The Academy is open to the public because it belongs to the American people. You have to enter at the north entryway just north of Colorado Springs. The south entry is for military personnel only. At security, you will show your ID (Driver's License, etc.) and you might be asked if you have any weapons in your car. You can't take guns or knives on the base even if you have a concealed carry permit. While security (run by a private company) has the right to search you, they rarely do.
The spirit is rather welcoming, in fact. They will direct you to the center where there are a few displays, a 15min movie introducing you to the Academy, and a shop for souvenirs. You are given a map of the places you can go and you need to stick to those areas. The most popular place to go is the chapel and once you are there you know why.
The chapel is a work of art inside and out. Inside, the stained glass and shape of the sanctuary make it look like the vestibule of heaven. The front two pews are reserved in honor of the missing airmen and POWs over the years. Christians use the main sanctuary. Jews and other faiths have sections dedicated for their use downstairs.
There are many walks and views that are open to visitors. You can often see cadets training and there are almost always pilots training in small planes all around the airspace above you. Gliders and parachutists are also frequently just above you.
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