United States Air Force Academy Cadet Insignia

Summary

The cadet rank at the United States Air Force Academy is determined by two factors: class year and job. First year, or fourth-class, cadets (C4C) have only one rank; but as they progress through the Academy, their roles, responsibilities, and ranks increase, culminating in their senior year, where roles as an Assistant Shop Lead garner the rank of cadet first lieutenant (C/1Lt), while roles such as the Cadet Wing Commander (AFCW/CC), Cadet Vice Wing Commander (AFCW/CV), or Cadet Wing Director of Operations (AFCW/DO) are accorded the highest rank of cadet colonel.

The Wing Tripod which leads the Cadet Wing in parades consists of the Wing Commander (front, middle) flanked by the Vice Wing Commander (left) and the Wing Director of Operations (right).

Cadet Rank Insignia

Cadet Fourth Class - C4C (Freshman) Cadet Third Class - C3C (Sophomore)
Basic Cadet Cadet 4th Class Unranked Cadet Staff Sergeant Cadet Technical Sergeant
No insignia USAFA Cadet Airman.svg USAFA Unranked Cadet 3rd Class.svg USAFA Cadet Staff Sergeant.svg USAFA Cadet Technical Sergeant.svg
Cadet Second Class - C2C (Junior)
Cadet 2nd Class Cadet Master Sergeant Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Cadet Chief Master Sergeant
Unranked Group/Squadron Staff Squadron 1st Sgt Wing Staff Squadron Superintendent Group Superintendent Wing Command Chief
USAFA Unranked Cadet 2nd Class.svg USAFA Cadet Master Sergeant.svg USAFA First Sergeant.svg USAFA Cadet Senior Master Sergeant.svg USAFA Squadron Superintendent.svg USAFA Group Superintendent.svg USAFA Wing Command Chief.svg
Cadet First Class - C1C (Senior)
Cadet 1st Class Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Cadet 1st Lieutenant Cadet Captain Cadet Major Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Cadet Colonel
Unranked Squadron Staff Squadron Staff Flight Cmdr Group Staff Wing Staff Squadron Commander Wing Character/Airmanship Officer Group Commander Vice Wing Commander/ Wing D.O. Wing Commander
USAF Cadet 1st Cadet shoulder insignia.jpg
USAFA Cadet 2nd Lieutenant.svg
USAF Cadet 1st Lieutenant shoulder insignia.jpg
USAFA Cadet Captain.svg USAFA Flight Commander.svg
USAF Cadet Major shoulder insignia.jpg
USAFA Cadet Lieutenant Colonel.svg USAFA Squadron Commander.svg USAFA Cadet Colonel.svg USAFA Group Commander.svg USAFA Vice Wing Commander.svg USAFA Wing Commander.svg

Former cadet ranks

Cadet Third Class - C3C (Sophomore)
Cadet Staff Sergeant
Chief Clerk/Guidon Bearer
USAF Cadet Staff Sergeant Guidon Bearer shoulder insignia.jpg

Cadet Squadron Insignia

Current Cadet Squadrons

First Cadet Group
Cadet Sq. 1 Cadet Sq. 2 Cadet Sq. 3 Cadet Sq. 4 Cadet Sq. 5 Cadet Sq. 6 Cadet Sq. 7 Cadet Sq. 8 Cadet Sq. 9 Cadet Sq. 10
Mighty Mach One Deuce Dogs of War Fightin' Fourth Wolfpack Bull Six Shadow Seven Eagle Eight Viking Nine Tiger Ten
AFA-CS01.png
AFA-CS02.png
AFA-CS03 1.jpg
AFA-CS04.png
AFA-CS05 1.jpg
AFA-CS06.png
AFA-CS07.png
AFA-CS08.png
AFA-CS09.png
AFA-CS10.gif
Second Cadet Group
Cadet Sq. 11 Cadet Sq. 12 Cadet Sq. 13 Cadet Sq. 14 Cadet Sq. 15 Cadet Sq. 16 Cadet Sq. 17 Cadet Sq. 18 Cadet Sq. 19 Cadet Sq. 20
Rebeleven Dirty Dozen Bulldawgs Cobras War Eagles Chicken Hawks Stalag 17 Nightriders Wolverines Trolls
AFA-CS11.png
AFA-CS12.png
AFA-CS13.png
AFA-CS14.png
AFA-CS15.png
AFA-CS16.png
AFA-CS17.png
AFA-CS18.png
AFA-CS19.png
AFA-CS20.png
Third Cadet Group
Cadet Sq. 21 Cadet Sq. 22 Cadet Sq. 23 Cadet Sq. 24 Cadet Sq. 25 Cadet Sq. 26 Cadet Sq. 27 Cadet Sq. 28 Cadet Sq. 29 Cadet Sq. 30
Blackjack Raptors Barnstormers Phantoms Redeye Barons Thunderbirds Blackbirds Black Panthers Knights
AFA-CS21.png
AFA-CS22.png
AFA-CS23a.png
AFA-CS24.png
AFA-CS25.png
AFA-CS26.png
AFA-CS27.png
AFA-CS28a.jpg
AFA-CS29.png
AFA-CS30.png
Fourth Cadet Group
Cadet Sq. 31 Cadet Sq. 32 Cadet Sq. 33 Cadet Sq. 34 Cadet Sq. 35 Cadet Sq. 36 Cadet Sq. 37 Cadet Sq. 38 Cadet Sq. 39 Cadet Sq. 40
Grim Reapers Roadrunners King Ratz (Cellar Ratz) Loose Hawgs Wild Weasels Pink Panthers Skyraiders All-stars Jedi Knights Warhawks
AFA-CS31.png
AFA-CS32.png
AFA-CS33.png
AFA-CS34.png
AFA-CS35.png
AFA-CS36.png
AFA-CS37c.png
AFA-CS38.gif
AFA-CS39b.png
AFA-CS40b.png

Defunct Cadet Squadron Insignia

Defunct Squadron Insignia
Cadet Sq. 2 Cadet Sq. 3 Cadet Sq. 5 Cadet Sq. 8 Cadet Sq. 9
Deuce Big 3 (Thirsty Third) Wolfpack Evil Eight Viking Nine Star Trek
AFA-CS02a.png
AFA-CS02b.png
AFA-CS03a.png
AFA-CS05a.png
AFA-CS05.png
AFA-CS08a.png
AFA-CS08b.png
AFA-CS08c.png
AFA-CS08d.png
AFA-CS09a.png
AFA-CS09b.png
Defunct Squadron Insignia (cont)
Cadet Sq. 14 Cadet Sq. 17 Cadet Sq. 19 Cadet Sq. 20 Cadet Sq. 23 Cadet Sq. 28
Cobras Stalag 17 Playboy 19 Starship Trolls Barnstormers Blackbirds
AFA-CS14a.png
AFA-CS14b.png
AFA-CS17a.png
AFA-CS19a.png
AFA-CS19b.png
AFA-CS19c.png
AFA-CS20a.png
AFA-CS23b.png
AFA-CS23.png
AFA-CS28.png
Defunct Squadron Insignia (cont)
Cadet Sq. 31 Cadet Sq. 34 Cadet Sq. 35 Cadet Sq. 37 Cadet Sq. 38 Cadet Sq. 39 Cadet Sq. 40
Grim Reapers Thunderbolts/Razorbacks (Loose Hawgs) Wild Weasels Skyraiders Bandits Campus Rads Ali Baba Warhawks
AFA-CS31a.png
AFA-CS31 1.png
AFA-CS34a.png
AFA-CS34b.png
AFA-CS35a.png
AFA-CS35b.png
AFA-CS39a.png
AFA-CS40a.png
AFA-CS40c.jpg

Miscellaneous Insignia

Merit lists

Cadet merit list insignia are worn by those cadets who excel militarily (Commandant's List), academically (Dean's List), or athletically (Athletic Director's List). Cadets who earn a place on all three lists are awarded the insignia for the Superintendent's List.

Cadet Merit List Insignia
Commandant's List Dean's List Athletic Director's List Commandant's & Dean's Lists Commandant's & Athletic Director's Lists Dean's & Athletic Director's Lists Superintendent's List
AFA Comm.jpg
AFA Dean.jpg
AFA Ath.jpg
AFA Comm-Dean.jpg
AFA Comm-Ath.jpg
AFA Dean-Ath.jpg
AFA Supt.jpg

Aviation

Cadet aviation insignia are worn by cadets who achieve certain milestones in their flight training.

Cadet Aviation Insignia
Unmanned Aerial Systems Soaring/Powered Flight - Solo Command Soaring Instructor Pilot Cadet Aviation Instructor
AFA Soaring.jpg
AFA Solo.jpg
AFA SoaringIP.jpg
AFA AVInstructor.jpg

Other qualifications

While at the Air Force Academy, cadets may earn other insignia including: parachute wings, for completion of either freefall parachute training at the Academy or the U.S. Army's Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia; the Air Assault Badge for completion of the U.S. Army's Air Assault program at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; or the Bulldog badge for the completion of the U.S. Marine Corps' "Bulldog" program[note 1] at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

Other Cadet Insignia
Parachute (jump) Wings Air Assault Badge Bulldog Badge
AFA Parachute.jpg
AFA Air Assault.jpg
AFA Bulldog.jpg

See also

Notes

  1. ^ A program to commission USAF Academy cadets into the Marine Corps after they graduate.

References

  • Squadron Insignia of the United States Air Force Academy, P. Michael Sheridan, 1990. (ISBN 0-9627388-0-8)
  • "Cadet Insignia/Badges". Contrails 1999-2000. 45. Air Force Academy, Colorado: United States Air Force Academy. 1999. pp. 279–283. LCCN 80640513.
  • Contrails, various years.
  • U.S. Air Force Academy, The Core of Cadet Life: Squadrons, https://www.usafa.edu/military/squadrons/ Retrieved 2021-09-08.