Acceptance Day at the U.S. Air Force Academy

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3min 44sec
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First-year cadets await formal acceptance into the cadet wing

Just over 1,000 first-year cadets were formally welcomed into the ranks of the U.S. Air Force Academy on August 5. Since arriving at the Academy at the end of June, cadets completed basic training, a grueling six-week training program. 

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First-year cadets assemble across Stillman Field from the squadron they are set to join

The Air Force Academy describes basic training as an, “indoctrination program,” with a “commitment to pushing physical, emotional and mental limits.” It includes training at Jacks Valley, where cadets complete various obstacle courses to hone their military skills and physical fitness.

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First-year cadets line up to receive their first shoulder board rank insignia

Basic training lasts until the end of the Acceptance Day Parade, during which the three upper classes formally accept the new cadets into their ranks. Freshmen then receive their first shoulder board rank insignia, which represents their transition from basic cadets to fourth-class cadets. 

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Cadets look on as their classmate receives his first shoulder board rank from two upperclassmen

The Academy began their academic year a few days later on August 10, after a software glitch pushed the first day of class off by two days. 

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