Institutional Awards recognize individuals or groups who set themselves apart through outstanding contributions in military operations or philanthropy. These graduates and members of the USAFA family show amazing dedication to their craft and to the Academy as an institution.
Each award recognizes a unique aspect of service, integrity and excellence:
Distinguished Service Award
The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) established the Air Force Academy Distinguished Service Award (DSA) in February 1999. Each year, the USAFA DSA is presented by the Superintendent to a military person, civilian, or group, whose contributions have had a distinct impact on the morale or well-being of the Air Force Academy. Any individual or group who has contributed significantly and directly to the morale or well-being of the Academy through the generous donation of time, resources, or influence is eligible.
Award selection is based on an individual’s or group’s accomplishments, which can be described as having had a long-term, positive effect on the morale or well-being of the Academy. Former military and civilian employees are eligible upon termination of employment from the Air Force Academy. However, the USAFA DSA is intended to recognize those individuals who contribute not as part of their official duty but through their personal generosity and dedication to the institution. Personnel currently assigned to the Academy can be considered for the award so long as their contributions were performed outside of their official duties.
Year Recipient 1999 Colorado Springs Citizens Committee
Lieutenant General (Retired) A. P. Clark
2000 Mr. Harold U. Littrell 2001 Brigadier General (Retired) Philip J. Erdle 2002 The Olmsted Foundation 2003 Colonel (Retired) Joseph and Doctor Dorothy Moller 2004 No Award Presented 2005 Major General (Retired) William Lyon 2006 Academy Top 3 2007 Brigadier General (Retired) Malham M. Wakin 2008 General (Retired) James P. McCarthy 2009 Mr. A. Bart Holaday ’65 2010 Lieutenant General (Retired) Benjamin N. Bellis ’85 2011 Colonel (Retired) Jock C. H. Schwank ’60 2012 Mr. Edward E. “Ted” Legasey ’67 2013 Dr. Jimmy Covey ’68 2014 Mr. John M. Fox ’63 2015 The Air Force Academy Foundation 2016 No award Presented 2017 Mr. Carl A. Janssen, Jr. ’68 2018 Class of 1970 Gift Committee (aka, the ’70 Heritage Committee)
- Brigadier General (Retired) Curtis Emery II ’70
- Colonel (Retired) Gary Dahlen ’70
- Colonel (Retired) Richard Rauschkolb ’70
- Colonel (Retired) Michael Torreano ’70
2019 General (Retired) John Lorber ’64 2020 Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Garry W. Dudley ’68
Colonel James Jabara Airmanship Award
The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in conjunction with the Jabara Family and the USAFA AOG established the Colonel James Jabara Airmanship Award in January 1967. Each year the award is presented by the Superintendent and AOG to an active duty USAFA graduate whose airmanship contributions are of such significance as to set them apart from their contemporaries. Each major command (MAJCOM), field operating agency (FOA)–to include National Guard and the Reserve, and direct reporting unit (DRU) may submit one nomination for the award. Retired or separated graduates may be considered and should be nominated by corporate, civilian, government, or other organizations, as appropriate.
Award selection is based on airmanship contributions that are of such significance as to set the performer apart from their contemporaries. The definition of airmanship includes feats of aircrew members, as well as exceptional contributions with respect to design, production, or testing of an aerospace vehicle or its subsystems. Nominations will fall into one of the following categories:
- An individual heroic act.
- Sustained superior performance over a period of time. In this category, nominations may cover a broad spectrum ranging from crewmembers of an aerospace vehicle mission to an engineer or manager associated with the development of an aerospace vehicle.
Past Jabara Award Winners:
Year Recipient Description 1968 Capt Donald D. Stevens, ‘60 Southeast Asia 1969 Maj Terry R. Jorris, ‘61 Space Sextant (Aerospace Research) * Lt Karl W. Richter, ‘64 Southeast Asia 1970 Capt (Ret) Wayne A. Warner, ’63 Southeast Asia 1971 Capt Neil B. Crist, ‘66 Southeast Asia 1972 Maj Richard S. Ritchie, ‘64 Southeast Asia 1973 Capt Dale E. Stovall, ‘67 SEA/Helicopter Rescue 1974 *Maj Robert A. Lodge, ‘64 Southeast Asia 1975 **Capt Donald R. Backlund, ‘71
Capt Ronald T. Rand, ‘71
Mayaguez Rescue (Pilot)
Mayaguez Rescue (Photographer)
1976 **LtCol Michael V. Love, ‘60 Test Pilot 1977 Maj Roger E. Carleton, ‘67 A-10 T & E 1978 LtCol (Dr) Wayne F. Kendall, ‘60 F-15/F-16 Canopy Loss 1979 Maj Mart H. Bushnell, ‘64 F-15 & AIM-7F Sparrow Missile Improvements 1980 Col Thomas A. LaPlante, ‘61 Excellence in System Management 1981 Capt William T. Gillin, ‘73 Dutch Liner Rescue 1982 LtCol Robert L. Brenci, ‘63 Iran Hostage Rescue Attempt 1983 Col Karol J. Bobko, ‘59
Maj Neal D. Coyle, ‘72
Maiden Voyage of Challenger
B-52 In-flight Emergency
1984 Capt Michael P. Davis, ‘78 Grenada Rescue 1985 Col James N. Allburn, ‘63 X-29 Program 1986 Maj Larry E. Faber, ‘73 Save TR-1 w/ Engine Failure 1987 Capt James A. Trinka, ‘78 Save F-16 w/ Engine Failure 1988 Maj Marc D. Felman, ‘76
Capt Thomas M. Ferguson, ‘81
KC-10 Mission over Atlantic
KC-10 Mission over Atlantic
1989 LtCol Robert H. Schnick, ‘72 F-16 Test Pilot for LANTIRN 1990 Capt Francis R. Gabreski, ‘81 Tactics Validation / Panama 1991 Capt William F. Andrews, ‘80 Desert Storm / F-16 Heroic Act 1992 Maj Corby L. Martin, ‘80 Desert Shield / Desert Storm 1993 Maj Ali C. Frolich, ‘80 Desert Shield / Desert Storm 1994 LtCol James A. Sills, ‘74 Iceland Rescue 1995 Capt Harold E. Waters, ‘85 RC-135 In-flight Emergency 1996 LtCol Robert P. Donnelly, Jr, ‘77 Flatyeri, Iceland Rescue 1997 LtCol David J. Scott, ‘78 F-16 Tactics Development / Leadership 1998 Capt Daniel E. Flynn, ‘91 Special Operations Excellence 2000 Maj James L. Cardoso, ‘88 Operation Allied Force, Rescue 2001 Maj Julian M. Chesnutt, ‘89 Operation Allied Force, Fighter Ops 2002 Maj Henry C. Thompson, ‘87 Operation Allied Force/Northern Watch 2003 Capt Leighton T. Anderson, Jr., ‘92
Capt Edward J. Lengel, ‘92
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
2004 Maj Jason L. Hanover, ‘92 AFSOC; MC-130H; OEF and OIF 2005 Lt Col Keith D. Schultz, ‘79 B-52 flight, weapon system development 2006 Maj John E. Vargas Jr., ‘96 USAFE, F-16, OIF, OEF 2008 Capt Jonathan W. Graham, ’99 AETC, Operation Iraqi Freedom MH-53 2009 Capt Travis A. Burton, ’00
Mr. Chesley B. Sullenberger, ’73
USAFE, A-10 Pilot OEF
US Airways Pilot, Hudson River Landing
2010 Capt Prichard R. Keely, 04 ACC, F-15E Weapon Systems Officer 2011 Capt Michal P. Polidor, ’04 Global Strike Command, F-15E Pilot 2012 Capt Joseph A. Hext, ’02 USAFE, Op Enduring Freedom, A-10 Pilot 2013 Capt Christopher D. McConnell, ’05 Op Odyssey Dawn (Libya), B-1 2014 Capt Charles C. Napier, ’06 HH-60G Rescue in Afghanistan 2015 Capt Kyle L. Babbitt, ’08 ACC, A-10 C pilot, OEF 2016 Maj Matthew J. Kuta, ‘05 Afghanistan, F-15E Pilot 2017 Capt Brian R. Guyette, ‘08 Syria, B-1 Instructor Pilot 2018 Maj Marc P. Catalano ’06 Irag, Operation Inherent Resolve & Resolute Support, AC-130U Pilot 2019 Col Tyler N. Hague ’98
Maj Caitlin T. Reilly ‘ 07
Operations: Inherent Resolve, Freedom’s Sentinel, & Resolute Support
2020 Capt Alexander E. Boules, ’15 A-10, Afghanistan
Distinguished Graduate Award
The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and the USAFA Association of Graduates (AOG) have established the Distinguished Graduate Award. Each year the award is presented by the Superintendent (HQ USAFA/CC) and the Chairman of the AOG to a USAFA graduate(s), whose lifetime of achievement is of such significance as to set them apart from their contemporaries. More than one individual may be selected during a particular year. The purpose of the award is to:
- Recognize outstanding performance by graduates who have demonstrated a lifetime of exceptional service to the Nation.
- Favorably promote the Air Force Academy and its graduates. Promote and increase awareness of graduate heritage among alumni, cadets, parents, and friends of the Air force Academy.
Award selection is based on a lifetime of achievement that is of such significance as to set the individual apart from their contemporaries. The Award will not be given to individuals who occupy, or are candidates for, elective office, or who are still on active duty. Individuals must be alive and agree to accept the Award at the Air Force Academy whenever possible. Posthumous nominations will only be considered in rare instances.
Year Recipient 2001 (Ret.) Ronald Fogleman ’63
Mr. Harry J. Pearce, ’64
2002 Paul G. Kaminski ’64
Gen. (Ret.) Robert C. Oaks ’59
2003 Gen. (Ret.) Bradley C. Hosmer ’59
Mr. Richard T. Schlosberg ’65
2004 (Ret.) Frederick Gregory ’64
Gen. (Ret.) Ronald W. Yates ’60
2005 (Ret.) H.T. Johnson ’59
Gen. (Ret.) Michael E. Ryan ’65
2006 Gen. (Ret.) Robert D. Beckel ’59
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Edward J. Mechenbier ’64
2007 Gen. (Ret.) Ervin Rokke ’62
Gregg Popovich ’70
2008 Gen. (Ret.) Donald Shepperd ’62
Mr. John Martinson ’70
2009 (Ret.) John Michael Loh ’60
Honorable Heather A. Wilson ’82
2010 Max F. James ’64
Gen. (Ret.) Ralph E.Eberhart ’68
2011 Gen. (Ret.) Ruben A. Cubero ’61
Mr. Richard D. McConn ’66
2012 Gen. (Ret.) Marcus A. Anderson ’61
Mr. Edward E. “Ted” Legasey ’67
2013 A. Bart Holaday ’65
Gen. (Ret) William R. “Bill” Looney III ’72
2014 Thomas J. Eller ’61
Gen. (Ret.) Kevin P. Chilton ’76
2015 (Ret.) Gregory “Speedy” Martin ’70
Paul Madera ’78
2016 (Ret.) George Lee Butler ’61
Gen. (Ret.) Charles R. Holland ’68
Mr. R. David Yost ’69
Col. (Ret.) Gary E. Payton ’71
2017 John Fox ’63
T. Allan McArtor ’64
Gen. (Ret.) Steve Lorenz ’73
2018 Gen. (Ret.) Edward R. Jayne II ’66
Col. (Ret.) Dr. H. Michael Lambert ’70
Gen. (Ret.) Mark A. Welsh III ’76
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) John C. Inglis ’76
2019 (Ret.) Leslie Denend ’63
Mr. Fletcher “Flash” Wiley ’65
Gen. (Ret.) Norton “Norty” Schwartz ’73
Gen. (Ret.) Edward Rice Jr. ’78
Mr. John “Jack” Kucera ’78
Sullenberger Award for Courage
The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and the USAFA Association of Graduates (AOG) have established the Sullenberger Distinguished Achievement Award through a Memorandum of Agreement. The Superintendent (HQ USAFA/CC) and the Chairman of the AOG to a USAFA graduate(s), whose singular act of achievement is of such significance as to set them apart from their contemporaries. More than one individual may be selected during a particular year.
Award selection is based on a singular achievement or a series of events within a short duration of time, which is of such significance as to set the individual apart from contemporaries. Individuals must be alive and agree to accept the Award at the Air Force Academy when possible. Posthumous nominations will only be considered in rare instances. The criteria for the award is the following:
- Exemplary performance during a singular act, or series of events within a short duration of time, where the individual demonstrated an achievement well exceeding the expectations for that period of time.
- Incident exemplifies the Academy core values of – service before self, excellence in all we do, and integrity.
- Act of bravery can occur during a military, civilian, business sector, or community related event
- The incident reflects positively on the Academy and is correlated to the training provided by the Academy.
- Open to all AFA graduates from any class year.
Past Sullenberger Award Winners
This award was established in 2020 and will be awarded for the first time in 2021
Wakin Character and Leadership Development Award
The USAFA Malham M. Wakin Character and Leadership Development Award offers the institution an official means of recognizing a current or former USAFA permanent party member who has fostered character and leadership development consistent with the Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD) conceptual framework by living honorably, lifting others to their best possible self and elevating performance to a noble and common purpose during the current calendar year, 1 January-31 December.
The award honors Brigadier General Malham M. Wakin, USAF, Retired, who served as Vice-Dean and as head of the Philosophy and Fine Arts Department at USAFA from 1959 – 1995.
Year Recipient 1998 Lt Gen Bradley C. Hosmer ’59 1999 Brig Gen Ruben A. Cubero ’61 2000 USAFA Prep School 2001 C1C Catherine Adams 2002 Dr. Martin Carlisle, DFCS 2003 Lt Col Mark McGeehan ’78
C1C Patrick McGeehan ’03
C1C Brian Smolensky ’03
2004 USAFA Response Team 2005 Professor Howard Eggers 2006 Mr. Phillip Gronseth ’75 2007 Coach Fisher DeBerry 2008 Lt Col Vicki Rast ’88 2009 Maj James Thompson 2010 Lt Col Brian Huntley ’88 2011 Col (Ret) Steven A. Shambach 2012 Lt Col Ryan K. Osteroos ’94 2013 Capt Seth G. Ostlund 2014 Maj Christina D. Vile 2015 Dr. Robert “Jef” Jackson 2016 Col Jennifer Block ’92 2017 Col (Ret) Tom Berry ’71 2018 Lt Col Camilo Guerrero ’96 2019 Maj Keturah Onukwuli 2020 Ms. Gina “Nikki” Mench ’02
Cadet awards recognize cadets for their military, academic, and athletic performance. They are offered for their motivational and inspirational value to all cadets who may one day be called upon to defend our great nation. Organizational awards are designed to recognize cadet units for outstanding achievement in academics, military training, athletics, and extracurricular activities. The awards consist of a trophy, engraved plaque and a guidon streamer for the winning units.
Each year, through the generosity of our sponsors, the Academy presents the following awards:
Academic awards reward outstanding achievement in each of the four academic divisions.
Award Winner Class Sq In Memory of Donor Outstanding Cadet in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Grant R. Steffens 2020 4 in memory of Captain Mark Patrick McCarthy (Class of 1985) General James P. McCarthy, USAF, Retired and Mrs. Alice McCarthy Outstanding Cadet in Basic Sciences Patrick M. Gresham 2020 39 in memory of Lieutenant General Claire L. Chennault Outstanding Cadet in Engineering Zachary K. Bailey 2020 40 Mr Allan Hunt (Class of 1969) Outstanding Cadet in Humanities Lawrence J. King 2020 35 in memory of Lieutenant General Barton K. Yount Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy Outstanding Cadet in Social Sciences Kyle D. Johnson 2020 1 in memory of General Joseph R. Holzapple Outstanding Cadet in Academic Performance Zachary K. Bailey 2020 40 in memory of Brigadier General Robert F. McDermott, USAF, Retired The American Legion Outstanding Cadet in Aeronautical Engineering John M. Wirth 2020 10 in memory of Captain Zoltan J. Tober, Jr. (Class of 1965) Outstanding Cadet in Astronautical Engineering Patrick M. Gresham 2020 39 in memory of Dr. John von Neumann Brig Gen (Ret) Robert B. Giffen (Class of 1965) Outstanding Cadet in Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Christabel J. Chai 2020 9 in memory of Captain Richard D. Chorlins (Class of 1967) National Ladies’ Auxiliary Jewish War Veterans of the U.S. Outstanding Cadet in Biology Christen L. Dahl 2020 9 in memory of members of the 384th Bomb Group who served from 1942 to 1945 384th Bomb Group, Inc. Outstanding Cadet in Chemistry Kyle R. Cox 2020 7 in memory of Captain Edward E. Barrow National Society Daughters of the American Colonists Outstanding Cadet in Civil Engineering Randall A. Pietersen 2020 1 in honor of Major General Eugene A. Lupia, USAF, Retired (Class of 1967) and in memory of First Lieutenant George W. Kamenicky (Class of 1969) New York City Post of the Society of American Military Engineers Outstanding Cadet in Communications Timothy M. DeFazio 2020 15 in honor of General Richard L. Lawson, USAF, Retired Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy Outstanding Cadet in Cyber Science Tricia D. Dang 2020 31 The Honorable Michael W. Wynne, former Secretary of the Air Force Outstanding Cadet in Computer Science Katherine M. Scheibner 2020 22 in memory of Captain Dean W. Gonzalez (Class of 1980) USAFA DFCS Faculty Alumni Outstanding Cadet in Eastern Language Minor Tara M. DeGeorge 2020 39 in memory of General James H. Doolittle National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century Outstanding Cadet in Economics Eve M. Fowler 2020 13 in memory of Major Arthur L. Moxon (Class of 1968) Outstanding Cadet in English William P. Newman 2020 6 in honor of Brigadier General Peter R. Moody, USAF, Retired Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Outstanding Cadet in Foreign Area Studies Marcus J. Amico 2020 24 in honor of Brigadier General Ruben A. Cubero, USAF, Retired (Class of 1961) The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Outstanding Cadet in Geospatial Science Justin J. Weber 2020 21 in memory Of Brigadier General Robert F. McDermott, USAF, Retired United Services Automobile Association, Mountain States Region Outstanding Cadet in History Lawrence J. King 2020 35 in memory of Lieutenant General Frank M. Andrews Zebulon Pike Chapter, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Cadet in Humanities (Major) Zachary A. Bradley 2020 18 Outstanding Cadet in Intercollegiate Speech Competition Connor J. Golden 2020 22 in memory of First Lieutenant Roger F. Stringer (Class of 1961) Family of Classmates of First Lieutenant Roger F. Stringer Outstanding Cadet in Legal Studies Matthew A. Pryor 2020 7 in memory of Brigadier General Marcos E. Kinevan, USAF, Retired Outstanding Cadet in Management Kyle D. Johnson 2020 1 in memory of Colonel Frank T. Birk (Class of 1968) Outstanding Cadet in Mathematics Jordan L Armstrong 2020 1 in memory of Dr. Robert H. Goddard Brigadier General (Ret) and Mrs. John Andrew Outstanding Cadet in Meteorology Raily C. Blankley 2020 22 Outstanding Cadet in Military History Timothy M. DeFazio 2020 15 in memory of Major Richard Ira Bong the family of the late Colonel Robert S. Lawson Outstanding Cadet in Military and Strategic Studies Jessica C. Ojala 2020 28 in memory of Major General Lucas V. Beau and Brigadier General William (Billy) Mitchell Civil Air Patrol Outstanding Cadet in National Security Studies Marshall D. Foster 2020 29 in memory of Joseph J. Kruzel, Jr. (Class of 1967) and Colonel S. Nelson Drew National Society United States Daughters of 1812 Outstanding Cadet in Computer Engineering Award Dustin Y. Priaulx 2020 11 Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter Outstanding Cadet in Electrical Engineering Award Michael G. Geraghty 2020 35 in memory of Captain Park G. Bunker (Class of 1963) Congressional Medal of Honor Society Outstanding Cadet in Mechanical Engineering Award Zachary K. Bailey 2020 40 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Cadet in Systems Engineering Award Benjamin S. Jury 2020 25 Air Force Association, Colorado Outstanding Cadet in Philosophy Anna I. Nicholson 2020 18 in memory of Major Fred A. Brockway Colonel James Cook and Mrs. Dörte Cook Outstanding Cadet in Physics Jefferson B. Sesler 2020 33 in memory of Major General George O. Squier The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America Outstanding Cadet in Political Science Graham M. Kennis 2020 27 in memory of Captain Richard T. Carvolth III National Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America Outstanding Cadet in Space Operations Nicholas J. Baietto 2020 31 in memory of Lieutenant Colonel Robert C. Rounding Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States, National Commandery The Brigadier General John M. Andrew Award for the Outstanding Cadet in Operations Research Ignacio A. Lara 2020 21 Military and Security Applications Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Outstanding Cadet in Western Language Minor Mackenzie M. Nickle 2020 38 in memory of Major G. Raoul Lufbery Military Order of the World Wars, National Headquarters
Military awards recognize the highest standards of leadership, character development, and military scholarship.
Award Winner Class Sq In Memory of Donor Outstanding Group Award Cadet Group 3 Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy Outstanding Squadron Award Cadet Squadron 16 Air Force Association Drill and Ceremonies Competition Squadron Award Cadet Squadron 18 in memory of United States Ambassador Laurence A. Steinhardt and Squadron Leader Allan A. Sherlock, Royal Canadian Air Force Ms. Laurene Ann Sherlock and Mr. Victor A. Sherlock Military Proficiency Squadron Award Cadet Squadron 16 in memory of Colonel John H. Fowler, Jr. Air Force Space Command Core Values Squadron Award No Winner for 2020 Airlift Tanker Association Academic Achievement Squadron Award Cadet Squadron 21 Air Education and Training Command Leadership and Scholarship Squadron AwardCadet Squadron 16 Air Force Academy Foundation Outstanding Cadet Summer Wing Commander Award Cheyenne M. Krampitz 2020 21 Aviators’ Post No. 743, American Legion Outstanding Cadet Fall Wing Commander Award Bryant K. Ashe 2020 39 in memory of Captain Herbert A. Adamson (Class of 1959) Aviators’ Post No. 743, American Legion Outstanding Cadet Spring Wing Commander Award Haeley M. Deeney 2020 10 in memory of General of the Air Force Henry H. (Hap) Arnold Aviators’ Post No. 743, American Legion Outstanding Cadet Group Commander Award Sarah R. Stinson 2020 30 in memory of Major General Oscar Westover The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary Outstanding Cadet Squadron Commander Award Katherine A. Emanuel 2020 16 in memory of General Hoyt S. Vandenberg McCormick and Company Outstanding Cadet Flight Commander Award Olivia G. Gillingham 2020 34 Military Affairs Council of the Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corporation Outstanding Cadet Who Best Exemplifies the Highest Ideals of Loyalty, Integrity and Courage Award Michael A. Fantini Jr. 2020 6 Honor Chairperson Award Youssef A. Abubarker 2020 26 in memory of Second Lieutenant John C. K. Milligan (Class of 1959) and First Lieutenant Beverly S. Parrish, Jr. The Family of Second Lieutenant John C.K. Milligan Outstanding Cadet in Character Award Madeleine W. Morlino 2020 7 in honor of Coach Fisher DeBerry Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy Outstanding Cadet in Citizenship Award Lindsey K. Blanks 2020 32 Rotary Club of the Garden of the Gods Outstanding Cadet in Military Performance Award Justin D. Bowen 2020 40 in memory of General Walter C. Sweeney, Jr. (Class of 1959) Reverend Walter C. Sweeney, III Outstanding Cadet in the Order of Graduation Award Zachary K. Bailey 2020 40 in memory of Lieutenant Generals Millard F.Harmon and Hubert R. Harmon The Order of Daedalians
These top awards recognize the first class cadets who excel in various aspects of airmanship including soaring, parachuting, powered flight, and navigation. Selection is based upon the advice of the 306th Flying Training Group Commander and staff and considers leadership and skill performance during jumps or flights as well as total number of jumps or flights.
Award Winner Class Sq In Memory of Donor Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award Michael H. Cloninger 2020 35 Mr. Kimbrough Bassett Outstanding Cadet in Parachuting Award Stephen M. Rumsey 2020 36 in memory of Peter A. Johnston (Class of 1966) The Class of 1966 Outstanding Cadet in Powered Flight Award Scott P. Culbreth 2021 9 Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia Outstanding Cadet in Soaring Award Matthew C. Jackson 2020 32 in memory of former Air Force Chief of Staff, General John P. McConnell Outstanding Flying Team Cadet Alex C. Brown 2020 15
The tapping ceremony typically occurs each year during graduation week. Honorees in these categories are recognized with a permanently affixed nameplate in the Arnold Hall ballroom.
Award Winner Class Sq In Memory of Donor Outstanding Cadet, United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School Graduate Award Graham M. Kennis 2020 27 USAFA Preparatory School Commanders Outstanding Former Regular Enlisted Cadet Graduating with Highest Class Honors Award Justin D. Bowen 2020 40 in memory of Master Sergeant James D. Horner National Society Dames of the Court of Honor Outstanding Former Falcon Scholar Graduating with Highest Class Honors Award Dylan W. Zorn 2020 24 in memory of Major General Robert J. Smith The Falcon Foundation 100 Year Honor Roll (Top Graduate) Zachary K. Bailey 2020 40 in memory of Lieutenant Generals Millard F. Harmon and Hubert R. Harmon The Order of Daedalians Civil Air Patrol Award Katherine A. Emanuel 2020 16 Civil Air Patrol
Athletic awards are awarded to cadets who demonstrate superior athletic achievement and leadership abilities.
Award Winner Class Sq In Memory of Donor Intercollegiate Athletics Squadron Award Squadron 19 Intramural Athletics Squadron Award Squadron 23 United Services Automobile Association, Mountain States Region Athletic Excellence Squadron Award Squadron 14 Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy Most Valuable Athlete Award (Men) Michael W. Rhoads 2020 16 in memory of Colonel John J. Clune, United States Air Force Academy Athletic Director, 1975-1991 United States Air Force Academy Admissions Liaison Officers Most Valuable Athlete Award (Women) Tamara J. Fumagalli 2020 9 in memory of Colonel John J. Clune, United States Air Force Academy Athletic Director, 1975-1991 United States Air Force Academy Colorado Parents’ Club Outstanding Cadet, Athletic Achievement Award Lavelle D. Scottie 2020 12 in memory of Major Jack Schwall, USAF, Retired Lieutenant Colonel Franklin D. Roth, USAF, Retired and Mrs. Rolene Roth; Major Benjamin D. Roth and Mrs. Sarah Roth Outstanding Cadet, Athletic Excellence Award Leanne Singleton-Comfort 2020 34 in memory of First Lieutenant Dale A. Walters (Class of 1982) Outstanding Cadet, Athletic Leadership Award Isaiah J. Sanders 2020 21 in memory of First Lieutenant Michael J. Mark (Class of 1975) family and friends of First Lieutenant Michael J. Mark (Class of 23%5) Outstanding Cadet, Scholar-Athlete Award Kyle D. Johnson 2020 1 in memory of General Edwin W. Rawlings Most Valuable Baseball Player Award William A. Easley 2020 25 in memory of Captain Valmore W. Bourque (Class of 1960) Ms. Donda Foran Thomasson Most Valuable Basketball Player Award (Men) Lavelle D. Scottie 2020 12 Lt Col (Ret) Steven A. Simon and Lt Col (Ret) Paula S. Simon Most Valuable Basketball Player Award (Women) Kaelin Immel 2021 10 Women Air Force Service Pilots of World War II Most Valuable Cadet in Boxing Excellence Award Devon W. Smith 2020 18 Rampart Chapter, Association of Graduates Most Valuable Cadet in Marksmanship Award (Rifle) Peter M. Fiori 2022 37 in honor of the United States Air Force Academy Purple Heart Recipients Most Valuable Cheerleader Award Moira E. Huftalen 2020 20 Most Valuable Cross Country Runner Award (Men) Justin J. Weber 2020 21 United Services Automobile Association, Mountain States Region Most Valuable Cross Country Runner Award (Women) Teresa E. Brady 2020 14 American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters Most Valuable Diver Award Cole T. Armagost 2021 39 Most Valuable Fencer Award (Men) Nestor R. Levin 2022 36 in memory of Captain Harlow L. Halbower (Class of 1959) and First Lieutenant John P. Skoro, Jr. (Class of 1963) Most Valuable Fencer Award (Women) Leanne Singleton-Comfort 2020 34 in memory of Mr. Edwin L. Purdy Most Valuable Football Defensive Player Award Kyle D. Johnson 2020 1 Most Valuable Football Lineman or Special Teams Player Award Jake Koehnke 2020 40 Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy Most Valuable Football Offensive Player Award Scott F. Hattok 2020 10 in memory of Captain Martin S. Bezyack Colonel (ret) David C. Geuting and Master Sergeant Janice R. Geuting Most Valuable Football Player Award Mosese F. Fifita 2020 39 AFA Quarterback Club of Denver Most Valuable Golfer Award (Men) Joseph R. Crisostomo 2020 8 Brigadier General (Ret) John Andrew Most Valuable Gymnast Award (Men) Preston Z. Pollen 2021 31 in memory of Mr. Jasper D. Ackerman Most Valuable Gymnast Award (Women) Anna J. Salamone 2020 34 in memory of Lieutenant Colonel Karolen K. Fahrni (Class of 1985) Ms. Kimberly Davis Most Valuable Ice Hockey Player Award Alex M. Schilling 2022 13 in memory of First Lieutenant Hal K. Henderson (Class of 1967) Mrs. Margo Henderson and Ms. Lisa Marie Henderson Nelson Most Valuable Lacrosse Player Award Braden J. Host 2021 32 in memory of First Lieutenant Michael L. Sands (Class of 1971) Most Valuable Soccer Player (Women) Alexandra Romero 2023 31 in memory of Second Lieutenant Gary K. Davis (Class of 1969) Lt Col (Ret) Carl A. Janssen, Jr. and Mrs. Janssen Most Valuable Soccer Player Award (Men) Tristan N. Trager 2022 34 United States Air Force Academy Colorado Parents’ Club Most Valuable Swimmer Award (Men) Zachery C. Nelson 2020 19 in memory of Captain Bryan A. Rye (Class of 1971) Lt Col (Ret) William M. Griffith (Class of 1969) Most Valuable Swimmer Award (Women) Heidi J. Schellin 2020 32 Most Valuable Tennis Player Award (Men) Mack G. Galvin 2020 12 in memory of Lieutenant General Francis C. Gideon, USAF Most Valuable Tennis Player Award (Women) Tamara J. Fumagalli 2020 9 Mr. Kimbrough Bassett Most Valuable Track and Field Athlete Award (Men) Michael W. Rhoads 2020 16 in memory of Brigadier General James V. G. Wilson The Wilson Family and Friends Most Valuable Track and Field Athlete Award (Women) Maria C. Mettler 2021 3 in memory of Lieutenant General Claire L. Chennault Most Valuable Track and Field Competitor Award (Men) Connor W. Stevens 2020 13 in memory of Mr. Arne U. Arnesen Most Valuable Track and Field Competitor Award (Women) Mahala N. Norris 2021 15 in memory of Lieutenant General Claire L. Chennault Most Valuable Volleyball Player Award Miranda N. Ahlers 2021 21 United Services Automobile Association, Mountain States Region Most Valuable Water Polo Player Award Campbell P. Harris 2021 12 Lieutenant Colonel Jeffery Heidmous (Class of 23%7), USAF, Retired, and Mrs. Heidmous Most Valuable Wrestler Award Randy C. Meneweather II 2020 10 in memory of First Lieutenant Richard N. Christy II (Class of 1970) Colonel Terry R. Silvester, USAF, Retired (Class of 1970) and Mrs. Janet Christy Silvester Physical Education Average Jestyn A. Roberts 2020 27 in memory of Lt Col Paul Edward Bickle (Class of 1970) Outstanding Cadet in Physical Education Matthew R. Lovetri 2020 7 in memory of Captain Dean G. Crowell (Class of 1964)
This award honors 1st Lt. Roslyn ‘Roz’ Littmann Schulte, the first female Air Force Academy graduate to be killed in action in the war on terror. It has been awarded since 2010 to recognize an outstanding cadet first class who embodies “impeccable character, unwavering leadership and spirit of service.”
Award Cadet Class Sq In Memory of Donor Winner McKenna G. Cox 2020 15 in memory of 1st Lt. Roslyn Schulte Sponsored by the Center for Character and Leadership Development and the Schulte family Runner-Up Mackenzie L. Claeys 2020 18 Runner-Up Mary E. Hood 2020 38