THE USAFA CADET EXEMPLAR PROGRAM
The cadet exemplar program is both a leadership development and heritage education program. It is designed to provide a role model—in the form of an aerospace leader of the past—for cadets of each class to emulate. It is also meant to instill pride and provide a connection to our Nation’s Air Force heritage. As this instruction outlines below, each cadet class will form an exemplar committee, nominate and select an exemplar, and then maintain their identity with that exemplar through a class-wide exemplar dinner, an exemplar display case, and other activities throughout the class’s tenure at the US Air Force Academy.
- Exemplar nominees will be chosen from military officers, military-associated civilians and aerospace or aviation pioneers/leaders. 2 USAFAI36-3539 24 JULY 2013
- Nominees will have made an extraordinary contribution to the development of American air and space power.
- Nominees must be deceased. The facts of their lives should in the main be transparent and known.
- Nominees must have exhibited integrity and character in both their professional careers and their personal lives.
USAFA Class Exemplars
Since the Class of 2000, each class has chosen someone who "exemplifies" the type of person the class wishes to emulate.
2000: General James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle
2001: Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell
2002: Captain Lance P. Sijan
2003: Major Richard I. Bong
2004: Captain Eddie Rickenbacker
2005: General George S. Patton Jr.
2006: General Carl A. "Tooey" Spaatz
2007: Lieutenant Colonel Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom
2008: 1LT Karl W. Ritcher
2009: Colonel Hubert "Hub" Zemke
2010: 2Lt Frank Luke Jr.
2011: Brigadier General Robin Olds
2012: General of the AF Henry H. "Hap" Arnold
2013: General Curtis E. Lemay
2014: Lieutenant Colonel Jay Zeamer Jr.
2015: Wilbur and Orville Wright
2016: Major David Brodeur
2017: Col. George Everett "Bud" Day
2018: Capt. Louis Zamperini
2019: Neil Armstrong
2020: 1st Lt. Robert "Bob" Hoover