BG Armacost has provided the notes from which he spoke

AFA Denver Quarterback Club (Thursday, 19 September 13)

Valley Country Club     1245-1315



  • Thank you for letting me speak with you today;  I am honored to have the chance to meet you and speak to a group that has a long history of supporting our cadets
  • I’ve been Dean since June and, unlike Gen Johnson, I am finally done living out of boxes


Scholar-Athlete Stories

  • Like Gen Johnson said when she met with you two weeks ago, most of you here know first-hand the rigorous program our cadets are going through and the significant demands on their time
  • As if the program at USAFA wasn’t difficult enough, many of our cadets choose to participate in extracurricular events, like clubs and sports
  • And these cadets, even with the additional demands they voluntarily take on, continue to excel academically, athletically, and be role models in the community
  • When Gen Johnson was here, she highlighted several of our athletes who epitomized “service before self” and demonstrated remarkable character
  • And I want to take this opportunity to highlight some recent and current cadets who somehow find the time and energy to leave their peers in the dust on the athletic field and in the classroom

AJ Wallerstein

  • Many of you may remember AJ Wallerstein who graduated in 2012; he was one of the best offensive lineman and player our football team has seen in a while
  • In his firstee year was a first-team all-Mountain West pick and an honorable mention All-American pick by Sports Illustrated, and was selected to first-team all-conference as a 2-degree
  • Not only was AJ one of the best athletes in the conference, he was also consistently an A-student and on the Dean’s list as… get this… a double physics and math major!
  • Not only did he excel in football, he excelled in not one, but two majors!
  • AJ is currently a program manager at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio in  the Plasma Physics Research Lab and is currently working on producing hypersonic plasma by wire expansions and electromagnetic scattering by turbulent structures in DC Discharge plasma

Dan Schonfeld

  • Another recent grad who exemplifies the scholar-athlete is Dan Schonfeld who played lacrosse for the Academy and was a 4-time Dean’s ACE
  • Dan was an OR major and graduated 9th in his class last year
  • He is now at MIT for a masters in OR on an MIT fully-funded scholarship
  • This year’s lacrosse team is looking like one for the record books too
    • It’s the third semester in a row the team has had ZERO cadets on probation of any type
    • and 15/36 players are on the Dean’s List
  • The current number one Management Major is also one of our top lacrosse players, C1C Michael Curran

Name Withheld

  • Our athletes have so many more opportunities laying at their feet than just playing D1 athletics, and it’s your support that makes it possible for our cadets to seize every opportunity the Academy has to offer and to excel
  • The superintendent shared several stories about how USAFA and its athletic programs opened the doors to a better life and a world-class education
  • And I know of one recent grad who not only knocked on those doors but ran through them
    • He played baseball and was active in the Academy’s Powered Flight program
    • His father committed suicide with this young man in the house a few years before he graduated high school
    • His brother was and still is a drug addict who has had several run-ins with the law
    • His mother went to jail while he was a cadet, which left no one to take care of their trailer, dogs and cats
    • He was from Colorado Springs, so when his mother was in jail, he would miss baseball practice so that he could go home and take care of the trailer and pets
    • As a cadet he financially supported his family
    • He graduated USAFA as a Distinguished Graduate with a 3.8 GPA, majoring in Management and minoring in Spanish
    • He is currently getting his Masters in Public Policy, International Security & Economic Policy Specialization and has a 3.93 GPA!
  • Our team rosters of full of exemplars that are dedicated to excellence in everything they do, not just athletics
  • And you should be proud of the drive and the determination of our cadets and the passion by which they seek opportunities to excel and grow as a person and leader

Budget and Furloughs

  • With the current budget situation, we are working really hard to make sure our cadets do not see a decrease in the quality or quantity of these opportunities
  • Because of the furloughs and reduced budget, we’ve had to get creative this past year to pull that off. If  we have to endure more furloughs in the future, I do not see there being an impact to the number or types of academic majors USAFA offers…I know many of your club members had questions about that
  • We are, however, currently reviewing our core curriculum to ensure we stay up to date with AF needs and the world in which we find ourselves operating
  • We need to make sure our core properly prepares our future officers with the right balance of STEM and non-STEM courses

UAV-RPA Program

  • One program your members have expressed an interest in is USAFA’s UAV-RPA program
  • We are trying hard to shield this program from the budget woes, but currently the program is solely funded with fallout dollars
  • Our UAV-RPA Program has a direct link to and impact on the operational AF, and that impact continues to grow as the mission and use of unmanned platforms by the AF grows
    • In 2005, unmanned platforms saw 50K flight hours
    • In 2012, those hours totaled well over 350K
  • The use of UAVs and RPAs has increased so dramatically that the AF’s #1 manning problem is manning these unmanned platforms
    • In 1999 the AF had 150 UAV-RPA pilots, in 2008 it had 400, and today there are 1150 UAV-RPA pilots in the AF
  • The AF is looking to USAFA to help with introducing and educating future AF leaders on UAV-RPA operations and mission
    • Cadets lead USAFA’s UAV-RPA program with mentoring from contactors and permanent party
    • And the program is focused on providing cadets academic knowledge, experiential learning, and operational familiarization related to combat and UAV-RPA ops
  • The program is currently flying 12 Aero Vironment RQ-11B Ravens which USAFA owns
  • In fact this program is set to make Academy history next week
    • Next week we have two cadets going up for their UAS Instructor checkrides
    • Upon completion they will by fully qualified UAS instructors and will enter evaluator upgrade
    • They are on the road to becoming certified evaluators and will then begin giving instructor checkrides to other cadets
    • A cadet becoming a fully qualified UAS instructor or pilot has never happened at USAFA before


  • Regardless of what happens on Capitol Hill and with the budget, the cadets will continue to impress as they have always done
  • USAFA’s cadet-athletes have a long history of out-performing their counterparts nationally
  • Our athletes have earned
    • 432 Academic All-Mountain West Conference honors since 2003
    • a total of 72 NCAA postgraduate scholarships, the second-most nationally in D1 athletics
    • and 11 Rhodes Scholarships
  • Our cadets are a national treasure and our AF’s and nation’s future leaders, so we all have a stake in their development and success
  • And I can’t thank you enough for your steadfast support and hope that support can stay up late this Saturday night when our Falcons take on Wyoming
  • And now I would like to hear what questions you have


2017 AFA Football Schedule

AFA Football Schedule 2017