Here it is folks! The last three days of grueling exercises, answering questions and Cadre yelling is over! Recognition is complete and you're Cadets have recieved their "Prop and Wings". Congratulations!
Over the last three days we have seen your cadets doing "grenade" crawls, running with heavy ruck-sacks, jumping, answering questions by their screaming Cadre and more.
With Recognition finally over your Cadets are no longer "Doolies" and after today have earned the right to wear the coveted "Prop and Wings" pin on their caps and we know they will be wearing them proudly. This isn't the only thing your Cadets have earned however - with the completion of this event they can now wear civilian clothing while off-duty, walk across the terrazo instead of running on the strips and this is the end of beat downs in the evenings - now they just have to worry about homework.
Recognition is, "a vital and traditional segment of the Academy experience and is a ceremonial acknowledgement that the fourth-class has successfully met the military training requirements and is prepared to continue the rigorous Academy journey."
Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Stephen Williams has said in the past that, "Recognition is special because its success is directly related to the effort all cadets put into the event."
As these Cadets move from their freshman to sophomore year they will gain more responsibilities within their Squadron and in general at the Academy. They will also be getting ready for this summer, which for the class of 2020 will be filled with Upperclassmen programs such as Jump, Soaring, RPA, ESET, Space Ops, possibly some Academic classes and don't forget - visiting you at home!
Your Cadets are almost a quarter of their way through USAFA and to think just yesterday they were going through I-Day. How time flies!
We tried our best catching as many events as we could and we hope we got at least one photo of every cadet, but if we missed yours it wasn't for lack of trying. Photos have been uploaded in chronological order or as close to it as we could get with several photographers getting pictures over the course of Recognition. Below are highlights of the events we caught a glimpse of over the last few days.
On Thursday, to begin Recognition the 4 Degrees and their Cadre came together for the Retreat Formation where they were treated with a B-1 Fly-over. Then the craziness of Recognition started, half of the Squadrons made their way down to Stillman Field for the Sundown Group Training Session and the other half stayed up on the Terrazo.
On Friday the 4 Degrees went through four different course challenges between 7 AM and 4 PM - don't worry they had a lunch break in between! We caught glimpses of them at all four courses throughout the day. The Maltz Challenge took place on Stillman Field, the Drop Party Course on the Athletic Fields, the Academy Tour on the Tzo and the Special Operations Course in the HAC. Each course pushed them physically and mentally and just like with BCT they came together and helped each other complete each challenge coming out stronger than when they started.
Maltz Challenge - This annual event began in 2006 and was named in honor of USAF MSGT Michael Maltz, who was killed in action during a rescue mission in Afghanistan on March 23, 2003. This event is memorial workout event/salute to those who have been KIA.
Drop Party Course
Special Operations Course
Academy Tour - During the Academy Tour the 4 Degrees were brought to several points on the Tzo. There were four stops during this Challenge; the 9/11 Memorial, the Core Values Ramp, the Air Gardens and the Hill.
Finally, Saturday arrived - Prior to the March out to the Rock the 4 Degrees went through a SAMI in the morning. By the afternoon when we caught up with them on the March Out the 4 Degrees were in high spirits and we were greeted by a lot of happy faces. As they made their way out to the Rock they were treated to another fly-over by a C-17.
Once all 40 Squadrons made it out to the rock, it was time for group photos!
Before being dismissed to get cleaned up and changed for their "Prop and Wings" ceremonies and the Recognition Dinner the 4 Degrees and their Firsties formed up on the Tzo for one last Retreat Formation.
To view the rest of our glimpse into Recognition go to; Classes - 2020 - Recognition. Or click the link below.