|We are now the Legacy Class for the Class
of 2018 since fifty-years separate us. As the Legacy Class
we will be following the Class of 2018 cadets as they progress over the
next four years. As '68 graduates, we are invited to return to the Academy,
sit with our old squadrons in Mitchell Hall, and watch as the members
of the Class of 2018 celebrate their milestones. There will be several
opportunities for us to interact with 2018 over the next four years. Click
here for the schedule and more
information. Legacy event reports and pictures will be posted on this
page as they occur. Garry Dudley
graciously stepped-up to be our Legacy Class point of contact
- thanks Garry.
The Acceptance Day Parade for the Class of 2018 went very well. The "doolies" were happy to be finished with basic training and excited to be a part of the cadet wing and wearing shoulder boards. Thanks to all of you who supported this event directly and indirectly.
We welcomed Bill with a no notice party at the VIP quarters at the Rampart Lodge Monday evening. We appreciate the wives that made time to join us. The pizza, beer, soda and water go great with friends - especially when they are classmates also.
Tuesday morning, Bill Begert addressed the entire cadet wing and academy leadership to deliver a superb speech that addressed the class of '68 as well as the class of 2018. History, circumstances, and personal commitment to the core values were all tied together in a short address! Well Done, Bill.
Contrails were delivered to one recognized basic for each summer squadron as listed below:
Thanks to the additional classmates who served as backup and members showing the colors in the stands! (The official 45 Reunion Hats) Chuck Jones, Bruce Buono, Ken Swanger, Doc Holaday and Vince Rusinak.
Tina Dudley, Wendy Hites, Sue Eckert and Bea Crimmel were also with us!
Click on thumbnails for larger images
Thanks to Tina Dudley for the many photos!
During the summer of 2014, I floated the idea among my doolie squadron classmates (24th Squadron) about having some type of involvement with the class of 2018 recognition as part of our legacy class activities. Everybody was in full support. The rationale behind this was that we felt recognition was one of the major milestones of "cadethood" and should be on the list of legacy events along with the existing ones such as the Acceptance Day parade. But recognition is very squadron specific so we wanted to have the direct linkage between the doolies of 1968 and 2018. It was our doolie squadron experiences that set the stage for the rest of our cadet experiences. Garry Dudley, our class Senator, was extremely helpful in pointing us in the right direction and Megan Nash of the AOG helped in some of the coordination. We decided to try this on a single squadron basis to see how it worked rather than trying to scale it to the entire Wing. Obviously, a problem crops up in that there are more squadrons now than when we were there. Subsequently, we contacted the 24th Squadron AOC who thought the idea was great, but needed to make sure the Comm bought off on it which he did. We worked with him and the C1C Training Officer who was in charge of recognition.
Besides our presence at recognition, we commissioned a commemorative coin to give to each 4th classman in CS24. There were six of us who were able to attend, but many others wanted to but for various reasons could not. The attendees were Bert Bauer, Bruce Buono, George Kramer, Rich Moran, Neal Starkey, and Don Sutton.
Pat has included a followup message I sent to my CS24 doolie classmates as well as the more scripted comments. This was a very direct interaction with 20 some members of the class of 2018 (also the upper classes in 24th squadron) and I think they liked it. We tried to tie our history with their future and hopefully we made an impact. It was fun for all of us in attendance.
Recognition is over. Turned out to be a beautiful day at the Academy. I think the 6 of us (Bert Bauer, Bruce Buono, George Kramer, Rich Moran, Neal Starkey, and yours truly) who were able to attend had a great time with the cadets. Besides that we had a great time reconnecting and having a little quality time together.
The challenge coins came out great. I will get yours sent off in the near future.
We actually stood behind the squadron during the retreat ceremony and then made our way to the SAR while the cadets showered and got into alphas (the retreat was done in fatigues after their march back from the rock). The actual pin on ceremony was conducted in private with the 4th classman and we were not involved with that aspect of the event. Each one of them walked by us on the way to the SAR after being officially recognized by their squadron mates. After all were recognized, there was a gathering in the SAR. The way we handled things in the SAR was that I gave some prepared comments and then everybody else spoke for a bit. We then presented each 4th classman with a coin. The entire squadron was present when we did this.
then had dinner with the squadron at Mitchell Hall - I thought the main
course would be steak and it was. I don't think any of us thought dinner
was close to as good as the place we went on Friday night - Marigolds.
It is Sharon Starkeys' favorite restaurant and I can see why. Sharon
and Kathy Bauer joined us for dinner on Friday night as well as Garry
(our class Senator) and Tina Dudley. The AOC (LTC Cook) thought everything
went well and that the entire squadron really appreciated us taking
part in the event.
Bruce, Neal, Rich, George, Bert - Thanks for being there - Please share your thoughts with the rest of the squadron.
Best - Don
Recognition Comments - March 14, 2015
The 6 people in
front of you are representing your legacy class of 1968 and even more
specifically we started our cadet careers in 24th squadron.
We have been lucky
to have witnessed and/or participated in some amazing events in Air
Force and US history.
Fellow Phantoms (and Watusi - not used anymore)! It
was a fun time for the dirty half-dozen to represent CS 24 Legacy Class
at the AFA. No football game to watch but we did get to trail
the conquering Doolies as they marched back from the rock. Don did an
amazing job pushing through the plan to be the only squadron to add
the Recognition piece to Legacy events. It may spread from here, but
that depends on making the objective of this event (as well as the others)
Class of 2018 Commitment Dinner
Commitment Dinner Sit and dine with the Class of 2018 as they celebrate making a commitment to the Air Force
10 August 2016 a Wednesday
UOD: cadets are in Service Dress, 68 grads in business attire
Grads Only (no spouses/guests)
Transportation to and from Mitchell Hall will be arranged from Doolittle Hall
One class representative gives very short welcoming/congratulatory remarks (2-3 minutes) Carl Janssen has volunteered
From: MJ Kellenbence [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I also wanted to say registration for the event is open Here is the AOG link for registration:
This link will be on the USAFA homepage under alumni events. I also requested an email blast to all members of the class of 1968. Both available next Tuesday.
MJ Kellenbence 80
I had the pleasure and honor to participate in the commissioning ceremonies of two squadrons this past week at USAFA. The ceremonies are very formal with the attire being mess dress if you can fit into it (not me). They are done on a squadron by squadron basis the day before graduation and are ceremonial in that they take their official oath of office at graduation with the Comm reading the oath. The can choose who reads them the oath but the who is limited so not just anybody can do it. Their families then pin on 2Lt shoulder boards and they have a first salute from a chosen enlisted airman. Some of these were family members but often it was the enlisted person assigned as a training NCO in each squadron. As a legacy class, we had a set of 2Lt bars with some words of encouragement on the package which was presented by the legacy class member. We had a legacy class member assigned to each squadron whose primary responsibilities included a short talk and the presentation of the 2Lt bars.
Garry Dudley orchestrated the assignments. Neal also was one of the speakers. Some of us spoke at 2 events and others only one. There were other legacy class ceremonies that Ed Eberhart, Phil Pignataro, and Carl McPherson participated in. For my part, I spoke at the commissioning ceremonies for 24th and 32nd squadrons. Obviously, participating in the 24th squadron ceremony was great. Bill Eckert provided us with some example bullets with three different themes. We could use any, all, or none of them. I chose to use parts of them, but added some thoughts of my own.
One of the things I did at the beginning of my talk
was to pull out my moth eaten 24th squadron sweatshirt. I told them
that I had no idea how it ever fit me, but I could never throw it away.
It just meant too much to me. The audience loved that. The gist of what
I told them was that we were pretty much immediately immersed in a "fly
and fight" environment and our classmates were recognized for their
warrior spirit with a number of combat related awards and decoration,
but that also came with a price in that we had 4 classmates who were
POWs and 11 classmates who were killed in action. But over these past
50 years, our classmates have accomplished a lot whether it be in the
military or civilian life and noted a few things. I then switched to
them as about to be commissioned officers and noted that the only thing
that mattered now was how good an officer they were going to be. Their
education at USAFA was only relevant to how well they performed. I acknowledged
their motto of "Fight to Win" and said they have been preparing
for 4 years to put that motto to use and starting on May 23rd they will
get their chance. Toward the end, I pointed out that we have no crystal
balls as to what is going to happen in the future, but that they will
be part of that change and they should be part of it with integrity
and character. No doubt when they speak to the class of 2068, there
will be some significant accomplishments for which they will be proud
and we have no clue as to what they will be at this point.
At one of the functions I attended, I had the opportunity to chat with the OIC of the cyber security program. He is an O-6 and really sharp. One of the things he told me was that he was going to ensure that future cadets could easily see what our class has done for the cyber security class gift. Not sure exactly what that means, but did get the impression that it was going to be very visible. I know enough money has been raised to support the endowed gift. Neal has sent you info, but there should have been somebody from your graduating squadron contacting you directly. If not, let Neal or I know and we can talk to you about the project.
As we close out this Memorial Day almost 50 years after our graduation, keep in mind Byron Burnett, Bill Gregory, Don Harrington, Tad Draper, Ralph Ross, and Dale Stephens for their sacrifice.
Hope all is well with everybody and look forward to
seeing you in Oct.
We started the Legacy committee just over 4 years ago! The Class of 68 was present for duty for all of the Legacy official events and more! The Legacy committee members are: Garry Dudley, Bill Eckert, Gary Hoffman, Carl Janssen, Mike Parkinson and added later, Don Sutton.
The official Legacy events . . .
Commissioning ceremonies and the presentation of engraved 2nd Lt Bars
The culmination of the Legacy Events was the Commissioning Ceremonies. A special thanks to the folks who worked hard on the preparation for the iconic event . . .
Procuring the Correct Number of Engraved 2nd Lt bars Dale Oderman
Fund raising for Lt Bars Carl Janssen
Optional/sample Commissioning Speeches and guidelines Bill Eckert
Card Insert to go with the Engraved Bars Bill Eckert
Scheduling a Speaker at each Squadron Commissioning Ceremony at all Varied Locations Garry
Standardized resumes to each AOC and Sq. Rep Gary Vasek
I appreciate the kinds words passed to me by many of you recently. I am humbled and honored as classmate praise is about as good as it gets!
Three final comments:
Most rewarding was hearing from those of you who were moved by your participation.
I heard many positive comments from various folks, cadets, parents, and people I have mingled with these past three days . . .
My Classmates are the best! Your support and willingness to take on any task when asked is appreciated beyond words, but here is an attempt!
68 Were STILL GREAT!