AOG welcomes Class of 2013

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- On behalf of the Association of Graduates, I'm honored to extend congratulations to the Class of 2013 upon completion of Basic Cadet Training -- the first hurdle in your cadet careers. Approximately 42,000 graduates before you have endured the rigors of this beginning tradition. It is one of the many cadet experiences that will bond you as a class and will forever be a source of camaraderie and fond memories

The nation is expecting great things from your class. These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary leadership, not only to win today's war, but to guide our country and inspire confidence in all sectors of society.

The Academy's and the Air Force's Core Values -- Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do -- are the cornerstones of the profession you have chosen. These are beacons that will guide you for the rest of your life. Now, more than ever, our country needs leaders of character to guide the nation. The AOG is eagerly waiting to see you set new standards for integrity and honor as you move through your careers.

The Association of Graduates stands ready to support you during your cadet experience and for the rest of your life. During the last few years, the AOG has given millions of dollars to the Academy for building projects and cadet programs that were not funded by the government. The money from donations funded character development programs, club activities, guest speakers, foreign area studies and a host of other programs and projects that make the Academy experience unique and special. Private donations enabled the completion of the General Hubert Harmon Memorial and the Mall of Heroes, embodying our values and rich heritage.

Once again we were happy to develop the "Preflight Checklist" to pass along extra knowledge and information that you and your families needed prior to your arrival. Parents have no doubt found the Parent Handbook with the Academy's calendar that we produce invaluable. It is packed with information about cadet life. The AOG also runs the WebGuy Web site at www.usafawebguy.com* where many parents of the Class of 2013 spent hours searching for photos or videos of their sons and daughters. We will continue to offer you these kinds of services and more, as you progress through your cadet careers.

The AOG has a new board of directors, a new slate of officers, and a new "enterprise-wide" model of conducting business that emphasizes solid stewardship and enthusiastic membership development. Our new logo represents our commitment to "Building a Better Academy." We've expanded our social networking, so you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to Zoomie Nation. A special edition of Checkpoints magazine in September marks a new era in our communications efforts, introducing the theme "If You Only Knew," an overview of how every activity the Association of Graduates engages in supports the Academy.

The AOG is here to support you, our future graduates, through every phase of your academic and professional careers, from In-processing to reunions and beyond. More than a third of the Class of 2013 has signed up for our Life Membership at Graduation program, and over 900 parents from the class have joined the AOG. If you have not joined our outstanding organization yet, we encourage you to do so. We want to ensure you have the same extraordinary experience that cadets who have gone before have had.

As you embark on your four-year journey, it is important to note that you have been given a very special opportunity. You should be proud that your Academy has been ranked "Number One." It has been chosen as the "Best College in the Western Region" by U.S. News and World Report.

You are now being prepared to serve in the most technologically proficient force in the world. America's citizens expect the Academy to provide qualified men and women to lead that force in the new millennium. The Association of Graduates and its members are confident that the Class of 2013 is ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead. We extend our best wishes to all of you -- and we look forward to welcoming you as members of the Long Blue Line.

* Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Air Force of this Web site or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation sites, the U.S. Air Force does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DOD Web site.