United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel
United States Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA or Air Force),Unlike the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, which are often referred to by their respective city names, the Air Force Academy is not normally referred to as "Colorado Springs." is located north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The Air Force Academy is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officers for the United States Air Force. It is the youngest of the five United States service academies, having graduated its first class in 1959. Graduates of the Academy's four-year program receive a Bachelor of Science degree, and most are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force.Since 1959, cadets have also been able to "cross-commission" into the Army, Navy or Marine Corps, and each year a small number of graduates does so, usually in a one-for-one "trade" with similarly inclined cadets at the other service academies. Foreign cadets and graduates who have lost their medical qualification while at the Academy (a small number each year) may receive a degree but are not commissioned. The Academy is also one of the largest tourist attractions in Colorado, attracting more than a million visitors each year.