Vice President Pence to attend graduation ceremony for nearly 1,000 AF Academy cadets

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

Vice President to give commencement address, class of 2020 demographics released


U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Vice President Mike Pence will visit the Air Force Academy to deliver the commencement address to the class of 2020.

Originally scheduled to address the graduating class by video message, Pence’s office announced a change of plans April 14.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond, are scheduled to attend.

In all, 967 senior cadets will receive their bachelor’s degrees and commission as second lieutenants in the Air Force.

As of this report, nearly 90 graduates will serve in the new Space Force, a separate service protecting U.S. and allied interests in space led by Raymond.

The ceremony will feature a flyover by the Air Force’s aerial demonstration team, the Thunderbirds.

President Donald Trump gave commencement remarks last year to the class of 2019. Commencement speakers at service academy graduations rotate each year and typically include the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense and other senior Pentagon officials.

As of April 18, more than 52,000 men and women will have graduated from the Academy.

The Ceremony: Only Mission Essential Personnel Allowed on Base

The Academy is closed 6 a.m.-1 p.m. to all but mission-essential staff and cadets on graduation day. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the ceremony will occur without an audience, including friends and family, according to Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the Academy’s superintendent. 

“For safety and out of respect for the situation our nation is enduring, I ask for your support,” Silveria said. “There will not be any spectators and we will minimize the footprint of faculty and staff as much as possible.”

The 11 a.m. ceremony, organized by the senior class, takes place on the terrazzo or Arnold Hall, depending on the weather. Watch the ceremony here:

Class of 2020 Demographics

The Academy’s admission office compiles information on each class. Here’s the latest data from 2019 and 2020. This information is subject to change and may be adjusted.

Appointed, Inducted, Graduated

-- 1,492 men and women were offered appointments and 1,168 men and women were inducted

-- 826 men (69.7% of the student body) and 342 women (29.3%)

-- 355 (30.4%) minorities

-- 471 (40.3%) graduates potentially qualify for pilot training

-- 16 international cadets

GPA, SAT, ACT Scores

The average high school GPA is 3.87 and the average SAT score is 642 verbal and 671 math. The average ACT score is 30.4 English, 30.8   reading, 29.8 math and 30.1 science.

Scheduled to Graduate

Scheduled to graduate are 967 cadets, including 13 international cadets. This is 686 men (71%) and 281 women (29%).

 There are 296 minorities (30%): 72 African Americans, 96 Hispanics, 91 Asians, 26 Pacific Islanders and 11 Native Americans.

Six-hundred-seventy-one cadets (70%) are not minorities.

International cadets in the class of 2020 are citizens of Georgia, North Macedonia, Moldovia, Pakistan, Panama, The Philippines, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Tunisia.

Other Demographics

One-hundred-thirty-three attended the Air Force Academy Preparatory School and 59 are formal enlisted service members.

The class includes 485 graduates selected for pilot training; 11 for combat systems officer training; 10 for air battle manager training; 30 for remotely piloted aircraft training; and 536 scheduled to become rated officers in flying-related careers.

Class of 2019 Demographics

Appointed, Inducted, Graduated

-- 1,559 men and women were offered appointments and 1,242 were inducted

-- 913 men (73.5%) and 329 women (26.5%)

-- 397 (32%) minorities

-- 503(40.9%) potentially qualified for pilot training

GPA, SAT, ACT Scores

The average high school GPA is 3.84, the average SAT score is 642 verbal and 672 math, and the average ACT score is 30.3 English, 30.7 reading, 29.9 math and 30 science.

Scheduled to Graduate

Scheduled to graduate were 989 cadets, including 10 international cadets.

There were 304 minorities (31%): 67 African Americans, 104 Hispanics, 91 Asians, 27 Pacific Islanders and 15 Native Americans.

Six-hundred-eighty-five cadets (69.2%) are not minorities.

The 10 international cadets in the class of 2019 are citizens of from Kazakhstan, The Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Tunisia. 

Other Demographics

One-hundred-thirty-two graduates attended the Prep School and 56 are former formally enlisted service members

The attrition rate for the class of 2019 was 234 cadets (19.7%)


The class includes 527 graduates selected for pilot training; five for combat systems operator training; two for air battle manager training; 45 for remotely piloted aircraft training; and 579 selected to be rated officers.

Service Commitment

Depending on their training, schooling or scholarships, service academy graduates have a five-year service commitment and a concurrent service commitment. Service academy graduates who attend pilot training have an active duty commitment of 10 years after their training.

Combat systems operators, RPA sensor operators and airborne battle managers have a six-year commitment after their training.

Graduates completing airborne battle manager training have two concurrent service commitments: a five-year service academy graduate commitment and a six-year airborne-battle-manager commitment.