U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado — The U.S. Air Force Academy accepted the Class of 2026 into the Cadet Wing during a ceremony at Stillman Parade Field Aug. 5.
The ceremony, called Acceptance Day, marks the end of Basic Cadet Training (BCT) which includes six weeks of mental, physical and military training. During the ceremony, the cadets marched in parade formation and received their fourth class epaulettes, signifying their acceptance into the cadet wing. Passing the BCT is one of the first steps cadets take toward earning a commission as an Air Force or Space Force officer.
The Academy Admissions Office reported that 1,071 cadet trainees arrived on June 23 for the current processing day, beginning their immersion into Academy life.
The Academy assigns each graduating class a legacy class that graduated 50 years before their own graduation.
“Today we celebrate your courage in completing Basic Cadet Training,” Andrew said. “It’s the end of the beginning of your career as a cadet. In the years to come, you will take on more responsibility, not only for yourself but also for others.
“Don’t be that person who looks back on their life and regrets the things they wish they had done,” Andrew continued. “Always choose the hard right over the easy wrong, for success in life is the result of effort and attitude. You control both in every waking moment. The future may seem daunting, but it is also rewarding.
Demographic class of 2026
The Academy has admitted cadets from all states as well as 16 international students. The class consists of 301 women, who represent 28.5% of the class, and 754 men, 71.5% of the class.
– 850 cadets are Caucasian, 169 are Asian, 142 are Hispanic, 117 are two or more races, 112 are African American, 30 are Pacific Islander, 28 are Native American or Alaska Native, and six are ethnic unknown.
The class of 2026 includes 54 sons and 31 daughters of service academy graduates, or 6.6% of the class. Forty-one men and 21 women are sons and daughters of US Air Force Academy graduates. Both parents of six men and two women in the Class of 2026 attended the Academy.
— 165 cadets graduated from the US Air Force Academy Preparatory School.
— Six men and three women are the children of graduates of the US Military Academy.
— Six men and five women are the children of US Naval Academy graduates.
— One cadet is the son of a US Coast Guard Academy graduate and two cadets are the daughters of US Merchant Marine Academy graduates.
— 166 cadets are first generation students; 131 cadets are from single-parent homes and 52 cadets are prior enlisted service members.
— 244 cadets are recruited athletes.
The class’s average high school GPA is 3.9.
Check out the Flicker album to see photos from Acceptance Day 2022.