Location: Colorado Springs, Col.
Conference: Mountain West
Colors: Blue and Silver

Members of the class of 1959, the first to enter the academy, picked the falcon as the mascot of the cadet
wing in 1955.  Later that fall, they enlisted the first falcon to serve the academy.  The mascot was a peregrine
falcon named “Mach 1," which refers to the speed of sound.  
Each bird that has served the academy has carried the Mach 1 name, but receives an individual name from
the cadet group known as the falconers.  The cadets that care for and train the mascots keep 12 to 15
falcons.  For a falcon to be properly trained, the falconers spend an average of 300 hours of labor over a six-
week period.  Though they never completely domesticate the falcons, they train them to fly for more than an
hour and make repeated stoops at a baited lure held by a cadet falconer.
Hailed as the NCAA’s only performing mascot, the Air Force Falcon is a crowd pleaser.  The bird can achieve
a speed of more than 200 miles per hour and makes the game day experience even more exciting by diving
and zooming low over the heads of spectators.
A costumed mascot known as “The Bird” also serves in the Academy’s ranks.  Known for his unusual arrivals
at season home openers, “The Bird” has arrived via limousine, parachute and horseback.

AWOL Falcon: The Academy's mascot made national headlines following a detour that it made following a
bowl game flying performance in 2010.  The mascot named "Ace" took the bowl game's name to heart when
he sought his own "independence" by flying away from the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, LA.  Fortunately
ACE was found and was returned to the stadium by the fourth quarter.  


Unlike many nicknames that have mysterious or meaningless origins, the Air Force Academy’s nickname
suits perfectly.  The qualities possessed by the falcon are reflected in many ways by the cadets the bird
Falcons are known for unhesitatingly attacking and killing prey twice their size.  Due to military weight
standards, the Air Force football team  typically matches up against foes that have much greater sized
Keen eyesight is another falcon characteristic that’s found in Air Force Cadets.  Students at the academy
must have perfect vision to fly our nation’s elite aircraft.
The falcon also possesses other qualities that the Academy’s future naval officers must have to be
successful.  These positive traits include speed, power, courage, alertness and a noble tradition.  
The falcon’s heritage has also soared into the United States Air Force.  Fittingly, one of the best weapons in
the Air Force arsenal is the F-16 Fighting Falcon


Besides witnessing the thrills of the Academy's performing mascot, they typically treat fans to quite a
performance on and off the field. The U.S. Air Force Academy parachute team, the Wings of Blue, deliver the
game ball in exciting fashion. Against a backdrop of the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, the Wings of Blue
drop in Falcon Stadium for the proud tradition of delivering the game ball. A good omen that's often
accomplished by the jump team is for a precise landing on the painted falcon positioned at midfield of the
52,480 seat stadium.
Fly bys over Falcon Stadium are also a celebrated pregame tradition. Whether its F-16's, the famous Air Force
Thunderbirds or other flying Air Force inventory, the planes always create lots of excitement with their low
approach and sonic booming sound.
Wisconsin Game Day Traditions, the 5th QuarterAir Force Falcon Game Day Traditions, Mascots,
Nicknames & More
When it comes to mascot
traditions that soar high, the
Air Force Academy scores
with its flying Falcon.
Claimed by many to be the second-most
recognizable helmet in college football, Air
Force's lighting bolt design has also made it to
the pros. The San Diego Chargers followed the
academy's lead and got a charge by modifying
it for their helmets.
Faster Delivery than FedEx
The "Wings of Blue" Air Force parachute team delivers the game
ball in fast fashion during pregames at Falcon Stadium
Pregame Thrills
In order to thrill the crowd
while also intimidating
opponents, pregame flyovers
featuring F15s or B1s create
excitement in Falcon stadium.
Flashing Red, White and Blue
The 2011 football season saw a flurry of
uniform design changes throughout the
college landscape.  The AFA also
unveiled a new look and added a
patriotic flair to their helmets with a Red,
White and Blue lightning bolt design.
Air Force Football
When it comes to creating
excitement with alternate
helmet designs, no one can
stop the U.S. Air Force!
Commander-in-Chief's Trophy
Air force has dominated this
trophy that is awarded annually to
the season's winner between the
three Academy football teams.  
Since the trophy was first
presented in 1972, Air Force has
won the trophy almost as many
years as Army and Navy
The Fisher King
Former Academy Head Coach
Fisher DeBerry is the all-time
winningest coach at Air Force.  
DeBerry guided Falcons
Football from 1984-2006 and
posted a very impressive
169-109-1 record.  DeBerry
was named the National
Coach of the Year in 1985.  In
his 21 seasons, DeBerry's AFA
teams won 14 outright
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