Honoring Academy Heritage

This Day in Air Force Academy History...

Dec. 1, 1955 - Brig. Gen. Don Zimmerman, the Academy's first dean, is reassigned. Brig. Gen. Robert McDermott becomes the Academy's first permanent dean in August 1956. Dec. 1, 1962 - While attending the Army vs. Navy football game in Philadelphia, President John F. Kennedy sees that Navy has a larger number of students than Army. He instructs the Defense Department to study why the service academies are not the same size. This study results in legislation signed in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson authorizing Army and Air Force to expand from 2,529 to 4,417 cadets. Dec. 1, 1963 - The first wedding in the Academy's Catholic Chapel take place. Dec. 1, 1967 - Legendary fighter pilot Col. Robin Olds becomes the sixth commandant of cadets. Olds was a triple ace, with 17 kills in World War II and Vietnam. He was promoted to brigadier general June 1, 1968. Dec. 1, 1978 - Harold "Pete" Todd, Class of '59, becomes the first Academy graduate promoted to brigadier general. Dec. 1, 1999 - Maj. Gen. Paul K. Carlton Jr. is promoted to lieutenant general. He's the first Academy graduate to serve as the Air Force Surgeon General and holds this position from October 1999 through December 2002. Carlton is also the first Academy graduate to be promoted among the general ranks while serving in the Air Force Medical Corps. He pinned on his brigadier general stars in 1991. Dec. 1, 2001 - Falcons Football defeats Utah 38-37 in a rescheduled home game originally slated for Sept. 15 but postponed due to the 9/11 attacks.

Research for this date in USAFA historical achievements was provided by Steven Simon '77. Read about other USAFA grad accomplishments.

Heritage Minute

One key mission of the Association of Graduates is to highlight some of those things that make the Academy the special place that it is. As a result, the AOG has launched a series of “Heritage Minute” videos that will be available weekly from our website, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram TV. Each episode of the “Heritage Minute” will feature a historic site or display found somewhere on the Academy campus.

Academy Heritage Projects

The Association of Graduates uncovers, records, displays and honors the heritage, history and legacy of the U.S. Air Force Academy and its graduates.

Class Histories

Select a year below to learn more about the USAFA class, read Polaris yearbooks, link to class websites, and more!

Class Rings and Prints

The AOG facilitates the Class Ring program, from working with cadets on ring decisions to helping grads with lost class rings.

Since 1975 the United States Air Force Academy's graduating classes have been given a special painting pertaining to their graduating class year. Learn more about class paintings and prints.

Award Recognition

Distinguished Graduate Award

The Distinguished Graduate Award recognizes exceptional graduates who have set themselves apart ...

Young Alumni Award

Nominations being sought for young ...

Jabara Award for Airmanship

Colonel James Jabara Award goes to a graduate whose airmanship contribtuions are of great significance ...

Honorary Members

Honorary membership is awarded to persons who have rendered outstanding service ...

Past, Present and Future

Honoring fallen comrades is an important part of the AOG mission.

If you plan on visiting the Academy, please review these online resources.

USAFA graduates have excelled in all areas of life.

Heritage and Traditions Committee

Learn more about the Policies and Procedures of the Heritage and Traditions Committee.