Mark Volcheff and I represented the class at the regularly scheduled 9 Jan meeting of the AOG Class Advisory Senate. Here are top-level notes: the official minutes should be posted on the AOG Website in a couple of weeks (including briefing slides) at this link for your reference:
a. Attendance was very good with approx. 40 classes represented (in person or by Gotomeeting). We had a full agenda– two hour meeting, including a status and heading check briefing from the new Commandant B/G Goodwin, an update from the AOG CEO, a significant update on future reunions from the AOG reunion team and internal discussions. The AOG Board chair was unable to attend the meeting and provide her first inputs directly to the CAS.
b. Commandant's Briefing - Excellent; People, Accountability, Pride are her emphasis areas. She is one focused and engaged professional and extremely serious about her responsibilities for producing officers into a USAF at war. Her briefing slides will be posted with the CAS minutes; or I can send them to you if you want to see them sooner...let me know. I was most impressed to hear about current Comm Shop emphases placed across a range of specific training and educations to help cadets understand the real Air Force by graduation time and to be significantly socialized into how the AF works via 4 years of cadet time before commissioning. The Academy has come a long way in this regard, in my experience and opinion. She seems to like to let cadets learn by their own experiences and solve their own problems within the wing. Her first choice does not seem to be “top-down” direction from the Commandants office – very refreshing and helpful for leadership training for cadets. (no need for the binoculars on the window sill of the Commandant’s office). All the permanent party staff have reportedly been sensitized and mobilized by the current senior leadership team to institute a “one voice” approach when possible for key training and professional development activities and objectives presented to/shared with the cadet wing.
c. AOG CEO Marty Marcolongo emphasized the need for the graduate community to realize, and share the realization, that we hear most about the one or two percent of the cadet wing that are outlier-cadet cases in the media, while 98%+ of the cadet wing are amazing young people who are doing remarkable things. Marty asked CAS help in getting out this reminder message to all alums. If you haven’t read (recent grad) Capt Ben Garland’s nomination for the NFL Walter Peyton Man of the Year award from the Atlanta Falcons…you should look it up...it is a shining example of how recent cadets from the 98%+ have been prepared to contribute to a better American society...and how they are doing it today, even if in "non-traditional" ways. Every university has its share of inappropriate and undesirable behaviors. The USAFA “fishbowl” effect has not changed over the decades and the scrutiny of our Academy is high because the expectations are rightfully high of those who are appointed and attend our great school, and that applies to the staff as well. Sexual harassment and assault instances at USAFA are intolerable and puzzling, but USAFA still remains among the safest campuses in the country. Mark and I agree with the AOG president that the graduate community can bring a greater focus on, and voicing of, the many incredible accomplishments by our cadets, a voice that lets our society see the greater good that is happening at USAFA. We commend this perspective to your consideration. This is not an effort to gloss over incidents that occur, rather, an appeal to put things in perspective. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that there are more good things going on at USAFA than bad and we can all help get out that word.
d. Also from AOG leadership, Gary Howe, '69 is retiring as Exec VP after 25+ years. He served on the USAFA staff before that and he has been the AOG staff advisor to the CAS (among other duties) since CAS inception. He has seen a lot during this time and helped the AOG and undoubtedly many members of the active duty staff through many storms and trials. Gary read his legacy list of observations about USAFA and our alumni for the CAS and many of his points were priceless; will forward these to you or ensure we have access to the list in writing. You might consider dropping Gary a note of thanks and congratulations upon retirement, if you are so inclined!
e. Significant class reunion changes are coming. Sequestration impacts to USAFA resources over the past 4 years have led to a reduction of USAFA support (staff briefings, buses, etc) for reunions, and limiting official USAFA staff/resource availability for reunion weekends to 3 per year starting this year. This is going to have significant impacts (many not yet fully understood, IMHO) upon future reunion plans to be dealt with by all classes…by our class for our 2020 event...unless by some miracle the sequestration constraints may be eliminated between now and then. The AOG is also contemplating offering class committees three different tiers of reunion planning and coordination support with corresponding different costs; top-tier, mid-tier and basic. Specific details of these options and costs will be rolled out in a month or so; Mark and I will keep you posted. The AOG reunion coordination staff asked the CAS to provide inputs from all classes regarding these reunion change implications; Mark and I have already done so and Jeff Hackett will also be weighing-in from his recent experience leading our reunion planning.
f. The CAS is working on a consolidated list of credible/official information sources (largely softcopy/url) that all graduates can use in the future. This resource is intended to help us readily/directly answer our own questions about USAFA matters from an authoritative set of sources, “Where do I go to obtain information or to learn more about ‘Topic X’ or 'Incident Y.' Will send that out to you all, ASAP. Let us know what you think about it when you see it.
Please let Mark or I hear from you regarding any AOG questions or issues you'd like us to investigate for you...it is normally crickets on this freq. Hope you are all happy and well!
Your CAS Rep
December Checkpoints column, Extras, plus dozens of additional photos.
September Checkpoints column plus dozens of additional photos.
June Checkpoints column plus Extras.
March Checkpoints column plus Extras and several hundred new photos distributed throughout the 41+ years of Checkpoints columns in new Albums and extant Galleries.
Announcement of the 45th Reunion Class gift.
December Checkpoints column plus Extras.
September Checkpoints Column with a lot of Extras.
Two new Galleries: Doolies and Firsties under the Galleries Tab.
June Checkpoints Column with lots of Extras.
Class Coin: Highlights and links to relevant supplemental material throughout the site.
March Checkpoints Column.
December Checkpoints Column.
Tom Laurie's history of Waldo F. Dumbsquat.
40th Reunion Gallery Posted.
Special 40th Reunion Waldo F. Dumbsquat column by Tom Laurie.
September Checkpoints Column, expansion of GBNF, two new photo galleries plus more photos across many Checkpoints columns, a few new Memories of... entries, additions to the Early Academy Concepts under the History Tab.
Addition of a large number of photos to the Individual Awards Gallery under the Galleries tab.
June Checkpoints Column including links to select Extras, complete Charley Baby and Waldo F. Dumbsquat columns from 1971-1975 and a Drum & Bugle Corps entry, both under the Nostalgia tab, additional photos in many Checkpoints columns, ongoing format standardization throughout.
‘News’ tab changed to ‘Checkpoints’, Videos integrated into ‘Galleries’ page, ‘Video’ tab deleted, Coming Events button on Home Page, other minor changes.
Home Page refresh, March Checkpoints Column, Reunion updates, two new galleries, Prep School and 1975 Campus, relocation of Class of 2015 Legacy events to relevant Checkpoints columns as Extras, plus several additional Checkpoints Extras throughout.
December Checkpoints Column, addition of several Checkpoints Extras throughout; more as material becomes available.
September Checkpoints Column, addition of a nascent Reunion Section, linked below, addition of Disqus comment feature on select pages, redesigned Home Page, ongoing minor format refresh and content update throughout.
June Checkpoints Column, updated History entries on cadet uniforms and early Academy concepts, plus a new entry on Frank Lloyd Wright, refresh of Twitter and Facebook page formats, minor site-wide refresh and content update.
March Checkpoints Column, minor redesign of individual GBNF pages, several new History entries, two new UPT galleries embedded in the 1976 Checkpoints archives.
December Checkpoints Column and new Squadron Galleries.
September Checkpoints Column, all new First Class galleries with nearly 200 new photos, new Falconews content, new Class Legacy Project content, new News links, numerous minor format updates.
June Checkpoints Column, redesign of the GBNF Home Page and the addition of a chronological listing, a nascent Class History timeline, and a Class Pinterest page (linked below).
Minor format refresh, consolidation of Class Business and News sections into Class News.
March Checkpoints Column, Checkpoints archives for 1989-1999, completing the archiving of ALL Checkpoints columns from 1975-2013, updated format and expanded content in the Nostalgia and Class Business sections, the Exemplar Dinner from the 40-Year Class Legacy Project, eight new photo galleries covering the Second and Third Class years, and a gallery of old USAFA postcards.
Streamlined Checkpoints column format to better accommodate more photos, commencing with the 2012 column.
December Checkpoints Column, Checkpoints archives for 1987, 1988 and 2000-2004, new photo galleries, new content in Memories of... and History, new Facebook Page, general ongoing content update.
Checkpoints archives for 1986 and 2005-2009, general ongoing content and format update.
September Checkpoints Column, Checkpoints archives for 1985
Refreshed 'look' of all icon directory pages, transition of all completed galleries to new format with many new photos and content, improved navigation features throughout.
Completion of new and expanded gallery format for fourth class photo gallery, Checkpoints archives for 1984
June 2012 Checkpoints column, Checkpoints archives for 1983.
General site tune-up, minor design and layout changes, additional navigation bars, additional and enlarged photos in recent Checkpoints columns, miscellaneous additional content, additional history timeline content, new photo gallery, initial transition to a new photo gallery format, Checkpoints archives for 1980-1982.
Redesigned Home Page, Checkpoints Extra.
Checkpoints archives for 1978 & 1979.
A site-linked Twitter account. . Checkpoints archives for 1976-1977, additional Falconews articles, including some for the Prep Schoolers, reorganized Nostalgia directory page, with a separate directory for the Dodo and Talon magazines, several new issues of Dodo and the first Talon, links (below) to neighboring class web sites.
March 2012 Checkpoints column.
Graduation photo gallery.
December 2011 Checkpoints column.
Graduation parade video.
Falconews articles from the Graduation edition.
Checkpoints archives, commencing with 1975.
Alan Krukowski on Medal of Honor Recipient William Crawford.
GBNF. Richard “Mac” McIntosh passed away at home on 14 August 2017 following a long fight with pancreatic cancer. He spent the last month of his life surrounded by family, and throughout his final challenge he had the steadfast support of Linnea, his wife of more than 40 years.
Bradley W. Mandeville passed away on 9 October 2017 from complications following a heart attack. Brad retired from the Air Force in 1995 and served as a Deputy Sherriff with the Mason County Sheriff’s Office in Shelton, WA for more than 17 years.
Awards and Decorations. While most of us have been finding new places to take naps around the house, some of our classmates have continued to find new ways to excel. Shame on the following classmates for making us look like five-toed sloths.