Prior relationship at Usafa?


Feb 4, 2024
Alright I know this is a weird subject but I was not able to find much info on it so I wanted to ask it here. While my ultimate goal is an appointment to Usafa, the subject of a relationship has also been in the back of my mind and I wanted to see if anyone had the same experience. Gf of 4 years has just entered the co’28 and I am looking to reapply and enter co’29. First, Usafa has been my dream school since I was 12. We have talked about long distance etc. We understand all the commitments that come with an appointment. That being said, how does Usafa handle prior relationships? If I get in next year, will we be able to interact at all?
As a Cadet, she is neither an officer nor enlisted so she can't date an officer or someone enlisted. That's spelled out in the middle of page 12 in AFI36-2909. Also on that same page, it reads; "...More specific guidance concerning relationships among different classes of cadets is left to the discretion of the United States Air Force Academy..."

If you become a Cadet, you will be in a different class than her. That's probably a good thing. I would venture to guess that you could continue your relationship if you weren't both in the same Flight (or whatever is equivalent to a "Company" at the USAFA). The reasoning being that the two of you wouldn't be in the same command structure, so I expect it may be okay.

But as the instruction says, it is left to the discretion of the academy. Since she will be a Cadet there, she will be informed of what can and can't be done long before you get there. ;)
OP, you may find a recent year handbook section, copied in below, interesting - in particular "Academy policy prohibits similar relationships between basic cadet trainees and upper class cadets, as well as four-degree cadets and upper class cadets. There are no exceptions to these policies for prior-existing relationships."

I'll just say this - I've seen couples separated (one or both deployed, living in different states for work) etc work it out / surmount obstacles, so I don't think you have to be fatalistic about this. Just FYI, "wing" is all cadets at the academy, so no option to ask to be assigned to different wings. (The Cadet Wing (i.e., all cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy) are divided in recent years into 40 squadrons of approximately 110 cadets, with 25-30 from each class. The cadet squadron is the basic unit in which cadets live and operate.)


Please reassure us the relationship is not the primary or sole reason you are applying to USAFA. That is unwise. Set that aside for a moment and be sure to think through and reverse-engineer:
Is this the service you want to work in for a minimum of 5+ years?
Are there officer specialties that appeal to you?
Is USAFA the best fit for you to become an AF or SF officer?
Would you apply to USAFA even if you were not in this relationship or she was attending another school?

All questions above are rhetorical no answers needed here.

If you succeed in gaining an appointment, she will be senior to you and therefore responsible for knowing and abiding by policy and regulations and not putting you in a position to be professionally endangered. She should seek guidance on this once the academic year starts, so you both know the policy going forward.

As you develop your alternate plans, don’t overlook nearby AFROTC schools, for example: