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COVID-19 and USAFA Frequently Asked Questions

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Table of Contents

Non-Cadet Specific
Base Services
Personnel Information
Medical Information
Cadet-Related Questions
Medical Information
Food Services
Admissions & Graduation
Cadet Wing Information
Helpful Links


Leadership/Community Questions

When did leadership find out about the DoD stop movement directive?

The stop movement orders have been changing almost daily and with no advanced notice. Please discuss the situation about recognition with your AOC and AMT.

Many faculty members are wondering, what else can we do to help with the local community?

Presently, we have not been asked for such assistance from our local and state government, however, should we get that call we may reach out to faculty. In addition, there may come a time when we call upon the expertise within our faculty to assist with internal actions or problems related to COVID.

Business as required ... Can we stop the non-essentials then? MICT, CIMB, Quarterly Awards, etc.?

Non-essential may be defined differently for each organization. Be sure to share your concerns with your supervisor and chain of command. 

Do you expect USAFA's contingency operations to adapt as the CDC, Colorado, and DoD extend COVID-19 stay-at-home directives, etc.? 

The Crisis Action Team has created a future operations cell and they are looking at this. As COAs are developed, we are committed to a transparent process and will share them with you and base leadership.

What is the title and article that Lt. Gen. Silveria references? 

"Ethics in a Pandemic Age" by Adam Pelser, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the United States Air Force Academy. 

Where can we see a copy of the letter sent by the Cadet Wing commander to cadets and audience?  Would be a great teaching tool for future cadets.

Posted on the USAFA Facebook site on April 3 at 12:22 p.m.

Do you still value and trust the Cadet Wing chain of command?

Yes, 100%! Both cadets who have done awesome and the permanent party have been great and dealt with the rapidly changing situation extremely well. 

It seems like USAFA and its personnel will fundamentally change after this shared experience. How do you think we will change as an institution?

We are sure there will be changes to our way of operating, socializing, and even living. It is too early to say what these changes will be or look like. We plan to hold an after action review process to evaluate what went well, what we could have done better, and propose institutional, mission element, and like changes. More to follow on when and what this after action looks like as the pandemic abates.

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USAFA Base Specific and Services

Are visitors allowed to visit USAFA? 

As a precautionary measure, and in response to the world and nationwide spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Air Force Academy temporarily closed to visitors as of Friday, March 13, 2020, at 5 p.m. until further notice. This restriction does not impact access for on-base residents, Air Academy High School students and faculty, Department of Defense ID card holders, or anyone conducting official business. Gate hours also remain unchanged. 

Am I required to wear a cloth face covering and/or mask? 

Masks and six foot spacing is not optional. You will maintain six foot spacing to the max extent possible and when unable you will wear a mask. This means you need a mask on you at all times, without exception. These measures are not optional or open for interpretation and are part of our obligation to each other to maintain a safe and healthy environment. These orders apply to all on the USAFA installation, regardless of rank or duty status. If you have questions, please speak to your chain of command and reference this official memorandum for further guidance and instructions for how to make your own using common household supplies.

Since masks are required, will they be provided? Where can I purchase a mask?

The 10th Logistics Readiness Squadron is working diligently to provided masks as soon as possible to those required to come on base to work. There are multiple guidelines from the CDC on how to make a mask at home out of a t-shirt, etc. The LRS masks will be distributed to security personnel, cadets and those still required to report to work at USAFA. 

Am I required to wear a mask while driving through the entrance gate or is it enough to have it in your possession or around your neck?

You should have it with you, but if you have it on, gate guards will ask you to lower it as you come through the gate so they can properly check your identification. 

Are gate security personnel wearing protective gear?

Yes. Security Forces personnel have been issued face coverings and gloves to wear while conducting their duties. 

Do the gate security personnel handle every identification card?

No. Security Forces personnel conduct no-touch ID checks. Those entering the base will present their ID card and rotate it for inspection and scanning. After the card is scanned, the guard will give you instruction to proceed or not.

Is there truth to the rumor that a large part of USAFA will be converted to a quarantine/treatment facility for the general population of Colorado?

As of right now, there is no plan to convert USAFA to a general population quarantine/treatment facility, nor have we been asked to do so by FEMA. We have designated a few buildings as potential quarantine/isolation facilities to quarantine/isolate cadets and single Airmen residing in the dorms, should we need to. Right now we do not need volunteers, but we may send a call out for volunteers if demand for quarantine/isolation increases beyond what we can currently support.

What steps are being taken to protect the Colorado Springs population? Is the on-base population allowed to go off base?

Anyone leaving the base is following CDC and the Colorado governor's guidelines. Cadets, for example, are only allowed to leave base to pick up take out or drive thru meals, which is allowed under the current guidelines.

Are base facilities still open to users? 

Please check the Air Force Academy 10th Force Support Squadron website and USAFA Twitter for the most up to date facility hours and services provided. 

How much longer will the Child Development Center remain open?

There is no current plan to close the CDC, but the situation is rapidly evolving so please stay in touch with your supervisor for updates.

How are we addressing the increased number of people speeding on base?

Security Forces continues to proactively patrol the base and conduct traffic enforcement. 10th SFS will increase vigilance and enforcement around tri-bridge.

Can I still store or pick up my RV if I store it on base?

Yes. If you store your Recreational Vehicle on the installation, you can come on base and are encouraged to bring proof of ownership documentation and retrieve or store it. 

What if I have horses that I keep at the Academy stables? 

You can feed and tend to your horses with proof of ownership documentation with you. 

How can we contact the 10th Communications Squadron for computer support?

(719) 333-HELP or submit a ticket to 10cfp@usafa.edu.

If my computer breaks who do I contact to get a new one?

The repair and return of computers for cadets it done through SIGMA, who issued and supports those systems. For their procedures, please contact them at 719-472-9816.

We may be teleworking for quite some time, and I still get bumped off of VPN frequently and sometimes it takes a long time to connect. What is the plan to improve VPN connections/telework conditions in the long and short run?

We have installed a second VPN capability and are testing it now. It will be utilized for team members involved in Graduation effort thru April 18, 2020, then will be opened up to all .edu customers after Graduation. The new VPN, in addition to our existing one, can support up to 800 (previously 400) simultaneous connections.

Is construction on the cadet chapel halted? 

Construction on the cadet chapel continues.

Is there anyway to free up a gym for private party that are required to be at USAFA? We have no gym, fight the grocery store grind, and have spouses either not working (and losing pay) or working and fearful they'll get sick ... a gym could do wonders.

All options were reviewed to keep a gym open, but that is not an option at this time.

Is there anyway the golf course/driving range could be reopened for just cadets? If not is there any information on refunds for those seniors who purchased the $100 senior deal?

Closures of all MWR activities for cadets was a coordinated effort between CW, Public Health and the FSS. These measures were taken to minimize unnecessary contact between cadets. Our Senior Deal was designed to give cadets unlimited golf between March 1 and Graduation. While some cadets have used the program early in March, the Golf Course is standing by to refund all cadets the full fee. If Golf opens back up between now and graduation, cadets will still be allowed to play but not at the discounted rate. Cadets can contact the Eisenhower Golf Course manager at 719-333-2606 for details.

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Financial Information

Do we receive additional military pay entitlements? 

Only Hardship Duty Pay in specific scenarios; Effective March 13, 2020, service members ordered by their command to restriction of movement for self-monitoring due to exposure or suspected exposure to COVID-19 or travel to, from, or through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3 Travel Health Notice country, and that are directed to do so at a facility that is neither provided by the U.S. Government nor is their personal residence at the member's permanent duty station (PDS), will be paid $100 per day not to exceed $1,500 per month, if such members are required to pay for the cost for their lodging without full or partial reimbursement. See HDP ROM Policy or contact Finance for more information.

Can I use my Government Travel Card for personal expenses? 

The DoD policy is that the GTC will be used by all DoD personnel (military or civilian) to pay for all costs related to official government travel. The GTC should not be used for personal expenses. For questions, please contact your unit GTC Agency Program Coordinator (APC).

What are my travel entitlements?

Official guidance published through MyPers; see “4. Questions and answers (26 Mar 20)”

What are my entitlements if I'm forced to quarantine before arriving at my next duty station?

See “4. Questions and answers (26 Mar 20)”. For additional questions, please email the Finance workflow box: USAFA.FM@us.af.mil

Is there going to be a policy that allows us to keep our use or lose leave this year?

Please check with your supervisor, but the CSAF and CMSAF said on a recent live-stream that a policy is forthcoming to allow Airmen to keep their leave. As we know more, we will be sure to send to the entire workforce. 

How is the CDC handling childcare payments for non-mission essential personnel?

Auto payments for child care are processed on the 15th of the month. All parents were charged for a full month on March 15. On March 18, the USAFA CDC and Youth Center went to mission-essential support only. All parents not deemed mission essential have had their accounts credited from that point on until the next billing cycle on April 15. The April 15 billing cycle will only apply to those parents using the Child and Youth program under mission essential status. All others will not be billed until full operations are reinstated. Parents currently not using the Child and Youth program will maintain their slot in their respective programs unless they choose to drop. This information was provided to parents on/about March 18. Parents may contact 719-333-7781 if they have any further questions about our Child and Youth programs or fees.

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Personnel Information

Will promoted individuals be allowed past security forces with new rank sewn on if their Command Access Card is not updated?

Yes, your CAC will provide access. On April 7, 2020, a memo released outlining "Policy for Identification Card Operations for COVID-19." The guidance, effective now through Sept. 30, 2020, provides DoD ID card offices with guidelines to ensure continuity of operations and to minimize the number of non-essential visits by customers at DoD ID card office due to COVID-19. CACs will not be re-issued due to printed information changes such as promotions or name changes. 

If an employee falls into a high-risk category per CDC guidelines, can they be forced to come on base to work?

Yes. Commanders may recall high risk "Emergency Essential" employees in circumstances where critical, urgent, or mission-essential functions cannot be supported without high-risk emergency employees returning to work and the work cannot be performed remotely or via tele-work. 

Why must active duty adhere to COVID-19 restrictions but not the cadets?

Active duty and cadets are living by the same rules. 

I'm active duty and 100 percent staying home teleworking, do I have to keep my hair within grooming standards in AFI 36-2903? 

The Superintendent released a memorandum on April 8, 2020, that temporarily supersedes the published guidance in AFI 36-2903. With the intent of limiting the exposure to COVID-19, personal grooming standards related to hair are temporarily waived if the following conditions apply: 

  • The military member does not reside on USAFA.
  • The military member is in 100% telework status.
  • The military member only enters the installation for other than official business. 

This waiver applies to hair length and bulk only. All other personal appearance standards as related to hair (e.g., hair color restrictions) remain in effect. This waiver does not include the growth of facial hair. Please coordinate with your chain of command for any further questions.

If I'm active duty and have to work on base but, because of social distancing, can't get a haircut, what are the grooming standards expected of me?

You are expected to follow the provisions outlined in AFI 36-2903. 

Where do I go for civilian personnel questions? 

To learn more about our civilian personnel policies and flexibilities as it relates to communicable diseases and influenza, as well as Frequently Asked Questions regarding leave and telework, click here. This website provides up-to-date guidance from the Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense and the Office of Personnel Management. Military and civilian personnel may also visit the secure myPers website (CAC required) for more information. 

There is a rumor going around that if non-mission essential personnel are sent home that they will not be paid. What is the actual status if non-mission essential are sent home?

As long as people are either teleworking or on some form of paid leave (e.g. annual, sick, earned credit hours, comp time, etc.) they will get paid. In addition, for those whose work is not portable, supervisors can assign other duties as needed or leverage paid safety leave for the hours that work is not available. Supervisors should review the decision tree recently released by the 10th ABW as part of the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) or contact 10th FSS Civilian Personnel Office with questions.

Contractors cannot comply with the distance requirement because they are not allowed to work at home. Is there guidance on this?

Please work with your supervisor and team, each contract is different and under review.

Any news on WAPS testing for E-5/SSgt?

Air Force officials announced Weighted Airman Promotion System testing is postponed through May 11 to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19). Any Airman that is unable to test within the extended testing cycle window will be automatically considered for in-system supplemental promotion consideration once they are able to test. Please check with your supervisor for additional updates. 

Is there any information on the way forward following the end of the stop movement for the summer PCS cycle?

Upon termination of the Stop Movement orders, members should be prepared to PCS as scheduled. At this time, no information has been released pertaining to how PCSs will be affected, if at all.

Do we anticipate delays in deployments in the foreseeable future?

Stay in touch with your deployed and home station leadership and make sure they know how best to reach you. 

Can I still take my Fitness Test during HPCON C? 

Effective March 17, 2020, all Official Fitness Assessment Testing is cancelled until November 2020.    

Fitness Assessment Cells must ensure that AFMMS II is updated to reflect a Commander Composite Exemption on each member who is due for their Official Fitness Assessment in March, April and May.  FACs must also ensure the expiration dates reflect the same due dates indicated above to prevent members going into a non-current status.  

Fitness Testing will resume on Nov. 1, 2020, unless further guidance is published. 

I keep seeing that there's a push to reduce workforce yet I see no reduction in high traffic areas such as the MPF. Is there a plan to draw down or limit these services at USAFA?

MPF is appointment only and they are limiting the number of people seen at one time. 

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Medical Information

How do I get seen by a doctor for a non-COVID related reason that is not my PCM at the Academy?

Call the appointment line for a TRICARE referral (719-524-2273). And please continue to work with your chain of command if that doesn't work.

Our mission is to graduate the class of 2020, in the process it seems like we're sacrificing the health of the rest of the base. Can you clarify?

The base has been protected in many ways including the Official Business Only order. We are doing everything we can to protect both the cadets and all permanent party and civilian personnel. 

What are you doing to take care of the mental health of permanent party service members?

The 10th MDG Mental Health clinic continues to provide their same services to beneficiaries with creative solutions to maintain physical distance. The Mental Health clinic currently has the capabilities to serve active duty members and cadets. They are not accepting new referrals for active duty family members, retirees or dependents of retirees. We continue to offer daily walk-in hours, between 0730-1630.

Ignoring social distancing recommendations puts all of our well-being at risk. What will you say to the individual who ultimately dies due to the uncontained spread at USAFA?

We have not ignored social distance rules except in the immediate wake of the death of our cadets. The Superintendent determined this was an acceptable risk and we remain COVID-free in the cadet population. 

Fort Carson's Evans Medical Center is offering COVID-19 testing for TriCare members. Are USAFA permanent party members cleared to get tested if they are unaware of their COVID-19 status?

Please check with your provider to discuss your concerns. They would be better able to help navigate your concerns. The Fort Carson COVID-19 Patient Advice Line is now up and running. Their phone number is: 719-524-2684. They will answer questions regarding COVID-19-related questions. They take calls from anyone in the Colorado Springs Market Health System. Parents of cadets can call too, but 1.) They will not be able to give them info about their child specifically, and 2.) they will not be the experts in USAFA-related issues. But if they do get stumped with USAFA-isms, they can redirect the caller to the correct phone number. Their hours of operations are: Monday - Friday, 0700 - 1700; Saturday, 0800-1600.

We can't really call it a quarantine for the cadet's collective safety if we are allowing people in the potentially infected population to come on base every day.

We are reducing contact as much as we can while still continuing the mission. Some contractors are still being allowed on base for official business.

What should USAFA personnel that are worried about being exposed to COVID-19 do? 

We encourage all USAFA personnel to follow the Force Health Protection guidance/official messages as well as the CDC and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidance. The CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19. 

Center for Disease Control 

Colorado State Public Health 

USAFA 10th MDG Patient Appointment line 719-526-2273.

What if I got tested for COVID-19, where do I find those lab results?

COVID-19 and flu test results are available to patients via the TRICARE Online (TOL) Patient Portal. Patients can see their COVID-19 test results on TOL PP once the results have been certified by their Laboratory Team. This new function ensures patients have expedited access to their COVID-19 or flu status so they can accelerate self-isolation for a positive result, or gain peace of mind for a negative result. Patients who have questions or concerns about their result are encouraged to contact their Primary Care Manager via TOL Secure Messaging or by calling 719-524-2273. 

Are military members restricted from donating blood at this time?

No. Red Cross is looking for blood donors now. You can visit the Red Cross website for information on blood donation.

Do we have MOPP gear and decon stations available for volunteers in case we have to quarantine in place and provide aid to thousands of people at USAFA?

MOPP Gear would not be appropriate and is not OSHA approved for this type of activity. From a Public Health standpoint, MOPP is excessive for protection. A simple surgical mask or N-95 mask will do, if protection is required. Our Medical professionals only use a mask when the patient has respiratory symptoms or at entry control points to the Medical Treatment Facility. Should we need volunteer support, all volunteers will be equipped with the proper protective equipment.

How many people at USAFA are being monitored for COVID-19/coronavirus? Are cadets/faculty/staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19? Are there currently any positive cases?  

We do have cases we are tracking daily. As the situation changes every hour, we are unable to maintain this FAQ with current numbers. Out of an abundance of caution, we are monitoring anyone who shows signs of illness. We are following CDC and DOD guidelines for testing and medical responses. 

What is the current and potential risk of COVID-19 transmission to USAFA writ large? 

Currently, the risk of the Novel Coronavirus to the U.S. Air Force Academy is assessed by medical professionals as low.  However, with current outbreaks occurring globally, this could rapidly change. The Department of Defense has assessed the level of threat to DoD personnel stationed around the world as moderate risk. 

Does USAFA have the lab and lab personnel to conduct COVID-19 testing locally and if not, where would lab specimens be sent and how long of a lag time would there be in obtaining results? 

The 10th Medical Group laboratory is not authorized to conduct COVID-19 testing nor do they have the capabilities. Lab functions to provide collection kits and our providers are authorized to collect the samples. Samples are mailed to the State Laboratory at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. They have the capabilities to test 160 samples/day.  Current turn-around time for results is 24 hours. Turn-around time may be extended if the State experiences an influx of samples. 

What are Force Health Protection Conditions (HPCON)? 

Much like the guidance that CDC provides to the public, the Department of Defense provides similar guidance to military commanders. The primary difference is that the DoD guidance is designed to ensure the Department of Defense can continue to perform its mission. Installation commanders use the HPCON framework to select an appropriate response to a public health emergency or incident of public health concern. The framework clarifies uncertainty associated with these situations and provides options based on the scope and severity of the situation. 

What are the different HPCONS? 

The following is a brief description of each HPCON level. 

  • HPCON 0 – Normal Operations. No known health risks, other than diseases endemic to the area surrounding the installation.  

  • HPCON Alpha – Limited Disease Threat. There is a limited threat to personnel based on the existence of a disease or unusual human health threat that has the potential to rapidly move into the local area (i.e., an area defined by each installation as consisting of a predetermined distance or a list/map depicting by-name counties surrounding the installation).  

  • HPCON Bravo – Moderate Disease Threat. There is a moderate disease threat and/or a real risk of exposure to personnel due to a significant outbreak of disease in the local area or imminent spread of disease to the local area. HPCON B would be employed by the commander if notified by the PHEO that there has been an initial case identification of a contagious disease, such as a novel influenza, or a dramatic increase in the risk of acquiring a new significant disease from the environment within the local area.  

  • HPCON Charlie – Substantial Disease Threat. There is a substantial threat of disease for personnel due to a local epidemic outbreak of a disease with a high morbidity rate, imminent spread of such a disease to the local area, and/or a wide area of contamination that requires special or costly avoidance procedures.  

  • HPCON Delta – Severe Disease Threat. A local epidemic with a high mortality rate or imminent spread of such a disease to the local area will drive enactment of HPCON D. 

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Cadet Related Questions

Medical Information

How does my cadet get medical care at home?

Please call TriCare.

What changes can we expect to see if there is a confirmed positive for a cadet at USAFA?

We have an isolation/quarantine plan in the event of a cadet case on USAFA.

If the social distancing of cadets was relaxed due to mental health concerns, how can we expect them to handle hardships while leading on active duty?

Social distancing was relaxed briefly in the immediate wake of losing two classmates during a global pandemic for the health and safety of the Cadet Wing. We are in the midst of a real hardship and only adds to their resiliency as leaders of character. 

If a cadet tests positive, what is the isolation plan? 

Cadets suspected of exposure to the virus or show signs of illness will be assessed. If the assessment shows the cadet may have been exposed, they will be quarantined and tested. If the test results as a positive, the cadet will remain in isolation until the symptoms have resolved and/or lab results return negative. 

How should cadets go about updating their status on a medical waiver?

Work with your AOC and AMT. Medical standards are still working and can set up consultations and help continue the process.

If a cadet is at home and running temperature, what is USAFA notification policy?

The 10th MDG isn't tracking, but can call parents. More information available on the 10th MDG's website.

Will cadets or other populations at USAFA be tested in advance of someone becoming symptomatic or testing positive for COVID-19? 

Testing is based on an algorithm released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The Colorado State Department of Health testing algorithm is a bit more lenient to include those persons who have traveled to a location with known community spread or an active outbreak.  Each case would be discussed with the State Department of Health for final adjudication on a case. 

Can I go to the USAFA Clinic if I want to get tested? 

The clinic will not accept walk-in appointments for patients wishing to test for COVID-19. For those who want to be tested, please schedule an appointment with your health care team by calling the Patient Appointing Service (PAS) at 719-526-2273. You will be asked to leave a message. Clinical staff will return your call and schedule an appointment that does not put you, other patients, and our health care workers at risk.  Patients may also call the Nurse Advice Line (1-800-874-2273). We have dedicated clinical teams ready to respond. 

Is it true that Cadets returning are subject to a two week quarantine even if they don't exhibit symptoms?

Each case is different, all cadets returning will be screened by the 10th Medical Group and isolation may be required in some cases.

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Admissions & Graduation

Will Admissions still be accepting applications?

While the Air Force Academy is currently closed to visitors, the Selections Division in the Office of Admissions is open and processing applications. For current candidates to the Class of 2024, we expect to have decisions out for direct entry into the Academy by April 21. We will continue to work offers to the Preparatory School and Falcon Foundation into May. 

All notifications are made through the Admissions Applicant Portal. Candidates should receive an email in the account used for their application notifying them they have a new message in their portal.

Why is there an urgent need to graduate the class of 2020 when there is a major backlog in pilot training and now, because of COVID-19, backlogs or pauses in other training pipelines?

We are considering a number factors--not just the training pipeline. We do not know what the COVID-19 situation will look like going forward. Once we determine most graduation requirements had already been met, and the rest could be completed by mid-April, the decision was made to graduate the class of 2020 on April 18.

With an April 18 graduation date for the class of 2020, does that mean their 60 days of leave ends on June 18?

Yes. They will proceed on graduation leave and report per their PCS Orders as directed. Cadet Squadron AOCs will maintain accountability of second lieutenants on grad leave until they report to their next duty station. 

How can I stay another year at USAFA to let my family recover?

Discuss assignment options with your career field manager.

Rumors are now out there that the POTUS directed the April 18 graduation. Is that true?

We looked at all options, took suggestions from cadets all the way to the SECAF, It was a discussion and ultimately USAFA's call. The POTUS was not involved.

I find it difficult to believe that the Air Force would cease to function effectively without the influx of 1,000 second lieutenants within the next three weeks. What's the real reason we're graduating them early?

The change of graduation was a discussion up and down the chain of command. Ultimately, it was a balance of needs of the Air Force and the best way to keep our population health both mentally and physically. Remember USAFA doesn't stop after graduation. We're anticipating quarantine times and the need to cycle 3,000 underclassmen back to USAFA and eventually on to some version of summer programs including the class of 2020.

Is the COVID-19 outbreak affecting the application process for the Class of 2024? 

For the incoming Class of 2024, the admission office does not predict any complications with application processing and will adhere to the timetable in the “Instructions to Candidates” booklet that is provided on the candidate portals. All candidates will know their status of admissions on or before April 21, 2020. Candidates who are not selected for an appointment for the Class of 2024 may re-apply after July 1.  

For the future Class of 2025, the website is open for new applicants to complete the Pre-Candidate Questionnaire and submit for review. Our Admissions Counselors will review new applications and provide feedback to applicants via their portal. If applicants are “considered competitive” the remainder of their application will open in July. 

Is cadet inprocessing still happening on June 25? 

The situation is continuously evolving and we are looking at all summer programs for necessary adjustments. There is no decision yet on I-day. 

Will there still be Appointee Tours at USAFA in April?

All Appointee Tours are cancelled at USAFA.

Is 2020 Graduation still on? Parade? Virtual? Will guests be allowed? If not, will it be streamed for guests? DVD for purchase?

The Class of 2020 will graduate on April 18. The even will be live-streamed for family, friends, and the public. We will update this page and the Academy's social media when information and details are determined.

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Food Services

For cadets who chose to remain on base, is Mitchell Hall open as usual? Will all cadets go to Mitch's for all meals or will meals be delivered to their rooms?

We appreciate your question and share your concern for our cadets and employees at USAFA. All cadets receive their meals in carry-out containers from employees wearing personal protection in accordance with Public Health guidelines. Employees are practicing social distancing within Mitchell Hall and staff utilize high strength sanitizing agents throughout the facility every day. All supervisors at Mitchell Hall meet with and query employees for symptoms prior to the start of their shift. Any employees that are feeling ill are sent home and must have a doctor’s note to return to duty.   

Employees or cadets who either test positive for or have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 are placed into isolation and will be released from isolation when they meet the criteria to discontinue isolation as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To date there have been no positive Coronavirus results from the cadet wing or the staff at Mitchell Hall. We have a number of contingency plans in place to ensure cadets are fed. We retain 14 days of food within Mitchell Hall and there have been no issues with deliveries from our food vendors.  Additionally we have agreements with downtown food establishments to supplement our capability and FSS has a number of other food operations that could supplement Mitchell Hall with manpower if needed.  

Will cadets get BAS/BAH while home?

Please contact your AOC. If you are away from USAFA you should be eligible for BAS.

Will Arnold Hall food establishments be open, e.g., Subway, Dominos, etc.?

The Colorado Springs Exchange Food and Concession restaurants will be takeout and drive-thru only (Dining rooms will be closed) until further notice.

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Are classes canceled? Are you considering canceling graduation? 

The Academy provides remote (distance learning) classes and training to all cadets effective March 25. The classes and training are provided through a myriad of online sources to continue to provide the best training, education and development for our future Air and Space Forces leaders. The Academy’s goal is to get the class of 2020 to meet all graduation requirements in a timely manner and join the Air and Space Forces as commissioned officers this summer. The 2020 Graduation Ceremony details have not been determined, however, the class will graduate on April 18 and the event will be live-streamed. More information is available at https://www.usafa.edu/about/traditions/graduation/.  

Will the Academy remain an accredited institution? 

We are making every effort to ensure we comply with accreditation guidelines in this demanding time. Impacts to all classes are being considered with every decision we make, but the realities of the situation force changes and the guidance from senior leadership has to be followed.

What is the status of summer programs such as Ops and BCT?

This is a dynamic situation - we are working on several options and will continue to keep you posted. There is a working group across all MEs, looking at the way ahead. The group is looking at all programs. For things that are cancelled, we find a way to move forward and understand that some things may just be restructured or delayed at another time.

Students in "paused" classes were given guidance to work ahead, but instructors were not given guidance on how their classes will be affected. How can instructors encourage learning when the structure of their classes are repeatedly changed?

We are not solely an institution of higher learning. We are a military academy. Our first priority is to provide the nation with military officers. We have leadership outside the institution who have direction and oversight into how we conduct our mission. Students who are able, and motivated to do so, should be allowed the opportunity to work ahead and continue learning as a way to help them with routine, purpose, and connection with the institution in this time of extreme social distancing. Scheduling changed based on direct senior Air Force leader input. 

Why have you continued online learning? Why not wrap up the school year now?

Continuing the semester accomplishes a couple of very important things. It maintains connection with our remaining cadet population to provide a connection for their continued sense of belonging and our ability to monitor their well-being. It enables us the ability to further exercise online teaching capabilities to identify current capabilities and places to improve both our capabilities and our faculty for the future.

Have you taken a hard look at cancelling summer programs in order to allow permanent party and the classes of 2021-2023 to regroup? 

All summer programs are under review and some have already been cancelled. The situation is constantly evolving and updates will be provided as final decisions are made. 

Many universities have given students the option of having classes be pass/fail, will we be doing this? One term of pass/fail wouldn’t crush anyone, and studies on low-risk learning suggest that it might even help cadets focus more on learning than on grades during this time of uncertainty and new practices.

Cadets please know this option is still under consideration and discussion by the Dean and Permanent Professors. There are several pedagogical and logistical issues (including affects graduation order of merit and accreditation of degrees) that need to be considered before a decision is made. However, many other universities conduct and are conducting online courses in the face of this situation for letter grades and USAFA is looking to follow their examples.

Originally the Class of 2021 was going to put in for AFSC preferences back in February. I understand we are waiting on AFPC, is there a timeline for when we will put in for them now that there is all this higher priority items concerning COVID-19?

AFSC is working on that. Our original intent was to get it out by May. We are not going to be able to do that. We are going to try to get as many component as info and selection done before you leave in May. We are not going to be able to get through the AFSCs by the end of May. 

What is the projected time length Class of 2021 pilot selectees will be on casual status before starting pilot training?

CY21 AFSCs have not been matched nor has AFPC loaded assignments as they are focused on CY20 accessions which are imminent. Casual timelines are unknown this far in advance. In addition, COVID-19 Stop Movement Orders may be affecting all training pipelines, specific impacts unknown at our level. We will update CY21 in Fall of 2020.

Is there a possibility that Fairchild Hall itself would be restricted to cadets on base continuing with research?

If there are widespread symptomatic, infected and quarantined personnel, in-person classes for Firsties will be suspended and access to Fairchild Hall will require Dean's approval.

How will finals be done if we return or if we do not return to USAFA?

Our schedule plans to have cadets return for finals, albeit different time for underclassmen and first class. This is subject to change based on lifting of stop movement order and spread of the pandemic. We will give you time to transition back to USAFA to take in your finals. Check with your instructor.

With regards to probation, does this time count towards cadets on probation?

Please work with your chain of command to discuss that issue.

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Cadet Wing Information

What is the status of the cadet wing?  

On March 13, with two goals in mind 1) protect the health and safety of our population, and 2) graduate the class of 2020 on time, the Superintendent released the lower three classes at the Academy to their home or an alternate location of their choosing within the DoD Travel Guidelines. The First Class Cadets were held in place on campus.  

This decision will allow USAFA to spread out the remaining cadets to achieve the suggested social distancing while they continue their education and training requirements. Most of the dismissed cadets departed the Academy March 13-15, but the full transition is an ongoing process. The Academy is very proud of the actions of everyone at USAFA since Friday morning. We saw exceptional leadership from the class of 2020 as they helped so many leave USAFA. Additionally, we are very appreciative of the many USAFA graduates and sponsor families that stepped up to help departing cadets get to the locations they needed. 

Why are we still conducting flying operations down at the flight line?

We are conducting minimal flying operations that are deemed mission essential.

Is there a possibility to continue airfield operations after we return to a lower HPCON?

The airfield and USAFA leadership hope to return to operations once conditions and risk allows.

Did the international cadets leave the Academy? 

Six of 58 international cadets have left the Academy for a location within the U.S. The remaining international cadets were not allowed to return to their home country and remain here at the Academy.

When will the Cadets return?  

We are in the middle of an unprecedented event. USAFA leadership and medical staff will continue evaluating the health and safety of the Cadet Wing daily and will return the cadet wing when appropriate. 

Are cadets in high risk areas advised to come back to USAFA?

Cadets are advised to remain in place. Currently, traveling through airports, in airplanes, in commercial transportation, and stopping at rest stops puts you at risk for acquiring the virus. Cadets desiring to return to USAFA for any reason should coordinate with their chain of command.

When is an estimated time to be back?

Please work with your chain of command to discuss that issue. If we get additional guidance, we will let you know. We can't commit to a hard time.

As the President recently said he wants people to start returning to work by Easter, is there any chance of USAFA bringing back lower three by then?

Every day, the USAFA leadership team continues to evaluate risk - we will communicate any changes.

Will the Class of 2023 get recognized?

We continue to look at options to ensure that you still have the opportunity to experience some of the most significant parts of the recognition. We want to make sure you get to properly experience those things and feel the sense of pride for everything you have accomplished as a four degree. Please understand there are too many variables right now to put dates in the calendar for these events. 

Who do I contact for specific Cadet and Squadron rules and policies? 

It is recommended to contact the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of the specific Squadron with questions regarding specific cadets or squadron policies.   

How will the Class of 2021 renew their Common Access Cards if they expire before we return to USAFA?

CY21 CACs start expiring mid to end of June 2020. For those located close to a military installation, they will report there to request a new CAC (call ahead to check availability). For those who do not reside close to a military installation, they will have to use their Administration Account log-ins until such time they return to USAFA.

What is the purpose of having the cadets wear uniforms when they are most likely not wearing the full uniform in the comfort of their homes?

We are members of the profession of arms. It serves as a visual reminder that we are military members regardless of where we are located. We are performing our duties to the best of our abilities. The military faculty will be in their uniform for synchronous classes. 

Will the consumption of alcohol be approved in the dorms for the Firstie cadets?

No, not at this time.

What's going on with U.S. mail services for cadets who left the Academy?

If they put a change of address, USPS packages will be forwarded. If it’s a UPS or FedEx they will go back to the sender. Could you please ask parents clubs not to send to the senior class for about two weeks so we can get everything cleaned up before they mail.

Will cadets get a refund for commercial internet for the months since they aren't at USAFA?

Cadets must work with the commercial carrier individually.

How can we help the Firsties who are stuck on base? 

Don't bring COVID-19 to USAFA - limit interaction, but continue to support them with phone calls, social media, or letters.

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Helpful Links 

This information can also be found at https://www.usafa.edu/news/coronavirus/
(Current as of March 30, 2020.)