The U.S Air Force Academy was established April 1, 1954, the culmination of an idea years in the making. Airpower leaders, long before the Air Force was a separate service, argued that they needed a school dedicated to war in the air, to train Airmen. After September 1947, when the Air Force was established as a separate service, this idea finally had the legitimacy of the new service behind it. Today, the Academy provides the Air Force with a corps of officers dedicated to upholding the high standards of their profession. The Air Force in turn provides a proving ground for these officers, and sent back to its Academy dedicated staff members to educate and train future leaders. More than 60 years after the first class was admitted, the Academy has graduated more than 50,000 officers.