365-5000, Memorial Hospital North, (719) 364-5000, Penrose-St. Francis, (719) 776-5000, and St. Francis Medical Center, (719) 571-1000.

Throughout Grad Week, we appreciate your vigilance to ensure the safety of our cadets and visitors. Your help in the detection and reporting of criminal activities will ensure that this year’s graduation is a success. Anyone observing suspicious behavior or activity is urged to promptly report it to USAFA Security Forces at (719) 333-2000 or 333-4100. REMEMBER, IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!
Grad Week Parking and Transportation
Please plan to arrive early for all Graduation Week events, especially the Graduation Parade and Graduation Ceremony; traffic, parking and security checks may result in delays getting to your destination. You may view a parking map of the Cadet Area here.

PARKING: Parking for events in or near the Cadet Area is in the Field House, Reservoir and Parade Field Parking Lots (see map). Display your Base Pass prominently in your car when parked. Please make sure to park in designated parking spaces -- violators may be ticketed or towed at owner's expense.

SHUTTLES: Shuttle bus service will operate from the Field House Parking Lots on Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Graduation. Guests wishing to ride the shuttle buses or walk into the Cadet Area will be asked to show their Escort Badge and may escort other family members or guests. Guests wishing to enter the Terrazzo, academic buildings or dormitories must be escorted by a cadet or authorized staff at all times. Private vehicles may not enter the Cadet Area. Shuttle bus service will not be available on Graduation Day; all ceremony parking is at Falcon Stadium.

Throughout your visit, please be prepared with comfortable walking shoes and bottles of water, since bus wait times may sometimes be longer than expected. Although handicapped shuttles will be available throughout the cadet area, there may be extensive walking required from bus stops to your final destination. Please make sure to consider this when bringing elderly or infirm guests to the Academy.
Graduation Photos, Video and Yearbook
You may order the 2016 USAFA Graduation DVD, photographs of your cadet receiving his/her diploma and the 2016 POLARIS Yearbook through the Office of Cadet Wing Media. The DVD includes every graduate, Graduation Week activities excerpts and Class of 2016 bonus material. This DVD is the only graduation product officially sanctioned by the USAF Academy. Click here to order your 2016 Polaris yearbook and/or Graduation DVD.

Prestige Portraits by Lifetouch has been contracted to provide professional photographs of your cadet at the Graduation Ball and at the Graduation Ceremony.  The contract photographer will mail proofs to each graduating cadet’s home of record within six weeks after graduation with instructions for purchasing these photographs.  If you do not receive a proof from the photographer, please contact Lifetouch directly. Click here to order Graduation ball and Graduation Ceremony photos. For more information call (800) 426-9533, go online to or write to Lifetouch, 1170 Pontiac Ave, Cranston, RI 02920, Attn: AFA Grad.

Contact Cadet Wing Media by calling (719) 333-4644, sending an email to or writing to 10 FSS/FSLAM, P.O. Box 6066, USAFA CO 80841-6066. Visit their web page at

High Altitude Health Concerns
The Air Force Academy Cadet Area is approximately 7,300 feet above sea level. At this altitude, it is possible to contract an illness known as acute mountain or high-altitude sickness. The common symptoms of this disorder include headache, malaise, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. Most cases of acute mountain sickness are mild but the altitude may exacerbate other existing medical conditions. High altitude sickness usually resolves within a few days once an individual has had a chance to adapt to the increased elevation. The best way to avoid illness is to allow yourself to acclimatize: try not to over-exert yourself in the first days after your arrival and make sure to drink sufficient fluids to avoid dehydration. Don't go sight seeing at higher elevations (i.e., up in the mountains) until after you have been in Colorado Springs for a few days. Alcohol consumption may worsen these symptoms, so if you must drink, please do so in moderation.
Grad Week Handicapped Assistance
Mobility-impaired guests should bring or rent any walkers, wheelchairs, breathing support or other special-needs or medical equipment they require. We recommend that wheelchair guests bring a portable or folding wheelchair for convenience in accessing transportation. They should also bring their state-issued 'handicapped' placard or other documentation in order to park in designated handicapped lots. During Graduation Week, specially equipped handicapped shuttle vans will transport disabled guests from the handicapped parking area to locations throughout the Cadet Area. Hearing-impaired guests may ask their cadet to work through their squadron's graduation representative to request sign language interpreters for the cadet parades or the graduation ceremony, if required. Guests with serious medical conditions such as anemia, heart disease or pulmonary disease should consult their doctor about the need for portable oxygen or preventive medication and the advisability of traveling to the Academy. Click here for handicapped information and medical equipment companies in the local area.

Grad Ceremony Handicapped Parking and Seating
Handicapped parking for the Graduation Ceremony is available in Lots 1 and 5 at Falcon Stadium. Guests may show their state handicapped placard in order to park in these lots. Golf carts will be available to transport handicapped guests from the parking area to stadium gates and back again following the ceremony. If you cannot find a golf cart, contact the nearest parking attendant for assistance. The entire top row of the "L" sections of the stadium is reserved for wheelchair and handicapped guests. Additional wheelchair seating has been established at the top of Sections M2, M6, M10, M14, U2, U5, U9, and U12. These seats are not ticketed and are first come, first served and available for handicapped guests with one companion. Please arrive early if you will need wheelchair or handicapped seating. All guests entering the stadium must have a ticket, but handicapped guests are welcome to sit either in their ticketed seat or in one of the handicapped areas. Remember that all seating in Falcon Stadium is outdoors and weather conditions may be uncomfortable for infirm or elderly guests. If you have concerns or questions about handicapped support during Graduation Week, please email
Lodging in the Colorado Springs Area
There are numerous motels and hotels in the Colorado Springs area; however, the Pikes Peak Region is a nationally known resort area, and holiday weekends are particularly popular, with many special events taking place in the city and surrounding areas. For lodging information, feel free to use any hotel/motel site; you may also contact any of the below listed organizations:

Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, (877) 745-3773

Rampart Lodge, USAFA's military lodging facility, (719) 333-4910

Emergency Phone Numbers
If you have a medical, fire or police emergency, please call 911 immediately. You may reach Academy Security Forces at (719) 333-2000 or 333-4100. There are several major medical facilities in Colorado Springs to handle medical situations: Memorial Hospital Central, (719) 365-5000, Memorial Hospital North, (719) 364-5000, Penrose-St. Francis, (719) 776-5000 and St. Francis Medical Center, (719) 571-1000.
Appropriate Attire during your Visit
Please ensure children and young adults wear appropriate clothing for a visit to a national military academy. Plan to dress sensibly and comfortably for outdoor activities such as the Cadet Wing Parades. Since a visit to the Academy may require extensive walking, wear good walking shoes. We suggest that guests bring sun block, hats and raingear for scheduled outside events. For Chapel services and official ceremonies, please dress appropriately; for example, dress or slacks for ladies, coat and tie for gentlemen and Service Dress uniform or equivalent for military members. Specific dress information is provided for each event under "Event Details" or click here for a listing of recommended dress.
Local Shopping
There are many and varied stores near the Air Force Academy to meet your needs. Academy Boulevard, easily accessed from the South Gate of the Air Force Academy, offers a wide variety of retail stores, services, dining and entertainment establishments, within minutes of the Academy grounds. For Academy souvenirs, please feel free to shop at the USAFA Visitor Center or at the Falcon Gift Shop in the USAFA Field House. Please be aware that the Base Exchange, Commissary and Service Center, located at the Academy Community Center, are only for authorized personnel (i.e., active duty or retired military personnel and authorized dependents). If you do not have a military ID card, you may shop here only when accompanied by your cadet.
Graduation Week Weather
Due to our location on the Front Range of the Rockies and our high elevation, weather at the Academy can be highly unpredictable and change rapidly. It can be sunny and warm one day and rainy, foggy and cold the next day. The daytime high temperature is usually in the 70's, and the evening low in the 40's at this time of year. In the past, some Academy graduations were held in very cold, wet weather, and that could happen this year. It may also be sunny and very warm. We recommend you bring sunscreen, clear, unopened water bottles and hats for sunny weather and rain coats/hats for bad weather. In the event of severe or life-threatening weather or heightened security requirements due to a high-threat world situation, the ceremony could be moved into the Cadet Field House. Because the Field House has limited seating capacity, this would restrict attendance to the graduating cadets and three of their guests (family or friends). For this reason, we make every attempt to hold the graduation ceremony outdoors, even in less than ideal weather conditions.  Click on the following link for the latest USAFA weather:

SEVERE WEATHER. Colorado has more thunderstorm days than any other state except Florida. During the summer months, flash floods can become a major weather hazard. Slow-moving thunderstorms can dump several inches of rain over a small area in a few hours, quickly saturating the ground. In steep mountain terrain, the runoff pours into streams and rivers, causing water levels to rise rapidly.

HAIL. The state's mountains and high elevation increase the likelihood that hail will form in a thunderstorm, making Colorado one of the hail capitals of the world. Northeastern Colorado and nearby Great Plains states get more hail each year than any other part of the United States.

FLOODS. Flash floods are responsible for most deaths, and nearly half of those fatalities are auto related--such as when people unwittingly try to drive through flood waters. It only takes two feet of water to carry away most automobiles, and six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet. That's why, in a flash flood, it's best to leave your car, get away from the water, and climb to safety.

LIGHTNING. Lightning is Colorado's most dangerous weather hazard. Since the late 1980s, more people have been killed or injured by lightning than by any other weather-related phenomena in Colorado. In an average year, lightning kills three and injures eighteen people.

Hiking during a thunderstorm in Colorado's mountains can be very dangerous. In the summer, thunderstorms typically begin to form over the mountains in late morning or early afternoon. To minimize your risk of exposure to lightning, it's best to hike early in the morning.

WARNING SYSTEM. Here at the Air Force Academy, the "Giant Voice System" (an outdoor loud-speaker system) will activate when a thunderstorm or lightning threatens the area. When lightning poses a threat, a notification to seek shelter will be broadcast over Giant Voice, warning guests to shelter immediately or limit exposure to the outdoors. Guests should remain in an indoor location until it has been determined that lightning is out of the area or no longer a threat.

USAFA Recreational Facilities
We're pleased to offer you and your family the opportunity to use USAF Academy facilities and suggest you keep the following information handy for your use during your visit to USAFA:

Falcon Club: Located on Academy Drive. Brunch is served on Sunday from 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. We recommend calling (719) 333-4253 for reservations. Coat and tie are not required; however, civilian attire must be in good taste (no blue jeans or shorts). The club will be closed on federal holidays.

Peregrine Pines FamCamp: A secluded recreational vehicle park in the pines with 105 campsites, each with a table, grill, electrical, water and sewer hookups. Other amenities include shower, laundry, restroom facilities and a small community facility. The camp is located just east of Stadium Blvd, one-half mile north of Falcon Stadium. Open year round. A dump station with water is available next to the camp. Call (719) 333-4980 for reservations and information. Parents of cadets may make reservations up to ninety days in advance.

Equestrian Center: Located in Pine Valley adjacent to Pike National Forest. Trail riding at the Equestrian Center is a real bargain. Not only are the rates unbeatable, you get access to many acres at the Academy as well as 44,000 acres of pristine wilderness in the adjoining Pike National Forest. Evening guided family rides, which are by reservation only, are limited to immediate family members of authorized military personnel. Hours: Mon–Sat, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Sun, 12:00 pm–5:00 p.m. For further information call (719) 333-4607.

Eisenhower Golf Course: Voted best golf course in the Department of Defense and best golf course in the Air Force. The Eisenhower Golf Course is the finest 36 holes of golf available in Colorado! The golf course entrance is located off Parade Loop. Cadets may reserve tee times for parents and family members by calling (719) 333-4735. Rental golf clubs and carts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the high altitude in Colorado, we recommend visitors consider using golf carts. Also, you're welcome to visit our golf pro shop and snack bar.

Farish Recreation Area: Would you like to see Mother Nature at her best? We offer alpine fishing, lodging, camping, mountain biking, paddle boating and miles of beautiful hiking trails. Advanced reservations for lodging are required. For additional information, call (719) 687-9098.

Indoor Pool: The indoor pool at the Base Fitness Sports Center will be open daily 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Guests must be escorted by authorized military members. For more information call (719) 333-4522.

Academy Bowling Center: Looking for some indoor exercise? Try our base bowling lanes, located at 5128 Cathedral Drive in the Community Center area. Also, try our famous charcoal burgers along with our snack bar specials. Hours: Mon–Thur, 9:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.; Fri–Sat, 9:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.; Sun, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. For further information call (719) 333-4709.

Barry Goldwater Visitor Center: Open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. The Visitor Center features electronic and photo displays on Academy history and cadet life, a 250-seat theater in which a 14-minute film on the Academy experience is shown every half hour, a gift shop, and a snack bar with indoor and outdoor seating. A one-third mile paved nature trail leads from the Visitor Center to the Cadet Chapel. The Visitor Center and Cadet Gift Shop at the Field House offer cadets and military members a 10 per cent discount on all regularly priced items.

Cadet Activities (Arnold Hall): Visit our various displays, exhibits and artwork honoring Air Force leaders, heroes and Air Force history.

Arnold Hall Cadet Treats: Balloons, mugs, Beast (Basic Cadet Training) and club T-shirts, party decorations, stuffed animals, treats and special gifts (south end of Arnold Hall). Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Falcon Gift Shop (Cadet Field House): A wonderful selection of Air Force Academy gifts and clothing. The Visitor Center and Cadet Gift Shop at the Field House offer cadets and military members a 10 per cent discount on all regularly priced items. Open during events at the Field House; please call 472-0102 for specific hours of operation.

Quick Reference Numbers:
Academy Bowling Lanes Snack Bar - (719) 333-4709
Academy Concerts Ticket Office, Arnold Hall - (719) 333-4497
Arnold Hall - (719) 333-2710
Arnold Hall Food Court (Godfather's Pizza, Subway, Polaris Perk Coffee Shop) - (719) 333-0664
Barry Goldwater Visitor Center And Gift Shop - (719) 472-0102
Base Operator / Information - (719) 333-1110
Cadet Chapel - (719) 333-2636
Childcare Center (Authorized Military Only) - (719) 333-6779
Community Center Chapel - (719) 333-3300
Equestrian Center - (719) 333-4607
Falcon Club - (719) 333-4253
Falcon Gift Shop, Cadet Field House - (719) 333-2484
Farish Recreation Area - (719) 687-9098
Field House Snack Bar - (719) 333-3321
Hap's Place Lounge, Arnold Hall - (719) 333-4690
Home Childcare (Civilians And Military) - (719) 333-7957
Peregrine Pines Family Campground - (719) 333-4980
Cadet Treats, Arnold Hall - (719) 333-4610 / 4622
Golf Course Snack Bar - (719) 333-2606
Visitor Center Snack Bar - (719) 472-0689

How to Contact Cadets
Arnold Hall is the cadet social center and a meeting place for cadets and their guests. During the hours of operation, a staff member or cadet will be available at the Arnold Hall Duty Station desk to assist you with information on scheduled events (open Mon-Sun, 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.). The telephone numbers are (719) 333-4701 or (719) 333-4790. The following is a list of cadet squadron telephone numbers to assist you in locating your cadet.

Please use the Cadet in Charge of Quarters (CCQ) number when calling a cadet. It can be very difficult to contact a cadet during the academic day. In most cases, you will have to leave a message for your cadet to return your call. If you must talk to a cadet (emergencies only), call the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) or the Commandant of Cadets Command Center at 333-2910.

Cadet Squadron Locations: Sijan Hall—Squadrons 24-40; Vandenberg Hall—Squadrons 1-23

Key for codes below: Vandy Tower (VT), Vandy Main (VM), Sijan Main (SM) and Sijan Tower (ST).

CCQ / AOC Phone
Dorm SQ
CCQ / AOC Phone
4534 / 8991
VT 11
4581 / 4539
4533 / 4537
VT 12
4448 / 4608
4640 / 4548
VT 13
4757 / 4758
4612 / 4541
VT 14
4759 / 4767
4535 / 4524
VT 15
4669 / 4668
4551 / 4532
VT 16
4675 / 4671
9994 / 4518
VT 17
4501 / 4785
4491 / 4550
VT 18
4777 / 4768
4574 / 4552
VM 19
4741 / 4751
4500 / 4569
VM 20
4712 / 6521
CCQ / AOC Phone
Dorm SQ
CCQ / AOC Phone
4666 / 4456
VM 31
3050 / 4474
4659 / 4594
VM 32
3052 / 4451
4529 / 4457
VM 33
4300 / 4604
4447 / 4559
SM 34
4304 / 4444
4695 / 4798
SM 35
4311 / 4606
6842 / 4766
SM 36
4306 / 4476
4660 / 4424
SM 37
0667 / 0337
4748 / 4408
SM 38
0668 / 0338
4717 / 1880
SM 39
0669 / 0339
4711 / 4465
SM 40
0670 / 0340

U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-1110 DSN: 333-1110, 10 Dec 16
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