United States Air Force Academy

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The Best and the Brightest

Notable Grads

Hero of Vietnam

Lance Sijan


The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual in the Armed Services of the United States. Lance Peter Sijan, USAFA Class of 1965 is the only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient alumni of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

While on a flight over North Vietnam, Capt. Sijan ejected from his disabled aircraft and successfully evaded capture for more than 6 weeks. During this time, he was seriously injured and suffered from shock and extreme weight loss due to lack of food. After being captured by North Vietnamese soldiers, Capt. Sijan was taken to a holding point for subsequent transfer to a prisoner of war camp. In his emaciated and crippled condition, he overpowered 1 of his guards and crawled into the jungle, only to be recaptured after several hours. He was then transferred to another prison camp where he was kept in solitary confinement and interrogated at length. During interrogation, he was severely tortured; however, he did not divulge any information to his captors. Capt. Sijan lapsed into delirium and was placed in the care of another prisoner. During his intermittent periods of consciousness until his death, he never complained of his physical condition and, on several occasions, spoke of future escape attempts. Capt. Sijan’s extraordinary heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Chief of Staff

    The Chief of Staff of the Air Force serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer in the Department of the Air Force. The office held by a four star general is the principal military adviser and a deputy to the Secretary of the Air Force. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and along with other service Chiefs of Staff serves as military adviser to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President of the United States.

    Name Class
      Michael E. Ryan (16) 1965
      Ralph Eberhart (Acting) 1968
      Norton A. Schwartz (19) 1973
      Duncan J. McNabb (Acting) 1974
      Mark A Welsh III (20) 1976
      David L. Goldfein (21) 1983
  • NASA Astronauts

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a US government agency was established in 1958. The NASA agency made scientific discoveries about space and about all the galaxies for future and present references.

    Astronaut Candidates undergo approximately two years of training and evaluation. To be an astronaut you must be a jet pilot and spend over 100 hours in the cockpit. If successful the military candidate is detailed to NASA for a specified tour of duty.

    Karol J. Bobko1959

    Name Class
      Frederick D. Gregory 1964
      John E. Blaha 1965
      Roy D. Bridges Jr. 1965
      John Casper 1966
      Ronald J. Grabe 1966
      Charles L. Veach 1966
      Loren Shriver 1967
      Richard O. Covey 1968
      Guy Gardner 1969
      Gary Payton 1971
      Sidney M. Gutierrez 1973
      L. Blaine Hammond 1973
      Terence T. Henricks 1974
      Mark C. Lee 1974
    Name Class
      Donald R. McMonagle 1974
      William A. Pailes 1974
      Ronald M. Sega 1974
      Brian Duffy 1975
      Kevin P. Chilton 1976
      Thomas D. Jones 1977
      Charles J. Precourt 1977
      Curtis Brown 1978
      James D. Halsell 1978
      Kevin R. Kregel 1978
      Richard A. Searfoss 1978
      William G. Gregory 1979
      Susan J. Helms 1980
      Michael J. Bloomfield 1981
      Steven W. Lindsey 1982
      Benjamin A. Drew 1984
      Gregory H. Johnson 1984
      James M. Kelly 1986
      Eric A. Boe 1987
      Terry W. Virts 1989
      James Dutton 1991
      Kjell Lindgren 1995
      Jack Fischer 1996
      Tyler Hague 1998
      Raja Chari 1999
  • Rhodes Scholars

    Through the National Competitive Scholarship Program, highly qualified graduating United States Air Force Academy graduates are selected each year to complete an advanced degree as their first active duty assignment. The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate scholarship for students to study at Oxford University, Oxford, England. The qualities of character, intellect, and leadership are the most important requirement for this scholarship. It is considered a highly prestigious scholarship.

    Name Class
      Bradley C. Hosmer 1959
      John D. Sullivan 1961
      Robert H. Baxter 1962
      Richard L. Klass 1962
      David H. Roe 1962
      Earl T. Davis 1963
      Sam W. Westbrook III 1963
      Robert L. Sansom 1964
      Alva Bart Holaday 1965
      Daniel T. Twomey 1967
      Steven R. Sturm 1969
      Scott S. Barker 1970
      George R. Keys, Jr. 1970
      Alfred M. Wurglitz 1970
      Richard T. Koskella 1972
    Name Class
      Frank G. Klotz 1973
      William J. Sims 1974
      John A. Ausink 1976
      William Brundage 1976
      Jeffrey A. Jackson 1979
      Christopher D. Miller 1980
      Michelle D. Johnson 1981
      John W. McLendon 1981
      Heather Wilson 1982
      David S. Fadok 1982
      Kenneth L. Davison 1984
      Hoang Tran 1987
      Steven B. Harrison 1988
      Christopher B. Howard 1991
      Micul E. Thompson 1991
      Thomas A. Geiser 1995
      Thomas McCaleb 2001
      Delavane B. Diaz 2004
      Nicholas J. Shelly 2007
      Hila Levy 2008
      Brittany L. Morreale 2010
      Zachary A. Crippen 2012
      Rebecca A. Esselstein 2015
      Jaspreet Singh 2018
  • Government Officials
    Name Class
    Paul J. Selva 1980
    VCJCS (Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
    Heather Wilson 1982
    SecAF (Secretary of the Air Force)
    Tod Wolters 1982
    UAFAE (Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe; Commander, U.S. Air Forces Africa; Commander, Allied Air Command)
    Name Class
    Devin L. Cate 1983
    AF/TE (Director of Test and Evaluation)
    David L. Goldfein 1983
    CSAF (Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force)
    Arnold W. Bunch, Jr 1984
    Military Deputy SAF/AO (Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics)