20th Squadron               Activated 1960









Description: A stylized aircraft soars into the blue oval-shaped heavens bordered in white. A silver lightning streak zooms down behind the plane. Across the top of the oval on a silver band the “20th SQ AFA” appears in red letters bordered in gold. Across the bottom of the oval in like colors is the squadron motto “Can Do” adopted from the 305th Bombardment Wing of Bunker Hill AFB, Indiana (Emblem, Right), the squadron sponsor when this patch was adopted in 1962.

Significance: The stylized aircraft represents the global aerospace mission of the United States Air Force. The lightning bolt represents power and speed and the blue background represents aerospace.

History: This was the squadron patch from 1962 until 1972.

Nickname: "Tough Twenty Trolls"

Motto: "Can Do"

  1965 – 1972


Personal Recollections

  CS20 was commissioned in the Fall of 1960 as the “Can-Do” Squadron. Our Air Force operational unit sponsor was the 305th Bomb Wing at Bunker Hill AFB, IN. The original CS20 “Can-Do” Patch included a generic delta-winged aircraft reminiscent of the Convair B-58, which was proudly flown by the 305th Bomb Wing at the time. The blue elliptically shaped patch had the major axis placed horizontally. A curved silver banner containing the words “20th SQ AFA” sat on top. Similarly, the words “CAN-DO” appeared at the bottom. The aircraft and a lightning bolt were in the center. The squadron motto, “CAN-DO,” suggested that there was no task the squadron couldn’t handle or goal they couldn’t reach. The plane represented air power, and the silver lightning bolt symbolized the Academy. Gerald J Naber, the first Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of CS20, tells us the request for approval of this patch went all the way to the Puzzle Palace. This patch was worn by CS20 cadets until 1972. – Douglas Jenkins, Class of 1964 (Class of 1964 Website)  





Request for Approval 1961






Description: The patch is a circular emblem on a royal blue field bordered in black. An aggressive depiction of a strong and powerful troll is centered in the middle. The Troll is green in color and wears black trousers highlighted in violet. He is striding forward, stepping over the bright red three-dimensional Roman numerals “XX.” The word “TROLLS” is inscribed behind the troll.

Significance: The Twentieth Squadron Troll is a robust character symbolizing the aggressiveness and confidence of the Twentieth Cadet Squadron. In Scandinavian folklore, trolls were supernatural giants that lived in the mountains. The Troll symbolizes the desire to succeed while simultaneously maintaining a good attitude and sense of humor. The three-dimensional perspective of the roman numerals and the word “TROLLS” symbolize enduring spirit.

History: While 20th Squadron adopted the Troll as their mascot in 1962, it was not incorporated on their patch until 1972. During the intervening years, a variety of troll designs were used by the squadron, some of which are shown below.

Nickname: "Tough Twenty Trolls"

  1973 –

  The Troll is a symbol of robust strength and craftiness, representing the need of the Air Force for skill of both mind and body. The “Tough Twenty Trolls” entered the Cadet Wing in 1960 as the “Can Do” Squadron.  – C3C Stephen Range, Class of 1976, Falconews, 29 March 1974

  The “Tough Twenty Trolls” entered the Cadet Wing in 1960 as the “Can Do” Squadron. This attitude is reflected by their choice of “Hulk” as a symbol of their squadron. The Troll is a symbol of robust strength and craftiness, representing the need of the Air Force for skill of both mind and body. The “Hulk” is the head Troll of the Twentieth Squadron, with each of the four classes as his followers.  – 1975 Polaris


Personal Recollections

  Sometime during the Fall of 1962 or the Spring of 1963, when Bill Ardern (’63) and Mike Christy (’63), were leading CS20, a decision was made to select a squadron mascot. The entire squadron became engaged in the selection process. In looking for a worthy and unique mascot, we sought alliteration, uniqueness, and inspiration for the squadron to accomplish great things. Mascots like “Tigers” and “Tramps” were considered and soon discarded. Finally, the “Troll” idea sprang from the fertile minds of the cadets of that day. The Troll became the official CS20 mascot because Ardern and Christy put their shoulders to the wheel and made it happen. They worked with Captain Gerry Naber, the CS20 Air Officer Commanding (AOC) at the time, to get this mascot approved. The seminal Troll image was inspired by Mitch Cobeaga (’64), Todd Jagerson (’64) and Dick Benson (’65). The first-known sketch of the Tough Twenty Troll was drawn by Tim Kline (’64) in the Fall of 1963 for inclusion in a CS20 newsletter entitled Terrible Ted’s Tough Twenty Trolls (T-T's T-T-T) after Captain Ted Jensen, deputy AOC and eventual successor to Captain Naber. Tim took advantage of the newsletter to promote everything Trollish.  – Douglas Jenkins, Class of 1964 (Class of 1964 Website)


My vague memory is that our patch was relatively new our 3rd class year, and CS-20 was not the Trolls too long before us; we were the “Can-Do.” Also, I remember thatKevin O Brien, our First Sergeant, designed our patch.   – Paul Kent, Class of 1975 (January 2020)

I recall those events exactly the same way. The "20th SQAFA" patch was replaced shortly before we got to 20CS, and I recall seeing it on some of the 1/2 degrees during our first year in the squadron. As I write this, I can look up and see the final version of the Troll patch in a shadow box on my bookshelf.  – Dave White, Class of 1975 (January 2020)



Sketches & Prototypes


Although no documentation accompanies this diagram, it seems likely that it was one variation of the trolls mascot used by the squadron between about 1962 and 1972, which also could explain the window graphic below. Any information on this sketch would be appreciated.


This is a graphic in a southwest corner window of Vandenberg Hall, June 1970. It is enlarged substantially to show detail and clearly shows a troll holding a lightning bolt, with the word “TROLLS” across the top and “XX” below. The 1972 Polaris states, “Twenty stirred up quite a hornet’s nest when they asked to have their patch changed this year. They wanted to include their TROLL nickname...” The 1972 Polaris was also the last to feature the “CAN DO” patch representing 20th Squadron. The following academic year, 20th formalized the Trolls persona and nickname with a new patch, and this graphic was removed from the window.