The rolls of Air Force Academy alumni will increase to more than 6,940 with the graduation of the approximately 750 members
of the Class of 1972.
This year's class is the 14th crop of new officers commissioned since the initial group in 1959. It also is the largest class a in
the school's history. And the second lieutenants will be reporting to a variety of assignments.
There are 379 entering pilot training after graduation while 36 go to helicopter training and 30 to navigator's school.
Another 52 grads are slated for pilot training after they earn their master's degrees under co- c operative programs with civilian universities. Another three will go to helicopter school after they receive
advanced degrees and six will become navigators.
Of the 6,191 grads of the previous 13 years, 5,018 are still on active duty with the Air Force. Of the 191 grads who are
listed as deceased, 60 have been killed in combat. Nineteen Academy graduates are prisoners of war in Southeast Asia and 49 are missing in
Other losses between graduation and present active duty totals are attributed to voluntary
resignations of commissions; medical separations and retirements; Air Force Academy cadets selecting commissions in the Army, Navy and Marines and foreign
graduates who returned to their countries.
Seventeen alumni have been promoted to lieutenant colonel, the highest rank to be held by a grad, and many
others have been promoted to major.
Among the grads who have earned military decorations, there are seven holders of the Air Force Cross, the second highest medal for bravery that can be awarded to an airman; 140 Silver Stars, the fourth highest medal; and five Legions of Merit, the fifth highest
Presently there are 183 former cadets assigned to the
Air Force Academy Superintendent's staff, the faculty and the Commandant of
Ph.D.s in a variety of
academic fields have been earned by 56 grads while an untold number have
received their master's degrees either through a cooperative program following
graduation, special scholarships, off duty studies or other Air Force