Class of 2019 Commitment Dinner


Unbelievably, TWO YEARS have passed by in a flash. Gone are the intensely long days during BCT, the Doolie days of wearing uniforms off base and K tests, the restrictions and even Recognition. Gone are the days of C3C year with the grueling academics, water haze, boxing and OPS. Now the cadets face days of true leadership opportunities and a commitment that will impact the very fabric of their lives. It is the day they have all waited for; this Wednesday is the day they formally acknowledge and accept their duty to their country and to the United States Air Force. During Wednesday’s Commitment Dinner, the cadets will once again voice their Oath of Affirmation. We celebrate this milestone with them in spirit, and united with parents around our great nation. Join us Wednesday evening when we post our Commitment Dinner web page and unveil their coin!  We will be adding photos throughout the evening and we invite parents and family to join us in a virtual toast to all Cadets Wednesday, August, 9, 2017 at 7:00 PM (MT).




Commitment Dinner Virtual Toast Pictures










Commemorate Your Cadet’s Commitment


The Class of 2019 Spirit Mission is proud to announce a unique item to commemorate the Commitment Milestone – An individually personalized Commitment Stein!  Each stein will feature YOUR Cadet’s name, their new Squadron’s image, the USAFA emblem, Class of 2019 and Commitment text.  We have worked hard with USAFA to create this very special item. This is a joint fundraiser for the Class of 2019 and the Spirit Mission.  Ordering is open to 2019 Parents as well as Cadets.  Cadets will receive a card with ordering information at the Commitment Dinner along with their Commitment Challenge Coin, Program, and Keepsake Congratulatory Card —   all furnished by the Spirit Mission.

Ordering will begin August 9th after the dinner.  Steins are being offered at $36 each, including shipping to the destination you specify at checkout.  Ordering will continue through Parents   Weekend and steins should ship within 2-3 weeks of the order being placed.  Click on our website at to place your order. You can pay by Paypal or send a check using the form on the site.  These high-quality ceramic steins are white with metallic gold banding – they are 22 oz. and are 6.5″ high with a 3″ diameter.

More than $10 from each stein will go towards the needs of the Cadet Class for Ring Dance!  Please help support our first joint fundraiser with the Cadet Class while honoring your Cadet and their Commitment to the Academy and the Air Force. This is truly a unique keepsake that they will cherish!

We will also have a limited number of the Keepsake Congratulations Card that is given to each Cadet that commits – these are professionally printed 5″ by 7″ cards featuring images of the Challenge Coin and explanations of the Coin’s design elements and their significance. You can view and order them on our website for $5 each also on August 9th.

Thank you for supporting all members of the Class of 2019 Cadets — STRONG!


New Spirit Gear

It’s time to start planning for Parents Weekend, Commitment, summer USAFA activities, and our Cadets’ exciting C2C year!  And what better way to show your pride than by displaying and wearing our Spirit Gear, Keepsake and Milestone items!!  Think ahead for Graduation, Goodie Bags and Gifts as some of these items are ordered in limited quantities and won’t come again.

We have some exciting new items on our USAFA 2019 Spirit Mission website –

  • High Quality Cloisonne Enamel Pin – Great for shirts, hats, shadow boxes, bags
  • Gold Finished Enamel Charm / Silver Finished with Gold Accent Enamel Charm – Can be used as a pendant, bracelet charm or earrings
  • Embroidered Patch with Gold Metallic Thread – Use on hats, shirts, jackets, bags
  • Inside Mount Auto Decal and Glossy Sticker – Use on your car, bags, etc.

But don’t delay, orders must be received by 7/10 for these new items.  Delivery will be in early August.  We also have a very limited amount of Exemplar Keychains on hand that you can add to your order as well.


Don’t forget our two stores as well — both have new merchandise including tote bags, beach blanket/towels, collared polo shirts, BBQ aprons, tank tops, and more!

Remember, our proceeds go toward supporting the needs of the Cadet Class which is so important now that Ring Dance is less than a year away!

Our Commitment Committee has been very busy.  Working with the Cadet Cabinet, they have been developing the Commitment Challenge Coin, programs, banners and more – thanks to your support of our Spirit Mission.  And stay tuned — we will have a wonderful individually personalized Commitment Commemorative Keepsake available for you to order for your Cadet.

Please show your pride by ordering our Spirit Gear, Milestone and Keepsake items.

Thank you for supporting all our Cadets.




And They Are Off!!!!

With the summer before us, a host of new and exciting adventures await our cadets around the globe.  Each cadet must fulfill two military training requirements per summer with one being a leadership program this year.

This summers choices for core military training are as follows: Operation Air Force (Ops AF) or equivalent (Air Education Training Command (AETC) Leadership Ops, CE Ops/Civil Engineer Field Engineering Readiness Laboratory (CE-FERL).  This summer will also open up Leadership programs to our cadets.  Those choices are as follows:  Any commander selected from the Command Selection Board, BCT Cadre, ESET Cadre, Ops Group Cadre and Staff, CE-FERL Leadership, Cadet Aviation Instructor, Soaring Instructor, Parachuting Instructor, UAS Instructor, Cyber Instructor, and Space Instructor.  Cadets may also choose to give up summer break for a third military training program or an academic class.  For more details about the C2C Summer Program choices, click HERE for the curriculum handbook. See pages 67-68.

Once the summer is finished, our C2C’s will choose to COMMIT to the US Air Force.  This Milestone will be celebrated on the first day of school with the traditional Commitment Dinner.  The Spirit Mission will once again be minting a coin for this special occasion with donations from our generous parents. Find out more about each of our cadets milestones HERE.

What a Change a Year Can Make…

By Melony Daley
A year ago….we waited with bated breath for each minute, hour and day to pass. This milestone meant so many things would change, potentially for the better, but for now this weekend held a world of stress, heartache, mental hardship, physical effort and strife for our cadets. If they could only survive recognition intact, life would be so much easier. After months of running the strips, holding their backpack in their left hand, and wearing military uniform everywhere they went, our cadets would be recognized by the upper classes. Hello civvies and leisure walks. They would hear their first names again. Stress levels would drop and the cadets could breathe a little easier and by extension we parents could breathe a little easier. We could start to think of our young adults as living on a campus versus a military installation…even if it truly was a military installation. It’s our small delusions that help us deal with the hundreds of miles of separation, after all. As all cadets and parents do, we leave freshman year with memories, some wonderful and some not so wonderful. We remember BCT and the first Parents’ Weekend as if it were some long distant memory. Recognition, however, was truly only a year ago.

I vividly remember thinking of my cadet constantly during the first two days of recognition, wishing I could talk to him, praying that he was having fun in a weird sort of way, thinking how much different his experience at a military academy was from our experience as active duty Army almost two full decades ago. I also vividly remember the moment I found out that he had not finished recognition and had in fact suffered a concussion as a result of hitting his head on the cement when they ran up an incline in full military gear. I remember wanting to jump on an airplane so that I could look into his eyes and make sure he was okay and wanting to call and speak to his chain of command. I didn’t of course. The adage, “This, too, shall pass,” is very true. He survived. He finished the rest of his freshman year and has come back stronger and more determined than ever to succeed. This year is so different. It began with a quick and fleeting thought: “I wonder if recognition is this weekend or next?” I let it go and didn’t think about it again until Sunday came around and I wanted to hear his voice. I took a chance to text him and ask if he was planning to call. I was pleasantly surprised when the phone rang not two minutes later. We spoke for 20 minutes and I asked a ton of questions about the difference between last year and this year and his role in recognition.

Instead of dread, I experienced joy. Joy that he was doing okay, his grades were looking up, and that in less than three weeks he would be sleeping in his bed here at home. The difference of a year…. Our cadets are experiencing recognition in a variety of ways. Some sophomores are assisting in the beating of the freshman, others are peer counselors and are there to support in the mental and emotional stability of the freshmen, and yet others are not participating. Instead of worrying about being recognized or not, our cadets are living on the other side and ready to usher the next class into a bright new world full of possibility and hope; our cadets are worrying about grades and classes, talking to parents, and living life outside of the all-encompassing milestone of recognition.

We thank all the parents who supported this milestone last year, and we thank you for your continuous support as the cadets get ready to reach their next milestone – Commitment Dinner!

Get Your Keychains Before They Are Gone!

We have ordered our LAST batch of Exemplar Keychains and Recognition Cards!  They have been quite a hit!  We are not planning to re-order these keychains again!  Once we have exhausted this quantity, they are gone – so plan ahead for gifts, graduation, etc.

We have opened the ordering and payment processing for all parents, cadets, and other interested people.  We have a limited quantity available!  You should receive your order in about three weeks.  You will be notified by email when your order ships.  You may order as many as you would like.  The same ordering process goes for Recognition Keepsake Cards as we have a few of those available still as well. They are great mementos for framing, scrap booking, etc.

Please go to and you can pay via Paypal.  There is also a form available on that page if you would like to send a check but online ordering is faster and can insure you receive your keychain due to our limited quantities.

We would also appreciate it if you would forward this message to your cadet so that we can get the word out to them also. Thank you for your support of our Cadets!

Cadets Set to March at the 58th Inauguration Tomorrow

Photo courtesy of US Air Force Academy (Official) FB page

Serving our country is an honor, and for our cadets this is a commitment that they will enjoy for many years after graduation from the Academy.

They train every day while at the Academy and we as parents have the opportunity to see this training in the form of parades and formations, but it is merely a glimpse. Cadets spend hours training to march in a perfect formation and the feeling of accomplishment, pride, and, honor each cadet feels marching in a formal parade is indescribable.

Tomorrow, some of our cadets will experience that honor marching in the inauguration parade. If you have the opportunity to see the parade and our cadets, try and place yourselves in their shoes. Imagine the pride for serving our country, the honor of being present at a presidential inauguration, the overwhelming emotional turmoil as they represent the entire body of the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Wing, the hopes that they will not make one misstep, the fear that they will do an “eyes right” as they have been trained to do when commanded to do an “eyes left” as this one event requires, the pain of any blisters, and the abundance of pride. The parade will begin after the Swearing-In ceremony. It will begin at the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building and proceed 1.5 miles along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

Click HERE for USAFA news articles and photos from the Inaugural celebration.

20:19 and 2019 STRONG!

It’s No Small Coincidence…

By Terri Smith and Rocio Watkins

15151103_10211091407941743_1182613468_nWhen your Division 1 qualifying time is the same as your graduating year, you’ve had a great day! That’s exactly what happened to C3C Cadet Jaci Smith, Class of 2019. She and the AFA Women’s Cross Country team qualified for the NCAA Division 1 Championship Meet for the first time in USAFA history! And Smith’s time was 20:19! But the amazing coincidence doesn’t stop here. Her team was ranked 29th going into this regional meet, and Smith is a Black Panther in CS29! The stars are aligning perfectly for Cadet Smith and her XC team, which includes another Class of 2019 Cadet, C3C Shanna Burns.

Smith’s primary goal for any race was to achieve a new personal best time and push her teammates to run their best. Her stretch goal at the beginning of the XC season was to break 22 minutes…. she broke 21 minutes at the Pre-nationals meet. She expected her time would be a little slower than 21 minutes at the Regional meet since they were running at altitude, so she was thrilled with her time of 20:19.

Although that time wasn’t a goal, the “2019 Strong” analogy was one of the first things she acknowledged after the race. To finish with this time in such a big race is very cool and something she will always remember. Continue reading

Exemplar Challenge Coin Keychain Order Info




In order to continue to make this milestone memorable to cadets, parents, family members and other interested people, the Spirit Mission Committee would like to introduce an Exemplar Challenge Coin Replica Keychain.  Ordering begins Tuesday, Nov. 1st.


In return for your donation of $16, you will receive ONE Exemplar Challenge Coin Replica Keychain.  The size of the Replica Coin is 1.75” in diameter and it is the same high quality as the Cadet Challenge Coins, with a 3D image on each side of the metal coin.  The coin is secured by a nice chain and keyring.  The keychain will arrive in 2-3 weeks after your order is placed, and the donation amount includes direct shipping to you.  We accept donations by Paypal or by checks payable to “USAFA Class of 2019 Spirit Mission.”  If you choose to pay by check, click HERE for a printable order form to mail with your check. You may order more than one but our supplies may be limited, so order soon!

This keychain will be a great keepsake to honor Neil Armstrong, the Class of 2019 Exemplar, our cadets, and their achievements at the Academy.  Your donation to the USAFA Class of 2019 Spirit Mission goes toward supporting the needs of the Cadet Class of 2019.


We thank you for your continued support!



The USAFA Class of 2019 Spirit Mission is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  Consistent with IRS requirements, we are advising our donors that the amount of the contribution deductible for federal tax purposes is limited to the excess over the value of goods received by the donor. For this event our good-faith estimate is that the donor is receiving goods valued at $9 in exchange for their donation of $16 for each keychain.

Exemplar Dinner TONIGHT!



The Class of 2019 Exemplar Dinner is being held tonight October 21, 2016.  Speakers include Mr. Mike Goode ’69 (Legacy Class),  Mr. Rick Armstrong (Life of Neil Armstrong) and Mr. Lars Hoffman, the director of Govt. Sales for SpaceX (Future of space).  The Legacy Class members are invited to attend the formal event as well.

You are invited to join US as we celebrate another USAFA Milestone!

A web page dedicated to the event will be updated throughout the night with photos from the dinner as well as the reveal of the beautiful challenge coin that was made possible by your donations to the 2019 Spirit Mission.  Click HERE for updates from the dinner.  The updated page will begin at 9:00 EST, 8:00 Central, 7:00 MT, and 6:00 Pacific.

 2019 STRONG!