Cadet Wing Decked in Denim to Support Global Event


By Randy Roughton
U.S. Air Force Academy Strategic Communications

U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. – Instead of their usual blues or operational camouflage uniforms, cadets were clad in denim, spirit gear and “Stand Up, USAFA” T-shirts April 24 to recognize Denim Day for the fourth consecutive year.

The Cadet Wing’s Denim Day observance gives participants an opportunity to use visual self-expression to create sexual assault awareness and support in alignment with the elements of the Academy’s Leader of Character Framework and Let’s Be Clear campaign, said Cadet 3rd Class Jessica Bosch, a teal rope and event coordinator.



Cadets leading the way on Denim Day

This year’s event was open to all assigned Academy organizations, including active-duty members, civilians, contracted employees and cadets. Teal rope cadets also led Denim Day discussions in the squadrons. This gives cadets the opportunity to show solidarity with sexual assault survivors and continue Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month discussions about affecting positive change in the Academy and the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force, Bosch said.

Cadets helped plan Denim Day activities with the help of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response victim advocates who assisted with the event’s logistics.

“Today’s Denim Day went very well,” Bosch said. “I think today shows that we have people here who are passionate about the teal rope program who go above and beyond to plan these events.”



The significance of wearing denim

Denim Day dates back to 1992 and is now an international event with more than 12 million participants. That year, an 18-year-old woman in Rome was raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor. He forcefully removed her jeans during the assault. The offender’s rape conviction was overturned on the basis that his victim wore tight-fitting jeans. Women in the Italian Parliament were enraged and protested by wearing jeans to work in what became known as the “jeans alibi” case. The first Denim Day observance in the U.S. occurred seven years later in 1999.



An important message for future leaders

The Academy’s Denim Day participation provides another opportunity for inspiring tomorrow’s future leaders with motivation to affect change wherever graduates may land in their Air Force and Space Force careers, said Staff Sgt. Noelle Williams, Denim Day committee member and teal rope advisor.

“These events give us a chance to extend our reach every year,” Williams said. “The future leaders we educate today are the ones who will go on to educate tomorrow.”

See more Denim Day photos and watch the proclamation video.