United States Air Force Academy

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FLY, FIGHT, WIN

The Traditions of the Air Force Academy

From the moment they step foot on campus for in-processing, to the day the toss their caps in the air at graduation, a cadet’s experience at the United States Air Force Academy is steeped with pride and tradition.

Being a Falcon is about more than marathon study sessions and grueling military training. Before cadets fly off into the wild blue yonder, they’ll feel the pride in their chest as they march with the Cadet Wing for the first time, they’ll bond with teammates as they yell the “Falcon Fight” at the top of their lungs and they’ll swill a glass of champagne to find their coveted class ring at the bottom. See how our traditions create bonds among cadets and among the entire Falcon Nation.

A PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER
ACCEPTANCE

The end of Basic Cadet Training (BCT) is marked by the Acceptance Parade. During this event, cadets receive their fourth-class shoulder boards to recognize completing BCT and to signify their acceptance into the Cadet Wing.

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CONTINUING THE JOURNEY
RECOGNITION

Recognition is the formal three-day finale of the fourth-class year (the freshman year at traditional universities) when the cadets are “recognized” as upper-class cadets and are allowed to wear the Prop and Wings insignia on their flight caps.

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FAMILY CONNECTION
PARENTS WEEKEND

At the United States Air Force Academy, Parents Weekend is an exciting opportunity for cadets to connect with their family—showcasing the Academy’s facilities and the new life cadets lead on base. Parents Weekend is held over Labor Day weekend, providing families with an extended weekend to reunite.

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THE ADVENTURE IS JUST BEGINNING
GRADUATION

After four years of hard work and thorough preparation to become commissioned officers in the United States Air Force, Graduation Week is an exciting time for cadets, family and friends. The entire week is infused with tradition and honor. Activities start with Preparatory School Graduation and Baccalaureate Services.

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TOASTING TO TRADITION
CLASS RINGS & RING DANCE

The United States Air Force Academy is the only service academy to have had class rings for every class since its founding. Air Force Academy rings are also unique because they are made with white gold, instead of the yellow gold used at other service academies.

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