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USAFA cadet honored as Cadet of the Year
From right: Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Cadet 1st Class Dustin Hayhurst and David Cyster of The Air Squadron of the United Kingdom stand beside the Millennium Sword of Friendship in the Pentagon May 10, 2012. Secretary Donley presented the 2011 U.S. Air Force Cadet of the Year Award to Hayhurst. Cyster presented Hayhurst a coin symbolizing presentation of the sword to him in honor of being named the Cadet of the Year. Hayhurst earned the award by demonstrating excellence in military skills, academics and athletics in an Air Force commissioning program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)
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CS-06 cadet earns Air Force honors

Posted 5/11/2012   Updated 5/11/2012 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Richard A. Williams Jr.
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

5/11/2012 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- A senior in Cadet Squadron 06 was honored at the Pentagon May 10 as the Air Force's cadet of the year for 2011.

Cadet 1st Class Dustin Hayhurst received recognition for demonstrated excellence in military skill, academics and athletics in an Air Force commissioning program during a ceremony hosted by Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley.

"In Dustin, we recognize a cadet who truly exemplifies one of the Air Force's core values: Excellence in all we do," the secretary said. "He has consistently excelled as a scholar, as a warrior and as an athlete as well."

The Air Squadron, a private British organization, established the award in 2000 to pay tribute to the U.S. military for its support of the United Kingdom over the years.

The group presented the Millennium Sword of Friendship to the Air Force that same year as a symbol of the enduring British-American partnership. Since then, the name of each Cadet of the Year is engraved on the sword, which remains on display in the Pentagon.

According to the award citation, Hayhurst was ranked number one of 1,110 cadets in overall academic performance. He is a member of both the engineering and national aerospace honor societies and has been selected for a summer research program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am to receive this award, and not just the award but the opportunities I have been given at the Air Force Academy," Hayhurst said.

Hayhurst, who will graduate from the Academy May 23, said he could not have accomplished this achievement without support from the staff at the academy, his classmates and most of all his family.

"This is as much their award as it is mine," he added.

Hayhurst is a systems engineering team member on the Academy's FalconSAT program, which is tasked with designing, building, testing, and launching unique satellite systems and has also been an active member of the Academy triathlon team during his time there.

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