The First Women to Enter the Ranks of the Air Force Academy

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NBC Nightly News
David Brinkley/Don Harris
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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Amy Takashima makes history as the first female cadet to enter the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs.



"The First Women to Enter the Ranks of the Air Force Academy." Don Harris, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 28 June 1976. NBC Learn. Web. 18 January 2020.


Harris, D. (Reporter), & Brinkley, D. (Anchor). (1976, June 28). The First Women to Enter the Ranks of the Air Force Academy. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"The First Women to Enter the Ranks of the Air Force Academy" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 06/28/1976. Accessed Sat Jan 18 2020 from NBC Learn:


The First Women to Enter the Ranks of the Air Force Academy


The Air Force calls students in its academy at Colorado Springs “cadets” a term with no sexual identification, and so its first female cadets who arrived today will not have to be called “airpersons.” All the service academies have been ordered to admit women, but the Air Force today was the first to actually see them march in. Don Harris was there to watch what no doubt was history.

DON HARRIS, reporting:

Amy Takashima, an 18-year-old from Canoga Park, California. She graduated from high school with a 3.89 grade average. She was on the track and cross-country teams and she’s interested in a career in mathematics and computers. She was accepted by West Point, but chose to go to the Air Force Academy. Like all the other service academies, this was a school for men, until today. Amy Takashima became one of the first women to enter the Air Force Academy. The Academy said it’s making some changes to accommodate women, but that those changes are minimal. Young men and women went through processing and paperwork together, the academic schedule for men and women are the same and physical education will be co-ed except for contact sports. Freshmen are called “doolies” at the Academy, and all doolies get their haircut short. For men, the style is very short. Basic training, says the Air Force, will be practically the same, with training modified slightly to take in account the lesser strength of the upper body in women. At first, upper class cadets and regular Air Force officers of the academy felt a good deal of resentment towards the orders to admit women. But at the Air Force Academy at least, much of that resentment seems to be faded.

LARRY ORTEGA (Air Force Cadet): The type of girls that they are bringing in here, there’s a lot of very good athlete’s coming in. There are a lot of super academic girls coming in. We’ll be very proud to have them. I think people at first are just apprehensive about standards lowering.

HARRIS: In years past, up to 40% of the male cadets drop off before completing the four-year course here at the Academy. Whether its fair or not, everyone will be watching to see just how many of the women make the grade. Don Harris, NBC News at the Air Force Academy.