The Association of Graduates uncovers, records, displays and honors the heritage, history and legacy of the U.S. Air Force Academy and its graduates. The AOG Board of Directors, in cooperation with many graduates, recently produced the Essential Elements of the Academy Experience for the Academy.
In addition to the Heritage Trail, Contrails and Checkpoints, the AOG helps organize and facilitate important heritage events.
The Academy Character Development Center hosts Falcon Heritage Forums each semester to bring military people, active and retired from all services, to the Academy to interact with cadets and share their stories of why character and honor matter.
WWII veterans, Medal of Honor recipients and members of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps have all returned to spend a weekend with cadets.
The AOG is proud to help the Academy locate and invite Academy graduates to these events, who have immeasurably added to the forums.
In June 2004, the Class of 1959 dedicated the '59 Challenge Bridge on the Heritage Trail at Doolittle Hall to mark a new and exciting tradition. During Inprocessing, each cadet walks to the north end of the bridge and was given the "challenge" to go forward and make the graduate community proud. Cadets were shown the Class of '70 Graduate War Memorial replica (a gift of the Class of 1970) to underscore the seriousness of the profession they were about to enter. Cadets then walked the bridge and through the Heritage Trail past the pedestals honoring the Distinguished Graduates to board busses to take them to the cadet area.
The Class of 1960 also contributed to this tradition by creating a Class of '60 Inprocessing entrance at Doolittle Hall. Plaques at the head of the walkway and at the entrance to Doolittle Hall remind new cadets that their journey is about to begin and that they are following in the deep footprints of others.
During their 50th reunion in 2011, the Class of 1961 dedicated two new sculptures flanking the Pavilion in the USAFA Cemetery.
Thanks to the generosity of the classes of 1967, 1973, 1959, 1960, 1961, and 1970 an important tradition continues.
In July 2004, the Academy held, with the assistance and cooperation of the AOG, the first Graduate Leadership Conference. Nearly 200 graduates were invited to return to the Academy for two days of briefings, tours and question-and-answer periods with the Academy senior staff. This conference was hailed by participants as "historic," important and successful. The AOG was proud to organize and host this event - and to work with the Academy to schedule similar events in subsequent years. Since then, two more Graduate Leadership Conferences have proven to be equally successful.
The AOG also sponsors annual events that represent the Foundation of the Air Force Academy. Each year Founders Day is celebrated on or near April 1st, symbolizing the founding of the Academy. The AOG sponsors a Founders Day dinner and presents the Distinguished Graduate Awards.
The AOG also sponsors the Jabara Award Dinner and the Outstanding Squadron Banquet.