1 Week until FT

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Moosestache, May 8, 2012.

  1. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    DS heads out to Maxwell in one week. Trying to make sure he has everything he needs ready. He is busy working out and studying this week to make sure he is as prepared as possible. He is excited, and I think a bit nervous too. Any last minute advise as far as things he should be bringing that we might not think about?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Stamps and envelopes!

    They will take his cell phone away that night, so make sure you work it out before hand. We told DS to call us as soon as the plane landed while waiting for luggage.

    On the day he left we mailed him a card, and did so every few days. There will be mail call everyday, and there is nothing worse than not hearing your name called. I think I sent him 1 update letter, but the rest were all funny cards that I bought to give him a smile for the day.

    The hard part for you and him will be the silence. Taking a cell phone from them day 1 is what they think is the most stressful part! :eek::biggrin:

    They will hand back the cell phone when they come back out of the field, if I recall he called us the night before flying back home.

    I would also suggest that he goes through his "A" bag now. If he didn't place his blues shirts, tees in plastic gallon ziplocs they are probably wrinkled beyond belief. If so, iron them and than place them in the ziplocs. Make sure all of his liquid products are in ziplocs too. You don't want him to get there and have issues because it exploded during transit.

    The one thing DS did was to wake up everyday by 5:00/:30, made his bed, worked out, and did not stop moving until @8. This allowed him to get into a "mock" schedule.

    He will do fine. As much as you have seen growth in his maturity over the past 2 yrs., just wait! He will come back different, in a good way.
     
  3. homewith4

    homewith4 Member

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    Pima,

    I believe you 100% on the ziploc bag thing...but when I told my DS, he was trying to figure out "why" it works (stupid kid...just do what PIMA says!!! :wink: )

    So how does the ziploc make a difference?
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If you place the shirt in the ziploc, it acts like a buffer, think tissue paper. The shirt doesn't get as wrinkled like it would just being compressed with everything else. Basically it is a home made space storage bag like they sell on TV at 2 a.m.! Remember to remove all air from the ziploc bag.

    Folding is also key! Fold the bottom up that will be tucked in anyway 1st, than fold again. Sleeves the same way, do not do the in/bend back over, instead in and bend down. I know that is hard to get. Just think folding the shirt in 1/3rds. You want the sleeves to lay flat on each side. this way they will not have creases in the arms If you fold in the shoulders too close the sleeves will need to be folded back to make it fit. If you bend it down at the shoulder, in an angle the sleeves will not have a crease. Shoulder boards will pop out the crease at the top of the shirt, meanwhile the arm is perfect. They get graded on uniforms.

    After 20 yrs of Bullet being ADAF, ziploc bags are the must have to reduce wrinkles in clothing when traveling with this type of luggage.

    The other tip is to take his pants and his tees, use the tees like you would tissue paper regarding folding. Place the folded tee mid thigh, fold the below knee portion up, than the top portion down. The tee will be less wrinkled and so will the pants.

    The beauty of the blues is even if you don't do this they will eventually come back (G bless polyester!), but IMPO 10 minutes of repacking is worth it if it means less stress on them.

    The one I would stress is make sure he has ziplocked his shaving cream, shampoo, soap, sunscreen, etc in baggies. The same is true if he takes Gold Bond powder.

    Their luggage will be tossed around at the airport onto the plane, off the plane onto luggage claim,, than onto the shuttle to Maxwell, off the shuttle, to the Q's. If they are not secure and it breaks it can go on their uniforms, binders, folders, etc. causing frustration minute 1.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  5. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Here is a service we saw WebGuy advertising on his site - Write2Them. This is run by a USAFA grad and his wife. Friends and family email letters, pics, notes, etc. to a personalized write2them email address for your DS. All the emails are then aggregated into a single letter which is mailed to Maxwell. Depending on which package you choose, they can mail a letter every day. This seems like a great way to allow friends and families to easily provide support. However, in way of full disclosure, we have not used this service. But we trust WebGuy and plan to try it for BCT this summer.
     
  6. Bluebird

    Bluebird New Member

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    Our DS leaves in a week as well. Pima is has been our guide. He has all sizes of ziplocks packed! Pima thank you for all your great advice. We would agree that letters are so important,they are what got our other son through USAFA BCT.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Blackbird,

    I don't believe they have webguy for FT, I am pretty positive it is only an AFA thing.
     
  8. madisongf

    madisongf New Member

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    Pima or anyone else...my ds says that parents can go to FT graduation this year. Has anyone else heard this or have they always been able to go? Just wondering... Also, this folding and putting in ziplock bags sounds intersting but I need a video to actually see how it is done. What size ziplock bags? Did you put everything is ziplock bags...tshirts, blue pants, blue shirts? Just a day and a half left until ds goes to FT. My ds also said he wasn't even going to take his phone...I tried to tell him he could have it until they take it away but we will see...not having a phone may be the hardest thing to overcome lol.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The ziplocs are gallon size. Just the shirts, not the pants. I want to say 1 blue shirt per bag. The tees, I think we did 2 per bag. If you fold correctly it will go in no problem. Just remember to remove the air out of the bag before closing. The one trick is to make sure when you fold the s/s sleeves they go across the back without being bent back to the shoulder...causing a crease in the arm.

    Don't fret about the shirts. Just make sure any and all liquids are placed in ziploc baggies so in case they explode it won't explode on clothes, binders, spirals, etc. instead it will be contained in the baggies.

    Tell him to take his phone fully charged. He will be able to make phone calls the night he gets there before they confiscate it. He probably will regret not taking it while everyone else is dialing up a storm and he is twittering his thumbs. They will return it the night before they graduate, and again will feel lonely as everyone else is yakking on their phones.

    I get him not wanting to take it, but reality is he doesn't know yet how deep his roots are planted, and I think he will regret not taking it watching everyone talk to their folks/gf/bf for last minute "I love you" moments.

    Yes some parents do attend the graduation, this is nothing new, but honestly it is a very, very small minority. The ones that typically attend can road trip it. If it is no sweat off your back do it because it is a memory, BUT I wouldn't lose a second of sleep if you can't do it. We didn't go, nobody from DS's det went, never even crossed our mind to attend... it was a TDY (Bullet was AF). All these cadets really want to do is get out of Maxwell and back home! Hand me my certification so I can be a 300, thanks, bye!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  10. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    The week is up. I dropped him off at the airport at 5am this morning. He called me from Atlanta, he got in around 10am. At about 12 he was loading up on a bus to head to Maxwell. He said people were trickling in, and he was on the first bus headed to the base. First week, first bus load in, should be an interesting time. He wasn't sure if he would be able to talk to us again before the end of FT or not. Toughest part of being a parent is knowing that at some point its all on them, and hopefully it will all work out.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Trust me, in a month +/- he will be home making you laugh about this TDY.

    It is hard, especially as a Mom or a parent, but FT gets you accustomed to what AD life will be like.

    We are here for you. We get it!
     
  12. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Heard from my daughter about the same time. Sounds as though they left together on the same (first) bus. Good luck to your son!:thumb:
     
  13. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    I am sure he will do fine. His brother just left a couple weeks ago for the sand box, and that was quite a bit more difficult for his mother. They all grow up so fast. Thank you all so much for the information, hints, and support, what a great site and more importantly, a great group of people!
     
  14. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    Awesome tips with the ziplock bags, Pima. They definitely help organize and keep things clean so much better than anything else I can think of.

    The only thing we do different now is that we roll the shirts instead of folding them. In half sleeve to sleeve, fold sleeves in, then roll from the bottom up. I would still fold Blues though.

    Anyway, Max 2 is coming up real soon, so I hope anyone going to that is finishing their packing. I do want to give this heads up for everyone who hasn't heard yet -- 6 cadets were sent home for failing their FTM or AM tests and 7 have to retake the PFA because they failed that.

    The tests are open book but don't use that as an excuse not to study. You only get to take it once. You should know both manuals inside-out and be working out each day so you don't even have to worry about the PFA.

    Good luck to everyone else going this summer...I'm sure I'll see a few at Max 4.
     
  15. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    Thanks Eagle, dumb question, but I assume that FTM stands for a test on the Field Training Manual, and PFA is the Physical Fitness assesment, or something close to that, but what is the AM test? Heh, for all I know, I may have the first two wrong too.
     
  16. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    Yep, you're right about the first two. AM is Airman's Manual.

    Sorry, sometimes I go into acronym mode when talking about ROTC...I mean Reserve Officer Training Corps :thumb:
     
  17. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    Ok, two other questions, first how does that compare to usual, is that a high number or a low number or do we just not know. Secondly, how many different sessions are there each summer?

    Thanks.
     
  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I think the key take-away isn't that the number was high or low. It's that some cadets weren't prepared, which is inexcusable IMHO. It's not like these tests were a surprise. They knew SFT was coming this summer and what it entailed.

    The guys who failed the PDA probably failed for form and had pushups etc thrown out. The open book tests were probably overconfidence. Cadets need to be prepared in every way.
     
  19. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    What kinnem said pretty much hits it on the head. As to your question though, it's a low number compared to how many are there.

    There are six encampments this summer. It can change each year though.
     
  20. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    Aren't there over 3000 cadets going to FT this summer, so if that is the number with 6 sessions, it would be about 500 or so kids each time, right?
     

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