AP Top 25 college football poll reaction: What's next for each ranked team? Then in 2002, one of the Naval Academy’s goats was stolen, apparently by West Point cadets. USAA Federal Savings Bank is part of USAA, which has about 13 million military and veteran-affiliated members. Lt. Col. Chevelle Thomas, a West Point spokeswoman, said on Sunday that the “U.S. Aurora, a 22-year-old gyrfalcon who is the academy’s official mascot, and Oblio, a Peregrine falcon about seven years younger, were taken by two West Point cadets. The conflict has largely taken place out of public view, with journalists and outside observers barred from the area. (1/3) We are deeply saddened to announce that Aurora died earlier today. The Air Force Academy's falcon mascot, Aurora, died Wednesday, the school announced. 3, McKinstry gives Alabama its sixth top-50 recruit. In a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., said the plan was developed with no notice to Congress. The falcon was chosen in a belief the bird best characterized the combat role of the Air Force, the academy said. "Her impact on the nearly 30 class years of cadet falconers and Falconry Team support staff cannot be overstated. Name suggestions submitted so far on Twitter include Athena, Blue, Soar, and Falcon McFalconface. Mr. Kosakowski said falcons routinely sustain wing injuries, and many can be treated and live. Six Coast Guard Academy football players are in isolation on campus after testing positive for COVID-19. 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Joe Kosakowski, a regional director of the North American Falconers Association, said that Aurora would be considered old, as falcons can have life spans up to about 25 years. The falcon mascot was selected by popular vote of the Academy's Class of 1959, the first class to graduate from the Academy. They threw sweaters over the birds, and later stuffed them into dog crates, Mr. Dollar said. “They scuffed up her wings a bit, putting her in a box probably too small for her,” Mr. Dollar said. The crash came less than a week after the Navy closed out the fiscal year without a single aviation-related fatality. Military Academy sincerely apologizes for an incident involving U.S.M.A. It is a critical time in the U.S.-India relationship. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “I’m more about the health and welfare of the birds. 1 WR to choose OU. Air Force Mascot, a Falcon, Is Injured by West Point Cadets During Prank. As Saturday approached, the United States Military Academy revved up for a football game against the visiting Air Force Academy in West Point, N.Y., in a highly charged clash of rivals. Some called the reports a “disgrace” to the military, noting that the West Point cadet honor code states that “a cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.”, “It upsets me,” Mr. Dollar said. In November, Aurora suffered injuries to both wings when she was abducted by West Point cadets in a prank gone wrong ahead of the Air Force-Army game. A motley group of cowboys, Mexican-Americans and American Indians fought their way across Europe. Defensive Dabo: Am I at right press conference? pic.twitter.com/1vXxSXpaGQ, "In addition to serving as an ambassador for USAFA, she was an ambassador for all falcons, helping us educate the public on the importance of these majestic birds," the Air Force said in a statement announcing Aurora's death. And with the rivalry came an idea of mischief. “Unless you are federally licensed, you can’t even touch them,” he said. The cadets turned over the birds the next morning, with Aurora's wings bloodied -- likely from thrashing inside the crate. But Mr. Dollar said falcons require special care and their handling is tightly regulated by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, among other agencies. "M*A*S*H" remains a S*M*A*S*H" with young viewers. COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force Academy welcomed a new mascot into its ranks and will break with tradition by allowing cadets to name the falcon. The cadets turned the birds in on Saturday morning, but not before Aurora suffered abrasions that bloodied her wings, likely when she was thrashing inside the crate, Mr. Dollar said. The change of venue means the matchup will be played at the U.S. Military Academy for the first time in 77 years. The service academy's students will vote on a name for the female gyrfalcon from suggestions submitted via social media, The Gazette reports. The Marine Corps has officially retired the AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter. Mr. Dollar did not know where the birds were taken from or where they were returned, though he said the falcons, along with another, an American kestrel named Zeus, were sleeping in a home near the Air Force football team while it was visiting West Point. “I think they had them for a couple hours and then they realized it was a bad mistake,” Mr. Dollar said. Falcons were chosen as the Air Force Academy’s mascot in 1955, and Aurora is the oldest of 10 in the falconry program, Mr. Dollar said, noting, “She’s an old lady of the group.”. The falcon was chosen in a belief the bird best characterized the … In her 23 years at USAFA, she interacted with tens of thousands of people at sporting venues and military and community events. She served as the academy's mascot for more than two decades. A number of falcons, like this one, are mascots of the Air Force Academy and travel with the football team to games. This article was written by The Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. The episode began sometime on Friday night, Sam Dollar, the Air Force Academy’s falconry team adviser, said on Sunday. She was a feisty, spirited bird who commanded respect. But a scheme by West Point cadets to swipe two falcons belonging to the Air Force Academy ended with one of the birds bloodied, the start of an investigation and a public apology from West Point. Cadets from the U.S. Military Academy abducted Aurora in a 2018 prank while the falcon accompanied the Air Force team to an annual football game against the Army academy in West Point, New York. 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