The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) is one of the nation's military universities, with the mission to educate and motivate cadets to be career Air Force officers. This diverse population arrives at the USAFA with varying immunization records and disease histories. A review of USAFA cadet medical records identified an alarming cost of treating a simple, preventable, generally childhood disease: chickenpox. In July 1995, a cost-benefit analysis was performed on the use of varicella vaccine among cadets and preparatory school students at the USAFA. Based on this analysis, the USAFA implemented a strategy of serologic screening and vaccination. Although this study does not establish causation, follow-up data showed a dramatic decrease in cases, associated hospitalizations, and therefore costs during the first year after implementation. Fiscal projections indicate that these costs savings should increase through year 4 of the program and continue thereafter. At year 4, the total cadet population will have been serologically screened and/or vaccinated against chickenpox.