The United States Air Force Academy.
The United States Air Force Academy currently welcomes visitors. Guests to the facility must enter at the North Gate, which can be accessed by taking the 156B exit from Interstate 25. Visitors are invited to explore the Honor Court, attend a concert at Arnold Hall, and visit the Field house or tour Cadet Chapel.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, signed the bill that established the US Air Force Academy on April 1, 1954. Many pioneer airmen, including Billy Mitchell, had advocated the facility. These men felt that an academy would prepare officers for service in the US Air Force.
The Secretary of the Air Force, Harold E. Talbot was appointed a commission that would assist in finding a permanent site for the Academy. The commission inspected 580 sites across 45 states and traveled 21,000 miles in their search for the Academy’s permanent home. Eventually, the commission recommended three sites. Talbot chose the one near Colorado Springs and construction began in 1955.
On July 11, 1955, the first class of cadets was sworn in and attended a temporary site in Denver. The cadets moved to the Colorado Springs permanent site on August 29, 1958. Today, 4,000 cadets attend the Academy annually. The Academy insists on a Commitment of Excellence and persists in that goal toward the future. Cadets attend the Academy for a four-year term before graduating.
The Air Force Academy Chapel soars 150 feet into the blue Colorado skies and is an all-faith worship center. The Chapel is designed to meet the spiritual needs of cadets attending the Air Force Academy. There is a separate chapel for Catholic, Jewish and Protestant cadets, as well as tow all-faith worship halls. The Protestant Chapel is located on the upper level. One level below is the Catholic and Jewish Chapels, as well as one all-faith room. The other all-faith hall, which is the larger of the two, can be found on the level below. The chapels can all be used at the same time without invading on the privacy of cadets in the other chapels. Each chapel has its own entrance.
Cadet Chapel has 17 spires that tower upward. The Chapel is constructed of steel, aluminum and glass and is a stunning site. Furnishings include adornments, furniture, pews, pipe organs and liturgical fittings.
During their four years at the Academy, over 200 cadets voluntarily join the cadet choral groups. Chapel choirs include, Catholic, Gospel, Protestant, Latter Day Saints and a Protestant Praise Team. The choirs vary in size between 10 and 70 members. The choirs attract cadets who are dedicated to their religious convictions. The choirs perform at Cadet Chapel on a weekly basis and make appearances across the nation. The Cadet Chorale is the Academy’s most prestigious choir.
Cadet Drum and Bugle Corps
In 1963, the Corp was reassigned to the Academy from Washington, D.C. The Corp is made up of 120 cadets and it performs across the nation and abroad, entertaining audiences on the average of 35 times each month.
Arnold Hall Concerts
The US Air Force Academy welcomes the public to concerts performed at Arnold Hall. Discounts are available to those corporations and squadrons. Those who purchase tickets to five performances take advantage of reduced prices, reserved seats, an annual reception for patrons and also receive a newsletter.
The US Air Force Academy offers a wide range of golfing opportunities to the military. Special arrangements can be made for families, children and couples.
A new athletic complex opened at the Academy in 2001. Included is a locker room, academic study lounge, sports medicine room, weight room, team meeting rooms, athletic hall of fame and athletic administration offices. The Academy’s athletic complex is state-of-the-art.
Lodging is available on the Academy’s premises and accommodations abundant in the Colorado Springs surrounding area.