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4 cadets graduate in winter ceremony
From left to right: Cadets 1st Class Jonathan Yi, Erik Soderberg, Connor Dietz and Raymond Crone III receive their diplomas in a winter graduation ceremony held Wednesday in Arnold Hall. Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould encouraged the newly commissioned officers to strive to be leaders of vision and character. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)
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4 cadets graduate in winter ceremony

Posted 12/20/2012   Updated 12/20/2012 Email story   Print story


by 1st Lt. Brandon Baccam
Air Force Academy Public Affairs

12/20/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Four cadets joined the Long Blue Line when they graduated from the Air Force Academy in a winter graduation ceremony held Wednesday at Arnold Hall.

At the ceremony, Raymond Crone III, Connor Dietz, Erik Soderberg and Jonathan Yi received their diplomas and were commissioned as second lieutenants.

Speaking directly to the graduates, Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould emphasized the importance of their continual growth as leaders of character.

"How are you going to do this?" asked Gould. "We all know the obvious answer: with integrity."

These newly commissioned officers bring the Academy's graduating class of 2012 to a total of 1,083, said Academy Dean of Faculty Brig. Gen. Dana Born.

Dietz, a native of Columbus, Ohio, graduated with a bachelor's in management.

"I just feel really blessed and thankful that today came," Dietz said.

Dietz will begin his Air Force career as a logistics readiness officer at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Currently he is the starting quarterback for the Air Force Falcons and will play in the Armed Forces bowl on Dec. 29 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Crone is from Douglasville, Ga., and graduated with a bachelor's in aeronautical engineering.

Yi is from Seoul, South Korea, and graduated with a bachelor's in systems engineering management. Both Yi and Crone are scheduled to attend pilot training in the same class at Laughlin AFB, Texas.

"We both have the same (initial flight screening) dates and are in the same class, so we're pretty excited about that," Crone said.

Soderberg, a native of Eden Prairie, Minn., graduated with a bachelor's in management and will undergo special tactics officer training at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

"I have about two years of pretty rigorous training," Soderberg said. "That training is going to be a huge challenge -- I can't wait to get started and [to] do well."

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