History Behind The Kadet Mascot

The original Kadet mascot. 
Photo via Wikipedia under the creative commons license. 

The original Kadet mascot. Photo via Wikipedia under the creative commons license. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Academy_High_School

“Give em’ the beak”

Let’s Go Kadets! Since the founding of Air Academy High School in 1957 the Kadet mascot has represented the school with pride. Being one of the most unique features that highlights Air Academy, the mythical bird mascot reflects the high school’s military influence being located on the Academy. The one of a kind mascot, surprisingly, has more meaning than students may think. Our mascot has perfectly represented Air Academy High School for nearly 60 years.

The Kadet mascot was selected by the Air Academy High School Student Council around the time of the school’s establishment. Significantly influenced by the Air Force Academy’s mascot, the Falcon, Air Academy High School created the mythological falcon-like bird. To distinguish themselves from the Air Force Academy cadets they also chose to be the Kadets (Kay-dets). Essentially, the Kadet is supposed to represent a “younger sibling” to the cadet and the Kadet bird a sibling to the Air Force Falcon.


The Kadet mascot has evolved over the years, from the original navy blue colored bird with an iconic yellow beak and holding a mighty club with a nail through it with has a fierce look on its face, to the more recent painting of a Kadet from 2001, having a stronger and commanding bird figure and more distinct resemblance to the falcon. Being a myt6hical character, the Kadet can be seen illustrated by students in various ways, located around the school. In 2014, Air Academy got its very own mascot costume; now it can be seen at various assemblies and sporting events.

Original Photo by Kate Danis

Air Academy High School is one of District 20’s original schools, established in September of 1957. Before Air Academy, the district only consisted of one school, Woodmen School (now known as Woodmen Roberts Elementary School). Due to the small education system which only attended to grades first through sixth causing long commutes for higher grade levels, parents and the district sought for a closer solution. Soon, an impacting resolution came when the United States Air Force settled to purchasing thousands of acres in Colorado Springs. At the time, the Air Force generously offered District 20 the land to build a school.

Original photo by Kate Danis. Mural by Natalie Young.

When it came to the Air Force Academy choosing their Falcon mascot, which was appointed by the students in September of 1955, they had to consider what was appropriate for a mascot to represent the distinguished Academy. Specifically, Falcons are known for their speed, precision, and intelligence which helped emphasize what the cadets wanted in a mascot.

Apart from Air Academy’s mythical mascot, other schools around the US have creative, unique characters to represent their schools. In Rocky Ford, Colorado, the Rocky Ford High School is home to the Meloneers. A High School in Indiana has the Frankfort Hot Dogs as their mascot. The Nation’s most popular mascots include; Eagles, Bulldogs, Tigers, Lions, Panthers, Vikings, and Cougars.

Original photo by Kate Danis

Air Academy’s Kadet mascot helps set our school apart and gives us a uniqueness special to the school. Sophomore Gavin Garrett Johnson commented about the mascot, “The Kadet is a great mascot, I like how it is unique from the others in D20.” Here at Air Academy, the Kadet core belief is “it’s a matter of pride.”