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Membership in AOG expands to all graduates
Today marks an important chapter in the history of the Air Force Academy Association of Graduates (AOG).
Thanks to the enduring support of generous members over the past six decades, the AOG is now able to extend membership to all graduates of the United States Air Force Academy at no cost to them.
The AOG Board of Directors unanimously approved the shift to membership for all in 2021.
“Since its founding in 1968, the AOG has served upwards of 30,000 members with benefits spanning career services and reunion coordination to Checkpoints magazine and more,” says Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Gould ’76, chief executive officer of the AOG and the Air Force Academy Foundation. “Now, we’re opening our ranks to everyone who threw their hat into the air and joined the Long Blue Line at graduation. We are excited about this bold initiative that will make our alumni community better connected and engaged.”
Effective Jan. 3, 2022, any graduate who is not currently a member can opt in to AOG membership. Be on the lookout for a special email invite to opt in or visit membership4grads.usafa.org and provide the information requested. Opting in should take just a minute.
“Nearly 53,000 men and women have graduated from our Academy,” says Naviere Walkewicz ’99, AOG vice president for strategy and business development. “From this day forward, you earn your membership when you graduate from the Air Force Academy. We hope everyone decides to join the AOG and add their voice, connections and experiences to our alumni community. With you, we are stronger.”
Current life members don’t need to do anything to retain their membership status and will be designated as Legacy members. Annual members who have paid their fees for 10 years or more also will be added to the Legacy member category.
“Our ability to expand membership to all graduates is only possible because of Legacy and family memberships,” explains Col. (Ret.) Robert A. Lowe ’71, AOG Board of Directors chairman. “You paved the way by investing in your AOG and USAFA through your contributions. Your legacy is carried on in membership for all graduates, and we are truly grateful and honored to recognize you as Legacy members.”
Lowe encourages anyone who is not currently an AOG member to opt in and immediately begin enjoying the benefits that come with membership, including voting on board representation, receiving Checkpoints magazine digitally, career services, reunion coordination and more. For a complete list of benefits, visit membership4grads.usafa.org.
On voting, Walkewicz says it’s an important benefit.
“Membership for all graduates also includes voting on alumni association decisions and for Board of Directors representation,” she says. “Your voice will help inform our actions for decades to come.”
Colorado law requires potential new members to opt in to membership organizations, according to Walkewicz. That’s why it’s important for graduate non-members to take the necessary steps to join.
“Over the next few weeks, we will be reaching out to graduates who are not AOG members and encourage them to opt in,” she says. “We ask our current members to reach out to classmates, squadron mates and friends to spread the word even further. Our goal is for every USAFA graduate to become part of the AOG.”
One immediate benefit for new members is the ability to participate in the first comprehensive survey of the USAFA graduate community in more than 15 years. The survey, which will be distributed in early 2022, will guide AOG programs and benefits for years to come, Lowe explains.
“Our research initiative will help us better understand and serve the needs of our Long Blue Line today and into the future,” Lowe adds.
For former cadets who attended the Academy but didn’t graduate, the AOG will continue to offer annual affiliate memberships for $60 or for the lifetime affiliate member price of $600.
Along with membership for all graduates, the AOG is launching an expanded Family Plan Membership that will include WebGuy access, Zoomie Delivery Service, Parent Membership Handbook, increased engagement opportunities and expanded support for the Cadet Wing morale projects.
If you have questions about the membership for all graduates and Family Plan programs, please call 719-472-0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.