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By an act of Congress on October 1, 1942, during Olds' Second Class year, the academy began a three-year curriculum for the duration of the war for cadets entering after July 1939.
Cadets applying to the Air Corps were classified as Air Cadets, with a modified curriculum that provided flying training but eliminated Military Topography and Graphics required for Ground Cadets.
Olds developed ambivalent feelings about West Point, admiring its dedication to "Duty, Honor, Country", but disturbed by the tendency of many tactical officers to distort the purpose of its Honor Code.
In March 1943, Olds was braced by an officer upon returning from leave in New York City, and compelled on penalty of an honor violation to admit he had consumed alcohol.
The loss to the midshipmen was followed eight days later by the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Buell Snyder, Olds moved to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where he lived in the YMCA and supported himself working odd jobs.
Olds' class was given an abridged second class course of study until January 19, 1943, when it began an abridged first class course.
Lieutenant Olds completed fighter pilot training with the 329th Fighter Group, an operational training unit based at Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale, California.
Olds had a highly publicized career and life, including marriage to Hollywood actress Ella Raines.
As a young man he was also recognized for his athletic prowess in both high school and college, being named an All-American as a lineman in college football.