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The mission of the United States Air Force Academy is to provide "instruction, experience and motivation to each cadet so that he
will graduate with the knowledge, character, and qualities of
leadership essential to his progressive development as
in the mission are the following broad objectives:
To develop in each cadet the ideals of duty,
If a single word could be selected to en- what the leader exacts of them, even under compass the heart of the several Academy conditions of extreme stress or danger. Having programs, that word would be challenge. I developed such qualities of leadership within think most people agree that the best way to a sound mind and body, the Academy gradudevelop a young man's potential is to chal- ate receives, almost without knowing it, a lenge him, continuously and in increasingly strong sense of pride in himself and his Air difficult ways. We provide this kind of chal.
Force. He is confident that he can meet the lenge-in the military field, in the academic challenges of the career ahead and work out program, in the physically demanding varsity solutions of which he will be proud and which and intramural activities, and, not least, in the will make a meaningful contribution to the psychological and moral aspects of life at the defense of his country. Cadets vary in the deAcademy.
gree to which they achieve this maturity and By putting forth these constant challenges, capability, but the testimony of Air Force comwe hope to inculcate in the cadets the strong manders worldwide would seem to confirm attributes of character that they must have as that the Air Force Academy graduate is highly leaders in today's and tomorrow's aerospace
valued wherever he goes, for his qualities of Air Force. Foremost among these attributes is leadership, responsibility, and morale and for responsibility. As the capacity for being re- his ability to get the job done in an efficient sponsible develops with experience, we give and competent manner. the cadets responsibility for running their daily
To achieve the ultimate quality in our lives-as much, as early, and to the maximum graduates, we must begin with the very best extent that time and maturity permit. We give raw material we can assemble of our country's them practice in making decisions and then youth. We believe that the Academy has been hold them responsible for the decisions they quite successful in obtaining students with make.
the mental and physical characteristics that Responsible cadets must be active cadets the Air Force needs. Almost one in four (24 -young men who learn by doing, not by percent) of the Class of 1971 entrants had idling. To this end we fill the cadet's day with received recognition in the National Merit athletics, both intramural and intercollegiate; Scholarship Program: 187 were awarded letwith military training and leadership, includ- ters of commendation, 3 were semifinalists, ing the running of the Cadet Wing from morn- and 52 were finalists. Fifty-six percent of the ing to night; and with a full academic day, class indicated that they had received scholarduring which they are subject to grading on ship offers from other institutions. In athletics, frequent classroom discussions as well as on 37 percent had lettered in football, 22 percent examinations.
in basketball, 16 percent in baseball and 29 Our program is constantly studied for rel- percent in track. From such talent as this the evancy and balance. We seek the well-rounded Air Force Academy hopes to develop the wellyoung man for admission to the Academy, and rounded, whole man that the Air Force needs we continue to develop the whole man while for its future leaders. he is here. These efforts would fail unless we showed the immediate and long-range relevancy of all the education and training. The
LET ME touch briefly on some of expenditure of great effort consistently, day the philosophy which governs our learning after day, would be difficult to justify were it process at the Academy. I believe it is imperanot for the promise of ultimate usefulness in tive that each instructor, Air Officer Comthe military career of the cadet.
manding (AOC), and coach at the Academy We must never forget that we are training keep in mind a model of each cadet as a young men to lead other men, possibly in com- future military leader-a bundle of potential bat. There is no more serious task. It calls for waiting to be developed. Any defects in the that special quality which inspires men to do total development of this potential can be
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3454 BASIC PHILOSOPHICAL CONCEPTS OF THE USAFA
chalked up as a failure on the part of those and self-respect. Students should be imbued responsible for the cadet's education and train- with a high sense of professional loyalty alike ing. When, as occasionally happens, a young
to their leaders and to their subordinates. man appears not suited to military life or to Loyalty to their country and to the cause to the demands of a service career, it is our
which it is committed must be unquestioned.
The Service Academies should develop responsibility to identify him and make abso
in the student the capacity for clear analytical lutely sure that his lack of desire or suitability
thought and of carrying it to a logical conis not due to any failure on the part of
clusion. The need is for initiative and, above Academy personnel.
all, for judgment and common
sense. The Another tenet of Academy philosophy is complexity of the arts and techniques of modthat at least half of a man's potential lies in ern war and the degree to which the condihis pattern of uniqueness. It is this philosophi- tions to be met are unforeseeable all emphasize cal tenet which is the basis for the Academy's
the necessity for such qualities in a leader. enrichment program, intercollegiate athletic
Also important to a leader are the physi
cal attributes of health, stamina and endurprogram, and leadership training program.
ance which enable him to utilize his energies Each program challenges the cadet to develop
effectively. Strength, coordination, agility, and his distinctive capabilities and leads the in
military bearing are additional qualities destructor, coach, and soc to focus on the indi- sirable in a leader, particularly in setting an vidual rather than a composite average cadet. example for his men. The Service Academies This challenge to each cadet to use his talents, should develop these attributes in the student, to discover himself, to exercise and expand his and in addition should teach him to train and potential in all areas is the keystone of the develop physical abilities in his subordinates. Academy education and training program.
These quoted paragraphs were not adThis working philosophy is derived from dressed to technical qualifications, experience, a number of directives which together gave or knowledge. Instead, the board was laying guidance to the Academy from its earliest out a spectrum of personal attributes needed days. In March 1949, Secretary of Defense by an Academy graduate. This spectrum spans James E. Forrestal established the Service qualities of intellect, of character, of personal Academy Board to survey the status of under- dynamism, of physical development. All the graduate education and training for all mem- Academy's programs, indeed its very atmobers of the armed forces and to recommend sphere, are aimed primarily at developing the manner in which officer candidates should these qualities and attributes in its cadets. The receive their basic education for a career in three components of the Academy's program, the armed services. Its cochairmen were Dr. academic, military and leadership training, Robert L. Stearns, President of the University and physical education-all contribute in varyof Colorado, and General Dwight D. Eisen- ing degrees and emphasis to this development hower. A clear description of the personal process. All seek the inculcation of the ideals attributes and qualities that the Academy now of duty, honor, and service to country, and all seeks to instill in its cadets appears in the are integrated and interrelated so as to achieve board's recommendations:
the objectives of the Academy's mission as
effectively as possible. The Service Academies should develop in As the Academy began in 1954, it was the student the moral qualities required for fortunate in being able to benefit from the leadership. They should instill a high sense of
experience and heritage of West Point and duty and of self-reliance. The student should be taught in every phase of his career that Annapolis
. A good many of the officers who each new problem is an individual responsi
drew up the operating plans for the Air bility. He should develop the power of deci
Force Academy were graduates of these older sion and the ability to make his ideas and
schools. It would be unfair to say that after decisions understood by other men. He should analyzing their programs we accepted what develop a deep sense of honor, truthfulness, seemed best and discarded the rest. We did
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