Communication with Family during Academic Year?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by fightingfalcon2020, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. fightingfalcon2020

    fightingfalcon2020 Member

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    This has been something I've been wondering about and I've done some research, but I was hoping you all could provide me with some more insight. I'm not worried about communicating during BCT because I know the restrictions. On the other hand, I still don't understand how the whole "cell phone" policy works during the academic year. What are some ways I could communicate with my family/significant other when I'm at the Academy? I just thought I needed more information so hopefully a couple of you know the answer. Thanks!
     
  2. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    You will have your cell phone during the academic year. This has been a wing-wide policy for several years now. There is no video chat service currently accessible on the USAFA network but you will certainly have cell phone access and internet access. Let me know if I can provide more information.
     
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  3. CivilAirPatrolCadet

    CivilAirPatrolCadet AFROTC Non-Tech Scholarship Recipient

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    I'm curious about a gmail video service called hangouts. If you can access your email, usually you can get to hangouts. What do they do about that? Are there no cameras on the computers they provide or something?
     
  4. Wyofalcon

    Wyofalcon Member

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    They literally had the webcams removed from the laptops we where issued
     
  5. fightingfalcon2020

    fightingfalcon2020 Member

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    Thank you for the information!
     
  6. KTMDad

    KTMDad Member

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    We FaceTime with our DS frequently (every couple of weeks I would guess). Reception isn't the best so after we get a good look at him, we typically switch to just voice, but sometimes FaceTime works and sometimes it doesn't (cell service in general is very poor at the Academy). Also, we typically hear from him most days via text (ie. have a great day, send a bible verse, etc - not lengthy conversations) or Snapchat, and will typically talk with him weekly (Sunday nights seem to work for us). He is very busy so we don't expect a lot of calls, but we communicate more than I expected. But it also depends on the Cadet, we have heard from other parents that they hardly ever hear from their Cadets........
     
  7. jwest182

    jwest182 USAFA Cadet C/O 2019

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    I believe that we can access the website, but the actual video chat function doesn't work. However, you can use wifi in Arnold Hall or the barbershop to use video chat services. Also, supposedly (keep fingers crossed) there will be civilian wifi for the next academic year, which would allow you to access video chat, for a fee.
     
  8. fightingfalcon2020

    fightingfalcon2020 Member

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    Thank you I'm excited to know I'll be able to talk to my family while I'm there as much as I can (when I'm not busy haha).
     
  9. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

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    Just let your family know that cell phone reception can be spotty. You can get a room with great reception and then one with terrible reception the following semester. It all depends on your cell phone service and where your room is located in the building. Some say one service is better than another depending on your building, Vandy or Sijan. There are threads already on here which discuss which services seems to get the best reception. We just roll with the room location reception lottery :). Some semesters it has been great while others not so much. If everyone is aware that "communication can be spotty," it assists in preventing some miscommunication with family and friends.
     
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  10. grateful_river

    grateful_river Member

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    How about weekend visit if we're in Colorado Springs? Will we able to see our DS on Sat/Sun?
     
  11. vshun

    vshun Member

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    We used Google Hangouts on our phones. Cell phone coverage varies from dorm to dorm and room to room but we have been lucky with T-Mobile.
     
  12. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    It will depend on whether it is a blue or silver weekend and what the cadet wing has scheduled. It can also change at the last minute if the wing or class is restricted for some reason. It is certainly an option to visit and many people do it, but there is always the possibility that it may change at the last minute (just like everything else in the military).

    Stealth_81
     
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  13. MD2020

    MD2020 Member

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    We were able to visit our DS on the weekend. It depends on if they have a training weekend (every other week) or if they are on restriction. You can come and even attend church service on a Sunday
     
  14. grateful_river

    grateful_river Member

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    Thanks
     
  15. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Issue computers are a no-no for video or outside internet. Our DD has a personal computer for such stuff, and an iPhone as well. She texts regularly, and we face time about once a week on average.

    For what it is worth, we generally do not initiate, and if we do, it is usually just a text like "love you" or "Everything going we'll?" We usually wait for her to respond or initiate anything beyond that as we do not know what her briefing/class/military/sports schedule is, etc. We do not want to bother her if she has things to do -- and she foes have lots of things to do each day. Reception is spotty on the cell/face time front, and different services work better in different dorms. Don't pick a plan until after BCT.

    We have been out a few times in addition to PW. If you can get a room at the falcon club (great accommodations and really reasonable prices, btw), then it is still on base, no passes needed. Generally, our DD might want to go out for one meal or go junk food shopping, but just the ability to chill in civvies, nap (and watch copious amounts of tv until nap time again), is a great treat.

    We have two others in "normal" colleges. Honestly, we have seen and talked to our DD more than the other two. And this is with a DD that did not want to give us the time of day before she left for USAFA.

    I also know of other parents who have very little contact with their Cadet right now. I think this is, in part, because it does break the routine somewhat and some Cadets just need to keep focused. Do not take it personally if you don't get a lot of contact pre-recognition. Every Cadet is different and needs to deal in their own way. Just let them know you are their for them if they need anything.
     
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  16. Kiowa19

    Kiowa19 Member

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    Verizon for Vandy and AT&T for Sijan. Not that most people switch though.
     

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