The mission of the United States Air Force Academy is to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become leaders of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation.
Core Values: Integrity First. Service Before Self. Excellence in All We Do.
These values guide all members of the U.S. Air Force, not just Academy cadets. From day one these values are memorized and internalized to serve as the foundation and unifying element of a cadet’s commitment to themselves, their comrades and their country. Our core values are our North Star.
The Key Components of the United States Air Force Academy Essence
Developing Character and Leadership / Focusing on the Air Force Mission in Air, Space and Cyberspace / Immersing Cadets in a Total Experience / Harmonizing STEM and the Liberal Arts / Competing / Internalizing the Air Force Ethos / Exposing Cadets to Air Force Professional Culture / Maintaining and Exemplary Installation
The US Air Force Academy is a Direct Reporting Unit (DRU).
The Air Force Academy is the youngest of the U.S. service academies. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a congressional bill establishing the Air Force Academy on April 1, 1954. It was the intent of the Air Force to create a landmark equal to that of West Point, Annapolis or any other highly visible national asset. On June 14, 1954, the then Secretary of the Air Force, Harold E. Talbott, chose the present site and, on the same day, named a corner of Lowery AFB, Colorado, as the temporary site of the Academy while the permanent site was being constructed. The dedication of the temporary site and the swearing in of the first class (306 cadets) took place on July 11, 1955. Lt. Gen Hubert R. Harmon, who had been involved in much of the pre-legislation Academy planning, was recalled from retirement to become the first Superintendent. The first class of cadets to include women entered in 1976, and graduated in 1980. The Academy received two special honors on April 1, 2004 when the U.S. Postal Service celebrated the Academy’s 50th anniversary with a commemorative 37-cent stamp. Additionally, the Academy’s cadet area was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. For more information, visit the USAF Academy’s homepage.
Approximate installation population:
1,750 active duty
The Colorado Springs area population growth is on the rise.
Colorado Springs Metro Area: 668,000, a 1.37% increase from 2019.
Active Duty Officer 1,000
Active Duty Enlisted 1,000
Family Members 4,500
Civilian Employees 1,600
Reserve Component Officers 15
Component Enlisted 25
Located at the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the US Air Force Academy is located northwest of Colorado Springs, CO. Serviced by the Colorado Springs Airport, located 15 miles south of the Academy, Colorado Springs is a military town that continues to experience tremendous growth. “The Springs”, as we are known, is an above average cost of living area, with housing prices above the national average. The median price-or midpoint- of homes is $324,750; home values increased by 7.4% over the last year and are projected to increase by 7.6% in the coming year.
Directions from Colorado Springs Airport
The Academy is located approximately 15 miles northwest of the Colorado Springs Airport. As you exit the airport, drive west on Milton E. Proby Pkwy. Merge onto S Academy Blvd/CO-83, go 1.9 miles, then merge onto I-25 N toward Colorado Springs. Take the Academy Blvd exit, EXIT 150, toward CO-83. Keep left to take the ramp toward the US Air Force Academy South Entrance. Turn left onto N Academy Blvd, cross over I-25 then continue towards South Gate Blvd. There is no military shuttle service to and from the airport.
Directions from Denver International Airport
If arriving at Denver International Airport (DIA), follow the signs to exit DIA Access Plaza on Pena Boulevard. Follow Pena Boulevard approximately 9 miles and exit on westbound I-70. From I-70, exit on southbound I-225. From I-225, exit on southbound I-25. You can also take the E470 Toll Road from Pena Boulevard to southbound I-25 exit, about 30 miles, with a cost of approximately $20.00 which you will be billed for. Continue southbound on I-25 to either Academy north gate (exit 156) or south gate (exit 150) entrance. DIA is approximately 80 miles North of the Academy. Please be advised; this route will traverse Monument Hill (elevation: 7,254 ft). Monument Hill can be icy during winter months.
Base Gate Access
Ensure everyone who is in your vehicle who is eligible, has a DoD ID card. COVID-19 guidelines are subject to change due to federal, state and local situations and currently anyone entering the installation needs to have a DoD ID card if eligible.
Traveler can enter the Air Force Academy through two entrance gates; the South Gate and the North Gate. The South Gate, a 24 hours entry point, is located off I-25 at North Academy Blvd, Exit 150. The North Gate is located off I-25 at North Gate Blvd, Exit 156. Please note: The North Gate is only open from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.
The Academy is located 60 miles south of Denver, and is 10 miles northwest of downtown Colorado Springs. Approach Colorado Springs via I-25 from either north or south, and take exit 156 (North Gate) or 150 (South Gate) to enter the Academy. North gate entry point is open from 5:00 am-10:00 pm. The south gate entry point is open 24/7. The Academy is located between I-25 and the mountains.
Ensure everyone who is eligible, has a DoD ID card. COVID-19 guidelines are subject to change due to federal, state and local situations and currently anyone entering the installation needs to have a DoD ID card if eligible.
Directions from Bus Station
The Greyhound-TNM & O Bus Station is located at 120 South Weber, in downtown Colorado Springs. From the bus station, head south to Cimarron (US 24), take Cimarron west towards the mountains. Just a few blocks ahead is the entrance to I-25 North. Take I-25 (northbound) for approximately 10 miles to Exit 150, stay in the far-left lanes, turn left and enter the Academy via the South Gate.
Directions to Rampart Lodge at USAF Academy from installation entry points
If arriving from the north, take exit 156, veer to the right, and you will enter the Academy via the north gate on North Gate Boulevard. Stay on North Gate Blvd. for approximately one-quarter mile, then turn left on Stadium Blvd. for one quarter mile to Academy Drive; turn right on Academy Drive. Stay on Academy Drive for approximately 2 miles; after cresting the hill, turn right (the Falcon Club will be on your left), then turn right again. Rampart Lodging office will be on your left.
If arriving from the south, take exit 150, stay in the far left lanes, and at the traffic lights, turn left. You are on Stadium Boulevard, the south gate entry point if just ahead. Stay on Stadium Blvd. for approximately 3 miles. You will pass the Thunderbird Overlook on your right, stay on Stadium Blvd. past Falcon Stadium, then turn left onto Academy Drive. Stay on Academy Drive for approximately 2 miles; after cresting the hill, turn right (the Falcon Club will be on your left), then turn right again. Rampart Lodging office will be on your left.
There are no longer base operators at the USAF Academy. Please use Military Installations content to find specific organizations or information.
6248 W. Pine Loop
USAF Academy, CO 80840