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The Fall 2009 Falcon Heritage Forum will be held at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 23-25. The theme is "Portraits in Courage: Airmen in the Fight." Guest speakers will include Brig. Gen. Michael Longoria, commander of the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., and Col. Kevin Jackson, operations director for the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nev. (U.S. Air Force illustration)
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In this "Remember 9-11" illustration, the "11" is designed to resemble the twin towers of the World Trade Center, while the five-sided border represents the Pentagon. Both of these landmarks were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, and nearly 3,000 people were killed. (image by David Paranteau)
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Downloadable wallpaper in 1600x1200 resolution.
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The Air Force Academy's Class of 1959, the first to graduate from the Academy, chose the falcon as its mascot Sept. 25, 1955, feeling that it best characterized the combat role of the United States Air Force. Falcons tour the United States with members of the Cadet Wing's falconry program, attending airshows and college sports events. (Original U.S. Air Force photo/David R. Armer)
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The U.S. Air Force Academy's Cadet Squadron 38 will march in the Red, White and Brave Parade, scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 29. "The Bird," the Academy's mascot, will also participate, and cadet athletes will act as escorts for dignitaries. (courtesy illustration/Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group)
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The new Center for Character Leadership and Development is shown adjacent to Arnold Hall and Harmon Hall at the U.S. Air Force Academy in this artist's rendering. Construction on the new facility, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, is scheduled to begin in March 2011 and be complete late summer 2012. (courtesy illustration)
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This screenshot displays the Air Force Academy's Facebook page, "US Air Force Academy (Official)." Fans of the Academy will be able to post comments related to wall postings on the page. (Courtesy illustration/Facebook.com)
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The Air Force Academy embraced social media technology with the launch of "US Air Force Academy (Official)" on Facebook and "AF_Academy" on Twitter Aug. 28. Social networking allows Academy officials to interact with the public in a direct and informal setting. (U.S. Air Force illustration / Jessica Jones)
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Under changes to cadet uniforms, metal ranks on shoulder boards have been replaced with embroidered ranks, and cadet rank insignias were updated to match cadet squadron organizational structures. (U.S. Air Force illustration)
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Character Corner is an ongoing series of commentaries furnished weekly by the U.S. Air Force Academy's Center for Character Development during the academic year. (U.S. Air Force illustration)
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The patch, a gray circle with a black border, has in its center the "Pink Panther" outlined in black. He wears a blue flight jacket with a second lieutenant's insignia and holds a white helmet. He leans against the yellow and black numeral "36."

The Pink Panther depicts the cunning and sophistication every cadet strives for during his cadet career. The flight jacket, helmet and gold bars symbolize the cadet's two most immediate goals: a commission as a second lieutenant and a flying career. The fact that the panther is leaning against the "36" signifies that a cadet depends on the other members of the Squadron.

This is the squadron's original patch. The Pink Panther was chosen to adorn the squadron patch because of his popularity as a Saturday morning cartoon character.
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The patch consists of a red "39" within the nucleus of a yellow atom. The atom is set on a dark blue circle, ringed by a silver border. At the bottom is the squadron motto, "Potentia Vincere", which is Latin for "The power to conquer". The atom represents the unlimited abilities in each squadron member, and the unity of the squadron as a whole. The colors represent the four classes, and the unified design represents the cooperation necessary among the classes to insure an effective squadron. This was the squadron's original patch, which was discontinued in 1980, but revived in 1991.
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The patch, shaped like a shield and outlined in black, has five white stars on a blue background in its upper portion. The nickname "ALL STARS" leaves blue contrails as it flares from the red and white vertical stripes of the lower portion. The blue numeral "38" sits to the upper left of the nickname.

The patch resembles the American flag and the Air Force shield and symbolizes the qualities of patriotism, courage and devotion to duty. "ALL STARS" is testimony to the excellence with which each squadron member performs his duties and responsibilities. The five stars stand for the five ideals of the squadron: character, discipline, devotion to duty, excellence and pride.

This second patch of the squadron was approved in 1972.
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The sky blue patch is an odd diamond shape edged in black. Along the bottom edge, against a gray background, are the black words "CLOSING FOR THE KILL." In the top corner, a red sun has four red sunbeams protruding outward. Inside the sun is the Roman numeral "XL." A camouflaged P-40 Warhawk with a tigershark mouth dominates. The aircraft fires six .50 caliber machine guns, and in the background a black enemy aircraft falls out of the sky, leaving a trail of black smoke.

The patch's four colors represent the Air Force Academy classes. The red sun and the "XL" link the present and future members of the 40th Squadron when it was called "ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES." The Warhawk links the squadron with the heritage and glory of the Air Force and the men who fought and died in the early years of air combat. Men who fought in P-40 were quick-thinking, fun-loving, dedicated, and courageous.

This second squadron patch replaced the "ALI BABA" one near the end of the '86-'87 academic year.
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The current patch is yet another in the evolution of the squadron's emblem and, technically, another color variation of the original. Its predominant color is royal blue, with gold bordering the circle. In the center, a gray knight with a blue shield, a red and white coronet, and a winged helmet is mounted on a large, gray and white stallion. The knight holds a silver, white and gray lance. A large, cratered, sliver moon and the red numeral "37" are in the upper right hand area. Gold is used for the knight's spur, the saddle girth and the horse's front hoof.

This variation, the third major color change, has been used since 1976.

It is possible to find examples of this patch without the red on the knight's coronet or headban.
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The patch, a turquoise circle bordered in black, dominantly portrays the "Grim Reaper." He has a gray and white skull and hands and wears a black cloak. He holds the gold Roman numeral "XXXI" by a chain in his right hand and a scythe in his left.

The "Grim Reaper" represents the reality of death and serves to remind cadets they have, as members of the Armed Forces, devoted their lives to their country. This dedication distinguishes the military profession from all others.

This second patch of the squadron was approved in 1972.
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