While out and about, I spotted a U.S. Air Force Academy brochure on a rack of tourist information. The back of the brochure featured the emblems of all 40 cadet squadrons:

Emblems of the USAF Academy Cadet Squadrons from a USAFA Promotional Brochure.

All of the emblems are also available on the USAF Academy website here: https://www.usafa.af.mil/News/Art/?igtag=Cadet%20Wing.  You can numerous examples of USAF Academy Cadet Squadron patches based off these emblems in the gallery by clicking here.

Cadet squadron patches are worn primarily on the left side of the cadet blue jacket and on the right sleeve of the flight suit (see photos below).  USAFA switched to a standardized 3″ diameter patch in the 1990’s; prior to that the patches varied in size including some over 5″ tall.  For those who are interested in the stories behind the cadet squadron patches, I highly suggest thou get your hands on a copy of the out-of-print book, Squadron Insignia of the United States Air Force Academy, by P. Michael Sheridan.  While published in 1990, it remains the definitive work on the subject of Cadet Squadron patches.

USAF Academy cadets in flight suits wearing their squadron patches on their left shoulders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah Chambers)


USAF Academy Cadets displaying their Cadet Squadron patches on their jackets. (USAF Photo)

Squadrons were designated “Cadet Squadron XX, Air Force Cadet Wing” or “Cadet Group YY, Air Force Cadet Wing” where “XX” and “YY” indicated the number.   These were not official Air Force units and as such did not have any official lineage and honors.  This changed on 2 December 2003 when the Air Force activated 36 cadet squadrons (1st through 36th) and 4 cadet groups.  At that time, the cadet squadrons and cadet groups officially were designated “XX Cadet Squadron” and “YY Cadet Group” and became lineage bearing organizations.  In practice though, USAFA still refers to the Cadet Squadrons with the number after the designation.  On 6 August 2006, an additional 4 cadet squadrons (37th through 40th) were activated.

If you are interested in obtaining Cadet Squadron patches the Association of Graduates, the USAF Academy Alumni Association, sells them on their website under “Squadron Gear”.