Air Force Academy cadets score high at debate competitions

  • Published
  • By Ray Bowden
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

Cadets in the Air Force Academy’s Forensics Club earned top slots and second place at separate two debate competition, Oct. 19-21 in Colorado Springs and Denver.


At Colorado College, Cadets 3rd Class Henry Gilchrist and Mark Mackenzie, and Cadets 1st Class Samantha Potter and Ciera White, placed first-through-fourth out of 40 students at the five-state regional National Parliamentary Debate Association Tournament, Oct. 19.


Cadets 4th Class Briana Barnett and Adam Moeller took first place in the junior varsity debate competition and Cadet 4th Class Colin Jarrett-Izzy was judged as “top speaker,” at Colorado College.  

“We were definitely excited,” Moeller said. “We’re proud to represent the Academy and the armed forces.”


Barnett said her first thought after winning the debate was “Our hard work paid off.”


“It had been a long day and we went into the last round with some anxiety because we knew we were going up against a good team,” she said. “We prepped a lot.”

The curriculum offered at the Academy keeps Forensics Club members aware of current global events, which helps during competitions, Barnett said.


In Denver

Potter and White took second place in the final round of a national circuit tournament Oct. 20-21, co-hosted by the University of Denver and Regis University Oct. 21. In all, 70 U.S. debate teams competed.


Cadets 4th Class Piper Gray and Shane Lindsay earns a finalist slots as a team in the junior varsity division.


“Every military officer has to be persuasive and know how to formulate an argument without much external information quickly,” Barnett said. “Forensics will really help in that way with my future career.”


Moeller said Forensics competitions help the general public and other students learn about the Academy.


“We’re one of the only military teams that competes on the west coast circuit and I find we bring a unique perspective to competitions that most civilian teams don’t have,” he said.


Visit to read the report about the Forensics Club’s previous victory.