Cadet and Enlisted Protocol

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by FlyingFuzz, May 23, 2013.

  1. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    Just our of curiosity, what is the proper protocol (generally speaking) between cadets and enlisted personnel when cadets are neither officers nor enlisted?

    FF
     
  2. cryosk8trboi

    cryosk8trboi Member

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    what we're told is...when in doubt, use sir/ma'am unless told otherwise.

    technically as cadets our pay grade is E3 (airman first class), and you will almost never encounter anyone below that rank here at the academy
     
  3. EagleDriver

    EagleDriver Member

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    Its also proper and better as a Cadet or a young 2nd Lt... to address an enlisted personnel as "airman ...or Sergeant with or without the last name..." ...But I have no idea what the enlisted airman calls a Cadet...although Senior enlisted personnel have been known to call a young Lt..."Lt". until you've earned their respect as "Sir" etc...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2013
  4. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    Thanks for the input. Does anyone know how enlisted personnel are supposed to refer to cadets? I'd imagine not many themselves are too sure about how to handle those "special cases".
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I assume they're referred to as cadet or midshipman, with or without last name. At least that's how it works in my son's NROTC unit.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You are paid like an E-3 but you are not an E-3. I forget what my CAC said when I was a cadet, but it was something like E-1C or C-1E.... I don't remember. Your Geneva Convetional is III, which is not E-3... I assume the Air Force has something like the Coast Guard. Cadets at CGA fit somewhat uncomfortably between the highest ranking enlisted person and the lowest ranking commissioned officer. How much pull does that rank get you in the fleet? Not much.
     
  7. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    LITS is correct on the cadet's rank fitting in between the enlisted and officer ranks. Even though the AF cadets do not usually run into many E-1 to E-3s at the Academy, it does become an issue when they go on Summer ops tours to various AF bases. Often the enlisted airmen are just as unsure as the cadets on how it should work. Son had several stories of funny half-salutes and mumbled greetings as they tried to figure it out when he was on Ops in Southwest Asia. Just don't try and force anything and you should be fine.

    Stealth_81
     
  8. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    I'd say the proper protocol is respect.

    The fact that cadets rank fall in between enlisted and officer rank seems a little strange. Especially because the AFA relies heavily on enlisted academy military trainers (usually E6 or E7).

    You can never go wrong with sir or ma'am.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Well, you can "go wrong" if they aren't a sir or ma'am. I know more than one Master Chief or Senior Chief or Chief in the Coast Guard that don't appreciate "sir or ma'am." They have ranks they've earned. I understand what you're saying about "respect" and I 100% agree, generally, sir and ma'am are respectful, but it won't always be seen that way.

    But I'm not sure why this is hard for Air Force, you can't MISS Air Force enlisted ranks...

    The good thing for you, independant of service, if it's a bar with a couple of different colors (maybe blue, black or red), a gold bar, a silver bar, two silver bars, a gold oak leaf, a silver oak leaf, an eagle (ok, this could be confusing for the Navy), one star, two starts, three stars or four stars.... it's an officer.

    If it's some weird chevron... or any variation of several chevrons... it's not an officer.

    By the way, cadets need to know their ranks anyway... so this shouldn't be an issue.
     
  10. AFA1981

    AFA1981 Member

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    When I was at the AFA as an enlisted, we called the the Cadets Sir or Ma'am. They referred to us in the same manner. Of course you have some enlisted idiots who had no respect for the Cadets and Officers as well and showed them no respect. Those are the few, most enlisted are not this way. Especially in my day.
     
  11. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    Thank you for the input everyone. Where I'm from it's hard to go anywhere without running into airman of all types. Just a couple of days ago there was a group of several hundred airman, soldiers, sailors, etc. and even a couple of USAF 3-stars.
     
  12. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Cadets do not make E-3 pay. They make 35% of O-1 pay (2 years or less).

    When I went through, we called everyone sir or ma'am, which seemed to work, as AF personnel can call anyone higher ranking sir or ma'am without offending NCO/SNCO sensibilities (our service culture, for some reason). I'm not sure where cadet's technically fall in the rank structure in the USAF. I've never seen the actual AFI for that.
     

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