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Graduation FAQ

How far in advance do I need to reserve a hotel room for graduation?

To be safe, please reserve your room one year in advance of graduation.

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What activities take place during graduation week?

You can find a complete list of all graduation activities here. Graduation events include: Baccalaureate Services, Superintendent’s Reception, Commissioning Ceremonies, Graduation Award Ceremony, Graduation Parade, and other events to honor our graduating class.

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Do cadets receive any time off after graduation?

Yes, cadets receive 60 days’ paid leave following graduation.

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What if there is inclement weather on graduation day?

In the event of severe, life-threatening weather or security response to a high-threat world situation, the ceremony would be moved into Clune Arena at the Cadet Field House. Because Clune has limited seating capacity, guests of graduating cadets would be restricted to three per cadet. For this reason, we make every attempt to hold the graduation outdoors in Falcon Stadium, even in less than ideal weather conditions.

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Who speaks at graduation?

Typically the graduation speakers rotate between the President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force.

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What is the dress code for graduation events?

Please ensure children and young adults wear appropriate clothing for a visit to a national military academy. Plan to dress sensibly and comfortably for outdoor activities such as the Cadet Wing Parades. Since a visit to the Academy may require extensive walking, wear good walking shoes. We suggest that guests bring sun block, hats and rain-gear for scheduled outside events. For Chapel services and official ceremonies, please dress appropriately; for example, dress or slacks for ladies, coat and tie for gentlemen and Service Dress uniform or equivalent for military members. On the website, specific dress information is provided for each event under “Event Details” or click here for a complete listing of recommended dress.

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How many tickets can I get to the graduation ceremony?

Please coordinate your ticket requests through your cadet. Graduating cadets will receive as many tickets as they need for their family and guests. Cadets will pick up the tickets and provide them to their guests upon their arrival.

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What can we bring into the stadium for the graduation ceremony?

Due to security restrictions in Falcon Stadium, all guests will pass through metal detectors and may have purses or personal items searched. All guests must have tickets to enter the stadium. No boxes, alcohol, weapons, firecrackers, backpacks, large handbags, coolers, thermoses or similar items will be allowed in the stadium. Drink are prohibited with the exception of clear, unopened water bottles. Food is permitted, but must be displayed in a transparent 1-gallon zip lock bag. Cameras and video cameras are permitted; however, please be prepared to remove camera lenses for security inspection at the stadium gates. Diaper bags will be allowed when a child is present – no strollers please. Refreshments will be available from vendors throughout the stadium.

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Are banners allowed in the stadium?

Guests may bring small, handheld poster-sized signs that do not present a problem for other patrons and of course are appropriate in content. We ask that you and your guests not wear T-shirts with potentially offensive sayings to this event.

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Are parents or family members allowed on the field following the graduation ceremony?

Children ages 7-10 may participate in the hat toss. Parents must escort their children to the south-east side of the stands, and then wait for their return following the hat toss, but parents/adults will not be allowed down on the field. Following the departure of the commencement speaker and the distinguished visitor party from the stadium floor, parents/guests may be allowed to enter the floor to congratulate their cadets. Ushers at the steps to the stadium floor will control access to the floor.

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How can I get a picture of my cadet receiving a diploma if I can’t go onto the stadium floor?

You may order the 2015 USAFA Graduation DVD, photographs of you cadet receiving his/her diploma and the 2015 POLARIS Yearbook through the Office of Cadet Wing Media. The DVD includes every graduate, Graduation Week activities excerpts and Class of 2015 bonus material. This DVD is the only graduation product officially sanctioned by the USAF Academy. Click here to order your 2015 Polaris yearbook and/or graduation DVD. 

Prestige Portraits by Lifetouch has been contracted to provide professional photographs of your cadet at the Graduation Ball and at the Graduation Ceremony. The contract photographer will mail proofs to each graduating cadet’s home of record within six weeks after graduation with instructions for purchasing these photographs. If you do not receive a proof from the photographer, please contact Lifetouch directly. Click to order Graduation Ball & Graduation Ceremony photos. For more information call (800) 426-9533 or write to Lifetouch, 1170 Pontiac Ave, Cranston, RI, 02920, Attn: AFA Grad.

You may contact Cadet Wing Media by calling (719) 333-4644, sending an email to cwmedia@usafa.edu or writing to 10 FSS/FSLAM, P.O. Box 6066, USAFA CO 80841-6066. Visit their web page here.

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What should I consider when bringing elderly, infirm or handicapped guests to the Academy?

Disabled guests should bring or rent any walkers, wheelchairs, breathing support or other special-needs or 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 elevation and possibility of extreme (hot, cold and/or wet) weather, guests with serious medical conditions such as anemia, heart disease or pulmonary disease should consult their doctor about the need for portable oxygen or preventive medication and the advisability of traveling to the Academy. Although handicapped shuttles will be available, there may be extensive walking required from bus stops to your final destination. Please make sure to consider this when bringing elderly or infirm guests to the Academy. Guests should coordinate with their cadet for any special medical or handicapped needs. 

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