Graduation Week is traditionally comprised of many activities and events across the U.S. Air Force Academy. Cadets and their guests take part in receptions, awards ceremonies, baccalaureate services, concerts, parades, air demonstrations, and commissioning ceremonies. The week culminates at Falcon Stadium with the iconic graduation ceremony. Commencement speakers often include the President of the United States, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Air Force and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the close of the ceremony, cadets are dismissed and ceremoniously toss their caps into the air. Cheers and celebration are quickly silenced by the roar of the legendary Thunderbirds flying overhead to honor the graduating class.
The Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony took place Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at Falcon Stadium. The 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, served as the commencement speaker. For a list of graduation week events, click here.
Highlights from the Class of 2021
Graduation Ceremony Video
On May 26, 2021, 1,019 newly commissioned Second Lieutenants took the Oath of Office to begin their careers with U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. To watch the iconic ceremony from beginning to end, click here.
Graduation Ceremony Pictures
Our team of professional photographers captured hundreds of pictures from Falcon Stadium that are high resolution and free to download. To save to your device, select each individual picture and click the down arrow icon located in the bottom right corner and then select the preferred size. To view pictures from the event, click here.
How to Prepare
- The U.S. Air Force Academy is committed to the health and safety of our visitors and requires everyone on Academy grounds to follow Federal, Department of Defense, state, and local COVID guidelines while on the military installation. Your expected cooperation and strict adherence to these policies is what has made it possible to hold Graduation 2021 in person.
- In support of updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines released on May 13, guests who are fully vaccinated (at least two weeks beyond their final dose) are not required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors at Department of Defense facilities. Guests who are not fully vaccinated must wear masks. All guests (fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated) must wear masks when on federal transportation, to include base shuttle buses. Cloth masks that comply with CDC guidelines must cover the nose and mouth, and be worn continually except for brief periods of time when eating and drinking. This policy is in effect indoors and outdoors, including at Falcon Stadium, and will be strictly enforced. For guests who cannot tolerate a cloth mask due to a medical condition, a face shield is an acceptable alternative.
- Visit the State of Colorado COVID-19 website for more information on state mask guidance.
USAFA is not open to the public due to the ongoing COVID pandemic and public health emergency but will be open to guests of the Class of 2021 with a graduation ticket. Each cadet in the Class of 2021 will be permitted eight (8) tickets for the Graduation Ceremony in Falcon Stadium on 26 May, 2021. These tickets will serve as base access during graduation week. All guests must show a government-issued ID and a digital Graduation 2021 ticket to gain entry. Digital tickets will be sent to all graduating cadets no later than May 14, 2021 for distribution. If you have not received your ticket, please contact your cadet.
Cadet Area Access
Access to the Cadet Area (Terrazzo, dormitories, academic departments, and athletic facilities) will be limited to guests with wristbands on Tuesday, May 25 from 10:00am – 4:30pm. Guests who are accompanying their Cadet to an awards ceremony or a commissioning ceremony inside the Cadet Area are exempt from this restriction. Please note that transportation to the Cadet Area will be unavailable during these hours.
- Security Procedures
- Graduation Stadium and Parade Field Policy
- Dress Codes
- Handicapped and Hearing Impaired Guests
- Graduation Week Maps