After four years of hard work and thorough preparation to become a commissioned officers in the United States Air Force, graduation time is extremely exciting for cadets, family members and friends.
With the close of the ceremony, cadets are dismissed as graduates. Cheers and celebration are silenced by the roar of the legendary Thunderbirds as they fly over the Academy in formation to congratulate the graduating class. A four-year journey in the life of your cadet comes to a close with pride and jubilation. You and your child have reason to celebrate, as they have achieved something truly great.
A graduation information package (which includes vehicle passes and Graduation Week information) will be mailed to cadet parents in April. Tickets are required for the graduation ceremony and will be issued to the cadets in May. Cadets will receive as many tickets and passes as they request. If you need additional vehicle passes, please contact your cadet who can pick them up from his/her squadron in May.
Cadet parents: please note that we do not have the ability to change your mailing address — your cadet must do this him/herself. Please ensure your cadet updates your mailing address, if necessary, so that you receive the graduation mailing.
Please see Visiting the Academy for more details on planning your stay in Colorado Springs. To ensure timely travel and a comfortable visit to the Academy, please be aware of the following rules and recommendations.
All guests must have tickets to enter the stadium. Graduating cadets will receive as many tickets as needed for family and guests through their squadrons. Cadets will provide tickets to guests upon their arrival.
General public tickets are available in mid-May. An announcement will be made through local media to inform the public when and where tickets are available. The Association of Graduates may be able to help Academy graduates get tickets.
Note that Guests may not enter the terrazzo or cadet area buildings unless with an authorized escort.
Disabled guests should bring any walkers, wheelchairs, breathing support or other medical equipment they require. They should also bring their state-issued handicapped placard or other documentation in order to park in designated handicapped lots. Because of the high altitude and possibility of extreme weather, guests with serious medical conditions such as anemia, heart disease or pulmonary disease should consult with their doctor about traveling to the Academy.
Handicapped parking is available in Lot 5 of Falcon Stadium (immediately north of the stadium). There is also another smaller handicapped parking area in Lot 2. Golf carts or vans will be available to transport guests from these parking areas to the stadium. Entry to the stadium will be through Gates 3 or 4, which allow guests access to the handicapped/wheelchair seating at the top of the L sections of the stadium. Please allow plenty of extra time to get to the stadium. Although golf carts will do their best, there may be a wait for a cart to bring you to the stadium gate. Handicapped guests may sit here accompanied by one attendant.
Driving on Campus
At the Academy’s North or South gates, please be prepared to show your vehicle pass and drivers license/photo identification.
Since all vehicles may be subject to inspection by security personnel, guests should refrain from bringing large bags, coolers, backpacks or other items that will require additional searches. If you are driving a rental car, please keep the rental agreement and current proof of insurance in the vehicle at all times.
Individual squadrons are responsible for arranging any required transportation. Parents or cadet guests who anticipate difficulty must contact their cadet to arrange special transportation.
Due to security restrictions in Falcon Stadium, all guests will pass through metal detectors and may have purses or personal items searched. No boxes, alcohol, weapons, firecrackers, umbrellas, beverage containers, large handbags, coolers, thermoses, strollers or similar items will be allowed in the stadium. Diaper bags will be allowed when a child is present.
Food and drink are prohibited with the exception of clear, unopened water bottles. Food and drink are available from a variety of vendors at Falcon Stadium during the ceremony. Cameras and video cameras are permitted, however, please be prepared to remove camera lenses for security inspection at the stadium gates.
Since Falcon Stadium is an outdoor, uncovered stadium, please be prepared for various types of weather. Once the ceremony begins, exit is prohibited until the end of the Thunderbirds performance.
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