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.
This is a vital and traditional step in the United States Air Force Academy experience. It is a ceremonial acknowledgment that the fourth-class has successfully met military training requirements and is prepared to continue the rigorous and rewarding Academy journey.
Recognition consists of several activities including a leadership course, an assault course and “The Run to the Rock.” In addition to challenging the fourth-class cadets, recognition provides the three upper classes with an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. Individual squadron ceremonies and a wing-wide celebratory evening meal mark the end of Recognition.