Current Doolie: Will Answer Questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Hoodlum15, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Hey everyone, I'm a 4th Class Cadet here at USAFA and I know how much this forum helped me out last year, so as the application process starts in earnest for many of you I thought I'd offer to answer any questions anyone has. I'll do my best to answer anything about the application process, freshman year, or the Academy in general.
     
  2. ElectedTuna

    ElectedTuna Member

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    Hello and thank you for offering to answer questions!

    One question I'd like to ask about the application process is what was your experience with your ALO interview? This is something I'm not too familiar with and it'd be interesting to hear your experience.

    My second question is how has your experience been with extracurriculars? I know the Academy offers a lot of sports and clubs, did you find any that you liked or were special in any way? Or did you try any exchange programs or any opportunities that they offer?

    That's about it for now but I'm sure other people will have some interesting questions and discussion.
     
  3. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Alright, so I didn't have the best ALO in the world. He was really hard to get ahold of and I ended up driving to him for my interview. That aside, most of the interview questions centered around "stories." So things like tell me a time when you were a leader, failed as a leader, showed integrity, etc. Absolutely make sure you have some examples in mind. Mine also asked a lot of questions about the honor code and cheating. I also did a practice interview with a different ALO and he asked more questions along the lines of how much I'd volunteered, my strengths and weaknesses, etc.

    I am currently doing judo and Navigators (a religious youth group). I have a background in martial arts so judo fit really well for me. I had also tried rugby, and the team is great, but judo was a better fit. There are also a ton of volunteer opportunities, this year I'm working with kids at local schools to compete I robotics. There's an awesome day called Blue Rush where all the clubs set up booths and the freshmen go around and look at all of them. There's definitely something for everyone. Sabre team and honor guard are special...they have a ton of camaraderie but they are really strict with their freshmen, kind of an interesting mix if you like that sort of stuff.

    Anyway, I hope that's what you were looking for, let me know if it wasn't!
     
  4. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    As a parent I'm just curious as to what the doolies go through everyday. Not academic wise but what are the things that you have to do as a 4th class cadet. For example, I know you have to jog to class with your back pack in your left hand. But what might be some other things? What is the dining hall like? Do you have to eat at attention or is everyone the same while eating? I know the questions sounds silly but I'm curious. Thank you.
     
  5. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    No problem, I had the same questions! Several mornings a week we do what's called minutes, where we get up 20 minutes before everyone else, stand in the hallway, and announce the menu for the day, the uniform for the day, etc. We're basically like human alarm clocks. How life is in squadron is very dependent on the training staff for each squadron, but some stuff we might have to do (especially if we did poorly for the week) is greeting all upperclassmen by name, rank and job, doing push-ups every time we go in and out of our squadron area, or having to walk around the entire squadron area to get to our room instead of making a straight shot. These sound kind of bad, but it's only when you're in your dorm area and it's usually only when your squadron is doing poorly. Finally, typically 3 times a week we have "training sessions" which are usually just physical fitness sessions, but intercollegiate and club athletes are usually excused.

    While eating we're at ease, so we can do whatever we want, just not talk. At the table we can ask upper classmen to talk, and I've never been turned down.

    Let me know if you want to know anything else!
     
  6. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    Thank you! Exactly what I was looking for.
     
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  7. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    My DS is doing Honor Guard and said it takes a lot of time and is very hard, but he likes it a lot. He also signed up for Paint Ball as a release. While the 4C year is very restrictive it seems to also allow a lot of time in the dorm room for homework and other assignment work.
     
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  8. ElectedTuna

    ElectedTuna Member

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    That's the type of answer I was looking for, thanks!
     
  9. 2018DAD

    2018DAD Member

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    DS had great advice upon entering the academic year back in 2014 and this might strike some as being too restrictive but it has served DS well and his top % class rank proves it works (!): He was told, this is not HS or State U, extracurriculars are just that extra. The Doolie year is built on introducing performance under stress ( continues for next 3 too!!) "..do not load yourself up with these activities until you figure out how much time you are really going to have." So basically DS only did intramural and squad activities C4 year and concentrated on doing his best in the areas that count for your class rank (academics, military, physical). He has made Dean's and Comm list every semester, he is now a C2 & squad MWR, and glider IP while maintaining his high class ranking. His goal is to enjoy his time at USAFA as much as possible, but he is interested in the long game as a career officer and with law and flying his service goals. Class rank figures a lot into that pursuit even with the current selection process. Bottom line: look to enjoy some fun activities but remember USAFA and the curiculum own so much of your time that it is easy to end up swamped and behind the power curve... And that is not a good place to be at USAFA !
     
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  10. usafa2022

    usafa2022 Member

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    You mentioned that there are "training sessions" three times a week, but that doesn't seem like much at all. Do you also have enough time (and facilities) to work out on your own?
     
  11. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Training sessions are just typically no fun so they loom large, haha. That being said, they're usually only about an hour and a half tops and we absolutely have enough time to work out on our own. Many people work out with clubs and sports teams, but if you don't then the Academy has a fully equipped gym that freshmen have full access to. A lot of people also like to trail run and hike.
     
  12. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    Are there any items that you are glad you had during BCT or wish you would of had during BCT? Did you take anything to help with chaffing or blisters?
     
  13. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Yes! I asked for a bandaid and you would've thought I had asked for a 3D printed arm cast, definitely bring a box. The blister care wasn't super consistent and bandaids did fine for my blisters. Then you can always buy more once you get a trip to the store. I'm really glad I had 3 in 1 shampoo, that worked really well for quick showers. Finally, I wish I had bought my own boots. The slight inconvenience during I-day would have been completely worth it because the basic boots are really heavy and make everything physical that much worse.
     
  14. crazyride

    crazyride Member

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    Thanks again! You are a wealth of good information.
     
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