An In-depth Zeamer's Guide to BCT-Part 1

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by PearlSword, May 23, 2011.

  1. PearlSword

    PearlSword New Member

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    Pre-Basic, Getting Ready to come to USAFA.
    The purpose of this guide is to provide some advice on how to reduce the stress and worry of coming to Basic and to get the most out of your training.
    • BOOTS: I recommend you buy some Belleville 650’s and wear them prior to basic. Find out where you will get blisters, and put duck tape on the inside of the boots. I got really bad blisters on my heels from the seams along the back of the boot, but I also ran a few times for about two miles in them to know this. You will run in your boots at some point, so get used to it. The boots they issue here are heavy and they give even worse blisters than the Bellevilles. One of the most debilitating issues for a new cadet is blisters as you spend a majority of your time in boots and your feet will have little time to air out (gold bond powder helps too, I brought a bottle with me on I-day)
    • A note on in-processing and boots: I brought my boots in a backpack, not strung around my neck. I do not recommend you wear your boots around your neck, especially if you are trying to avoid getting yelled at too badly. Additionally, I did not put my boots on until after everything was issued to me and we walked back to our dorms for the first time. The cadre gave us the opportunity to wear our boots if we already had them, but I reasoned that wearing them around the issue warehouse could make my feet hurt due to the large amount of walking.
    • Memorize your social security number.
    • Know how to do a standing long jump. This was a big weakness for me as I did not know what a standing long jump was prior to entering USAFA. The standing long jump was not part of the CFA, but is a part of the PFT, which counts for a majority of your Physical Education Average.
    • Get to Colorado Springs a few days before in-processing to get used to the altitude. Yes, the 7,258 feet above sea level will really get you the first couple days. The headaches of altitude sickness stink, so minimizing the effects of it are suggested; try orange juice to help prevent fatigue.
    • Actually work out daily before entering basic; if you don’t you will be at a disadvantage and the cadre will notice.
    • Have your parents and friends mail you letters a few days before basic starts, this way you have some mail to open when your cadre take you to the mail room for the first time. You can have printed pics and comics and other fun stuff on the back of your letters. I suggest having your parents type letters and put jokes/funny sayings/inspirational words on the back. Share your letters with your fellow freshmen when you get the chance, it will make everybody’s day better.
    • Delete all your embarrassing facebook pictures prior to i-day. We have some amazing computer techies at USAFA, and it has been known that they will find you and make your BCT interesting if you have funny pictures.
    • Get to in-processing early. Unless you want to be yelled at longer or possibly stuck on the bus for multiple trips (yes the cadre do this), I advise getting to in-processing when it opens. You cannot avoid the inevitable, so just do it. Mom and Dad will deal with it. In-processing within the first few bus loads guarantees that you will have plenty of time to get all your stuff issued and inventoried.
    • Establish your Armed Forces Bank charge card BEFORE coming to basic, you will not have time during basic and you will need the money for cleaning supplies at the cadet store.
    • Bring some cash with you, and you can expect to spend at least twenty to thirty dollars on cleaning supplies (vacuum/iron/iron-board/ect.) Upon your first purchase, the cadet store will also charge you a random $45 for any “cleaning supplies” left in your room and some of the misc. toiletries you were issued.
    • Make a list of everything that makes you happy and put it in your pocket on I-day. The list could be quotes that motivate you or simple words to inspire. Mine were “Loving life” and “determination”. There will be a time when you will need to reference this motivation as you will question “why?” but don’t ever give up on yourself.
    • Do not depend on protein powders or energy foods like power bars before coming to basic. I had the worst with-drawl the first couple weeks because I had become used to drinking protein shakes and eating power bars after my workouts. The same goes with coffee or monster or other energy supplements.
    • Eat a good dinner the night before and breakfast the morning of i-day. Chances are that the first meal you eat with your new squadron will be dinner on i-day, where new cadets get the first taste of USAFA BCT. The cadre will be trying to make a good impression, so dinner will be difficult with lots of yelling.
    • On a side note, when they issue all your gear on i-day and you get your paperwork filled out, there will be food stops set up in the hallways. The cadre will (this happened to 2014) give you energy bars, fruit, and Gatorade and make you eat it in front of them. Try and eat something at every station b/c new cadets will need their strength for the upcoming days.
    In Basic, FIRST BEAST:
    • Compressions shorts, compression shorts, compression shorts! Yes, even for the girls, they will save your life when you first get your ABU’s and they are all stiff. There is no written rule against having them (just make sure they are white and put the last four of your social on them), as it is not worth having thigh-chafing. Make sure to have an inseam less than 6 inches.
    • Another note about compression shorts: They really help in JV when you sweat and when you low crawl on the courses. Low crawling on the courses tends to pull people’s pants down, so the compression shorts help with that issue. Also, to the girls, the issued girls PT shorts are significantly shorter than the guys issued shorts, so girls compression shorts need to be shorter. Try women’s under armour, they make white ones with a four inch inseam.
    • Pack light on i-day. Do not bring anything you will not need such as ipods, calculators, computers, irons, or extra civilian clothing. You cannot use these items during basic and they will weigh you down. Use a backpack or over the shoulder gym bag. AVOID ROLLING LUGGAGE as it will become a source of cadre interest. Go small on shampoos and bottles; think the sizes that you can get through airport security. You will go to the c-store before JV to get more toiletries.
    • Phones and chargers at fine, but they will be taken away and locked in a cadre’s room until Doolie Day In and Acceptance day.
    • Within the first few days after in-processing you will be given a series of assessment tests to determine your classes for the year. Try your best on these tests, do not blow them off. Tests include: math, chem, physics, language (if you have not already taken them).
    • A side note: Bring your AP exam scores and validation information on i-day in a folder. You may or may not be asked for them at this time, but at some point you will need to present them if you are trying to validate a class.
    • Do not sit down in your rooms, we had an entire training session because we got caught sitting in our rooms.
    • For roommates: Get to know them. You will be asked questions about them at meals and during training, especially their hometown, state, and one or two hobbies. Make friends with preppies and priors in your squadron who already know how to blouse boots.
    • For clothing: Make sure all issued clothing fits properly, to include shoes and hats. As it is issued, laundry mark it. The laundry has lost clothing during basic.
    • Expect to be pressured to hurry up all the time, and learn to act calmly under pressure. Help each other out in the mornings. When you are done with your room, help a squad mate. Know that the cadre only rush you because they have to get you somewhere at a certain time or they get yelled at. Be prepared for irritable cadre, you go to sleep at 2200 and wake up at 0500 ish during first beast, but they usually have a meeting after you go to sleep and they wake you up, so they get less sleep than you.
    • About sleep: It is inevitable that you will fall asleep in a briefing or find yourself nodding off at some point. Do your best to stay awake, drink water, briefings are important, especially the ones after dinner every night.
    • This sounds sappy, but don’t be afraid to cry. Chances are you will be severely stressed out within the first couple days as you adjust to your new life. Don’t hold your emotions in as they will build up. Use emotion as motivation to improve performance, take out your anger during a training session or talk to your roommates about your homesickness. It really helps.
    • On a side note: For females, bring feminine products with you on i-day. Some people will get their monthly cycle and some won’t; be prepared for anything. On a funny note, just about the entire group of girls in my squadron got their cycle at the same time, call it period sympathy.
    In Basic, JACKS VALLEY:
    • Be sure to pack sunscreen, burnt basics are the worst. USAFA issues two bottles to all new cadets on i-day.
    • Pack extra clothes in your duffle bag the night before the march to JV, you do not have to carry your rucksack for three miles to JV, it gets put in a truck and driven to where your tent is, and it will be nice to have a clean PC shirt or pair of underwear for the march back.
    • Laundry gets done twice-ish in JV, but the laundry service decided to lose a lot of our squadron’s laundry at this time. Having extra clothes was good, but definite laundry marks on everything helped to get our laundry back.
    • Bring cash to JV for rodeo day if you get to go. The food at the rodeo is amazing (ice cream, hamburgers, turkey legs, ect.), and they let you buy as much as you can eat.
    • Suggest to your cadre to hold a nightly tent meeting. A tent meeting was basically a feedback session for our squadron from the cadre. We also got letters during this time. It was the basic’s chance to speak up and find out what they could improve on.
    • Attach your poncho to your wet belt via the strap of the bag the poncho comes in. You do just about everything in JV with a wet belt on, and every wet belt has a poncho on it. Do not lose your poncho, bad things will occur.
    • Trains in JV come every two hours, you go to bed at 2200 and wake up at 0600. Figure this out.
    • Get the tent guard to wake you up prior to the cadre bus coming and waking you up. Tent guards have a watch.
    • Do not succumb to saying any “My favorite color is 2014 red, 2013 silver, or 2012 blue” statements when on a course. While this may get you an easy out of an obstacle or additional training, it takes away from your class pride and cadre notice this.
    • Make up some jodies or learn some from your cadre. When you do not have a Jodie to march to, cadre find other means of keeping the squadron organized (such as running).

    THIS CONCLUDES PART 1, PLEASE SEE PART 2
     

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