Superintendent welcomes parents, guests

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Welcome to the Air Force Academy and congratulations on your cadet's outstanding achievements since he or she arrived as a member of the Class of 2013. 

History has proven ongoing support from family and friends plays a huge role in fostering an overall successful cadet experience at the Academy. This weekend is for you. It will reveal the life of your cadet even deeper as you see first-hand many aspects of the Academy you've only heard or read about. Take a close look at our world-class character development programs -- military, academic, athletic and Airmanship --designed to push your son or daughter beyond his or her preconceived limits. 

Much has changed in your cadet's life since he or she arrived at Doolittle Hall to inprocess on June 25. Every cadet's ability has been challenged, from the marble of the Terrazzo through the mud at Jacks Valley, and each has developed a deeper understanding of the team concept, while gaining further insight into the Air Force mission and family. 

Developing leaders of character remains our No. 1 priority. We achieve that through continual emphasis of our Air Force's Core Values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do. This four-year challenge will make our cadets -- your sons and daughters -- the best second lieutenants America can produce as they enter the active-duty force in 2013. 

By the time your cadet graduates and commissions in 2013, the major transformation and expansion of the Academy's character development efforts will almost be complete. Plans include re-designating the Center for Character Development to the Center for Character and Leadership Development and relocating it into a new $25-million facility scheduled to open in late summer 2012. Construction for the new building is anticipated to begin in March 2011. 

The transformation will add research, assessment, and curriculum enhancement capabilities to advance the overall effectiveness of the Academy's ability to shape your cadets' character, place an increased emphasis on leadership development, and more deliberately integrate the entire faculty and staff in cadets' character and leadership growth experiences. 

As we emphasize leadership and character, the members of 2013 have already shown they possess the skills, strengths and experiences to meld into a team that's "best to be seen" -- perpetuating the history of the Long Blue Line. 

Thanks for supporting your cadet, the Air Force Academy and our great nation. Enjoy this very special weekend; it marks one of many milestones in the lives of Air Force Academy families.