Current Doolie here to answer any questions.

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Envy01, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Envy01

    Envy01 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used this site a lot when preparing for my journey here, and I wanted to be able to give back to the community. I'm here to answer all of the questions anyone has about life here as a doolie, BEAST, etc. Ask away!
     
  2. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    6
    Was it what you expected?

    Was BCT what you expected? Did you feel prepared for it? What, if anything, was the biggest surprise during BCT? Thanks for offering to provide advice on this forum.
     
  3. keg

    keg Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    2
    If you could do something differently during the application process or "preparation process" (mentally, physically, academically ect.) what would it be?

    Thank you for offering advice : )
     
  4. cadet15

    cadet15 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    1
    I will jump in on this one because I am a 4* also. I had a good idea of what BCT was going to be, but everyone has a different experience. I think I enjoyed BCT a lot more than most because I had done my research and talked to people, so I was able to catch onto the game a little faster than most. I know that my experience, with my cadre, was very different than my friends in different squads. There is a general theme to BCT, but just know that it is going to be unique to everyone. The most that an appointee can do is ask a lot of questions, and understand that they may have similar experiences to the people they talked to, but their experience will be unique.

    As for preparation, I could have done so much more to prepare physically. With that being said, as long as you are putting out at all time and helping your flightmates out in other aspects, they will work to get you there. Academically, make sure you know how to study. It sounds silly, but this place will destroy you if you don't know how to study. I coasted through high school and I am struggling here in a couple of my classes because I don't know how to study for them.
     
  5. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sigh.. BCT was a huge game. It was very difficult for me to evercome the idea that I could do nothing right. It took about three days, then I got it, if I didn't BCT would have been miserable. At first I was frustrated with the cadre and felt like they were doing a terrible job, I then realized they're learning too. All these things came together, I learned a lot about myself, the people around me, and the academy as a whole. I was in Hellcats, and it was awesome. We did our best as a squad and we did work, I wouldn't change a thing about BCT.

    As far as the application process right up to beast... Hmm. I was an LOA recipient, Lord knows why, but I wasn't anything spectacular to tell you the truth. Work hard and get everything done quickly, and always follow up. My packet as whole, and my nom packets, were done in late August. I'm sure that helped, then I followed up, thanked, and bugged the ears of everyone involved, just so they knew me by name. As I got closer to beast, I spent A LOT of time in the gym, precious time that could have been spent with family and friends. Don't do that, that doesn't mean be a slob, but if your a decent athlete, and you run a couple times a week, you'll be fine. I was over prepared for beast, not to say it wasn't challening at times, but enjoy home, not the gym.

    Hope to see you all next year!
    :thumb:
     
  6. matt123456

    matt123456 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can you give an estimate of when you finished your AFA application? (Everything done - Interviews, Essay, Questions)

    Ex. August, September, October

    Thank you :biggrin:
     
  7. cadet15

    cadet15 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    1
    I finished my whole application in early October(the 8th I think). I was glad that I got DoDMERB done early because I had a remedial for having too low of a heart rate. Had I waited to do that after July, it would have taken much longer. I got my LOA issued 18 Nov 10, visited the academy 19 Nov 10 (and found out unofficially about the LOA), interviewed with my senators 20 Nov 10, and found out I got the nomination 21 Nov 10. Best 4 days ever but that was possible because I got all of my stuff in early and then updated it. I took the October SAT and did really well on it, so that gave my application a few extra points. I guess the moral to that story of that is get everything in, and then update along the way because they can't evaluate it until everything is finished. When you update, they just reasses that sections points and change your overall score. The only thing I would hold off on is the CFA if it is borderline at all because that you can only submit once.
     
  8. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    272
    Envy01 and Cadet15, thanks for contributing! It's always good to hear the current perspective.

    As far as preparing and BCT, I'll differ just a little in my advice. I was not in great shape, so I should have worked out more. Before BCT, if you are working out about 45minutes to an hour a day, you should be OK. You should be doing running, push-ups, sit-ups, flutter-kicks and those types of exercises. For BCT, realize that everyone must be broken down, then rebuilt. You won't be doing things up to standard for a while. This is why you do "everything wrong" for the first part of BCT. It's like putting together a car. You might be making progress, but it still won't work correctly at first! Just do your best and be a team player. Get your own stuff squared away and help your buddy (not always in that order).
     
  9. Strike Eagle

    Strike Eagle USAFA Cadet 2015

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    When it comes to BCT, the one thing that got me through, far above anything else, was my teammates. Going through a beat session, you think "what the hell am I doing here?" You feel broke and tell yourself you want to leave. But then you look to your left and right and see the people next to you are suffering just as you are, thinking the same things that you are. They aren't quitting on you. We all look around at each other and say "hey guys, we got this." You go through everything together. The only people you can lean on are the people next to you. If I was falling behind, they would grab me and bring me up with them. Do everything as a team, rely on your team. It gets to the point where every action you make, you do not make for your own reason, but you do everything for your flight (the "team" you are in). Everyone looks out for each other. Once you establish that sense of teamwork, there is no stopping you in BCT.
     
  10. antfeb

    antfeb Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    2
    This is so encouraging and true. Thank you Strike Eagle !!! I visited AFA on 22nd and saw you guys marching to lunch. So amazing...We proud of you guys !!
     
  11. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,851
    Likes Received:
    342
    Those "teammates" you describe, "back in the day" and in the not too distant future you too, will call "classmates."

    And they'll have your back FOREVER!

    I can't tell you how many times I've been traveling, TDY, etc., and ended up in a "not great situation" where I needed local knowledge, some assistance, and once or twice a place to stay. I called a classmate...INSTANT HELP. Didn't matter if we only sorta knew each other's name...we were CLASS OF 1983, BEST TO BE! And that's all it took, an immediate reunion of the Class of '83 occurred and much fun was had, and I was "set and safe" and had no worries. My classmate had my back. And I've done the same for classmates.

    Cherish the four years, you won't believe it now, but they FLY by...and then...your class will separate and go on duty...and you'll see lots of them all over the world...but it won't be like it is now. (It'll still be VERY good!)

    Like the time I walked into a small sake joint in Fussa Tokyo and saw this guy and his friends guzzling sake...and I saw his ring...he saw mine... "you're '83?" We not only didn't recognize each other, we didn't know each other...so we compared notes: opposite sides of the Terrazzo for 4 years, same friends, so...REUNION occurred!"

    The rest of the night is sorta blurry...but '83 ruled! :biggrin:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    :thumb:
    That's what it's all about.....

    FAMILY!!!

    Hard to explain; but Steve did about the best analogy I've ever heard.
    :thumb:
     
  13. Envy01

    Envy01 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    BCT in all reality isn't that bad. Obviously getting yelled at sucks, and always being wrong can be miserable at times. The trick is to get your stuff memorized, make your room as good as possible and just put out, 100% ALL the time. If you constantly are motivated, constantly helping out your classmates your cadre will notice.

    1st BEAST was kind of boring in an aspect, its a lot of classes and a lot of marching. The days go by a bit slower than in Jacks.

    2nd BEAST was a blast, difficult physically, but a blast. You are constantly doing something physical, and I personally enjoyed that aspect of it. The days went by much faster.

    I came into BEAST not in the best of shape, I spent the time from when I graduated high school till I left for BEAST hanging out with friends and family and kind of working out. If you can get in the best shape possible before leaving that's good, but realize there may still be a time where you break. I picked up the physical aspect really quickly, so the beat sessions we had turned out to be not too bad.

    To answer a few other questions:

    I honestly could say I feel as if mentally I was prepared for BCT, and I think I had played it up in my mind to be worse than it actually was. Academically, I am confident that I will do well, I have a decent course load and am cruising through school fine.

    I CAN say that one incredibly important thing is to GET AHEAD. I am always at least 2 days ahead on homework, which means if one night I'm exhausted I can just go to sleep at ACQ. My roommate is always doing his homework for the next day, and so if he is really tired then he still has to do all of his homework.

    Another tip for incoming freshman, when you get here (especially during the Ac year) sleep! Don't stay up till 12 or 1 every night talking on the phone (if you get them back) or sitting on facebook. You may be able to do that during high school (I would go to bed around 1 and wake up around 5 for track and be fine during school) but it really takes its toll here. Stress, physical activity, everything you have to do as a doolie all adds up and exhausts you.

    I finished my application late August, and submitted it early September. I received my LOA early December, and my congressional nomination in January.

    As someone else said, if you do get accepted, spend time with your friends and family. It's the one thing I feel like I did incorrectly. I don't feel like I spent enough time with some of my closest friends, but I was fortunate enough to spend quite a bit of time with my family. Don't spend all your time in the gym preparing, if you are from lower altitude its still going to kick you in the butt. I was a track and cross country runner in high school, and the first AFT we did (the second day of BCT) I thought I was going to die. I managed to pass, but barely.

    Also, during BCT, if you fail your first PFT or AFT do not sweat it. I did terribly on my first PFT, but we also were having beat sessions and you don't notice how fatigued your body truly is. My PFT went up over 100 points post BCT, and this next one we take this week will likely go up quite a bit as well.

    I hope I answered everyone's questions, keep them coming! Sorry it took awhile to respond, I had quite a bit to do this weekend.
     
  14. McMomma4

    McMomma4 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Boys State Question

    Is this a big deal to participate in for acceptance? I have never heard of it, but a woman I met at a party said "Your son MUST be in Boys State if he wants to get in to USAFA."

    Thanks from a Mom!! :wink:
     
  15. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    508
    The quick answer is 'no'. According to the Class 0f 2013 profile (the latest one that I have), 12% of appointees were Boys State/Girls State participants, so obviously 88% of the class got in without participating.

    https://admissions.usafa.edu/RRC/Class_of_2013_profile.pdf

    Stealth_81
     
  16. scraper

    scraper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
  17. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    40
  18. scraper

    scraper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Big difference in Boys/girls state
     
  19. keg

    keg Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    2
    How old were you when you decided you wanted to attend a service academy (or specifically the Air Force Academy)?
     
  20. swewe

    swewe Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    resume help

    need help on my son's resume, just starting to put one together. He is a junior and we need to send one to baseball and football coach. any format to use or sample resumes out there to look at . Thanks, Steve
     

Share This Page