Enquiring minds want to know.

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by John41057, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    Hi
    I have a few simple questions that I still would like to know. I am still getting my head around the fact my DS is going to the USAFA in 5 months and 20 days.
    1) When we went to the academy with our DS we noticed foot lockers in the cadet's rooms.
    (a) Is this personal space for the cadet? Is it checked as part of room inspection? What kinds of things do the cadets keep in there?
    2) I noticed the 1st year students running on tiles while keeping their right hand free to salute.
    b) What happens when it is raining or snowing or icy? Do they still stay on the tiles? Do they still run? (I know most likely no running, but just asking)
    3)When your cadet went to I day what did they take in their backpack? Did they take only clothes and a backpack they could just throw away?
    c) Did they take something they regretted taking? or did they wish they had taken something else?
    d) How many sets of clothes is enough?
    4) Electric toothbrushes and electric razors, are they allowed from day 1? If so where do they put them to charge without getting in trouble for having them out in the room?
    5) What is considered off limits for regular inspections (not if suspected of wrong doing)? I have heard they do not go through your bible if you bring one. Does the cadet have anything else that is considered private?
    6) Classes...Are most classes in the morning? Then after lunch is set aside for military and sports?
    7) How many classes will a 1st year cadet take each semester? How many units?
    8) How does taking summer classes help? Will this lesson the number of classes taken during the next semester?
    Regards
    John
     
  2. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    3) Take only the clothes you need to get there. Bring enough toiletries to last about a week or two. They will visit the C Store within that time and be able to replenish. They will store the backpack along with things they are not allowed to have that they brought with them. Eventually they will get some items that are allowed back. The clothes will be stored until recognition (I think).
    4) DS took an electric razor and was able to use it from day 1. I would guess he charged it at night after lights out. It held a charge through all of Jacks Valley though so it didn't need charging very often. Can't say on an electric toothbrush.
    6)Depends on if you are an IC. Most have classes throughout the day. (DD, a non-IC C2C, has been lucky for 3 semesters now and only had morning classes).
    7) C4C's take 5 classes first semester and 6 classes second semester. Not sure of units.
    8)Yes, if they choose to take a summer class and forfeit summer leave, they will likely have one less class for a semester (not sure exactly, but this is what I have heard)
     
  3. Wing77

    Wing77 Member

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    My daughter is a c4c - I'll answer the best I can, but I'm sure you'll get better responses:
    1. Each cadet has a personal lock box in their room which I believe is not inspected.
    2. On rain and snow days they do not have to run.
    3. Most basic cadets showed up with one backpack and the limited items listed in the I-day recommendations. Most of those items were indeed thrown away at the end of BCT. Your cadet will get the I-day recommendation list. Ours followed this closely and had no problem. Please note that there is a thread on boots that you might want to read.
    4. Not sure on the electric razors, ours did not bring those. But from what we saw, this may be advisable to avoid. Others will have better input.
    5. Not much is private. Be sure to follow the rules on mail too so your cadet does not get embarrassed or have to turn things over.
    6. Correct on the classes.
    7. Ours has 6 academic classes this spring (to go along with her intercollegiate sports duties) - and pretty hard ones, including Calc, Physics, Chem, Engineering.
    8. Not sure on this one.

    For BCT - 2 recommendations: (a) write letters and send them before you go to USAFA for the drop off - so they have letters from the first day on, (b) USE http://www.write2them.com - incredibly well worth the small amount of money for BCT time frame (it is inexpensive). This allowed us to have many friends and family send many short notes daily - the emails sent there are printed everyday and delivered via USMail.

    As a parent, be prepared for being in the dark a bit. While we think of them as going off to college, they are actually going into the military. You will be late to find out many details as to dates, times, and places for many things once they are there. Find acceptance of this early. (BTW - here is an example of what I mean: http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=29727)

    Last but not least, prepare your cadet for drudgery in the first year - it is a long haul from BCT until Recognition in March. It seems to wear on many of them of as they are really limited in what they can do and how they can do it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  4. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Some of the questions have already been answered but I'll go over all of them the best that I can. Keep in mind that my data is a few years old and subject to correction.

    1. The cadet's personal space is actually a locked drawer in their desk. The footlocker hold uniforms, as do the drawers under the bed. The locked drawer in the desk is for safekeeping of wallets and other valuables. They are required to be unlocked during room inspections and may be inspected along with anything else in the room. The cadet whose room is being inspected is present during the inspection.

    2. Already answered, but yes they will still stay on the strips and walk in squares on the terazzo until recognition.

    3. Son took one set of clean clothes, his paperwork, electric razor, a picture of his girlfriend, and his boots when he boarded the plane in Green Bay. His "Bed and Breakfast" hosts provided toiletries for him to use the first night (they had told us that ahead of time so we knew not to send any). He never said that he missed anything

    4. USAFA provides everything you need from day 1. Son took his electric razor and used it. He charged it at night while sleeping, but it is OK to have it out charging during most times other than room inspections. There is even a place to charge it in Jack's Valley.

    5. I have heard the bible is off limits, but son never had one to test the theory. Pretty much the whole room is open to inspection.

    6. Son had classes all day at various times. The academic schedule is made up of alternating days (M-days and T-days) which have different schedules. Some classes are every day, some are every-other. Sometimes he had an off period in the middle of the day. (Usually used for napping :biggrin:). Every day has the period from 1530-1800 (roughly) set aside for athletics, then dinner time and then ACQ (Study time).

    7. Most Freshman cadets take 5 classes first semester and 6 second semester (15 credits and 18 credits). Son had 6 and 6 due to being in a higher Spanish class that was only offered first semester. Sophomore and Junior year he had most semesters of 21-22 credits.

    8. Summer classes are almost always taken to re-take a class that the cadet either failed or got a low grade that they want to improve. I don't know if they can take classes to free up time later. Keep in mind that the three summer periods are 2/3 spoken for with one leadership session and one operations session. If someone takes an academic class during the summer, the time comes out of their leave period, and they will not get leave for that summer. IC athletes may also have their third summer session spoken for with team camps and travel.

    Stealth_81
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  5. ParkMom

    ParkMom Member

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    Don't forget!

    Not a frequent poster, but as a parent of a C4C wanted to chime in, WEBGUY, WEBGUY, WEBGUY! They are absolutely invaluable to a parent during those first 6 weeks when you are dealing with your child leaving home (not to mention what they are going through). It is an expense, so if possible, you may want to start putting aside a little here and there. From a Mom's perspective, seeing the face of your child is so reassuring-even if they're not posed like you'd like them to be. I saw my DS, never with a smile, and in one of many letters, asked for a smile to know he was doing okay. The smiles from Jacks, covered in mud, are priceless. And comforting. I know they continue throughout the year, through Recognition and other events, but I haven't gotten there yet :smile:
     
  6. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    John -
    If I recall correctly from some other post your DS is a recruited athlete. If that is the case, his class schedule will be a little different.

    IC's have class periods blocked off so they will be able to get to their practices/trainer -- for sure no 7th period classes, and often get their classes condensed to be all morning classes, so the afternoon is free. Doesn't always happen, but DS has a number of IC friends who have those type schedules as they spend the afternoon at the trainer, studying films or doing weight sessions.
    In addition, IC's are not required to participate in intramurals in season. (There are also club sports who get LOS status and are exempt from intramurals during their season.)

    It also seems IC's can take a class over the summer to free up time during the year, but they give up their leave to do it. Otherwise summer classes are normally for repeating a class, but again, requires giving up leave to do it.
     
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    3) Having a copy of all their paperwork is the most important item a Basic should bring to I-Day. Pretty much everything else is provided by USAFA. However, every year the boots issue seems to come up. Many Basics used to show up with boots when they were the black leather ones as they required a break-in period. With the change over to the Sage Green boots, DS was advised not to bring boots as they did not require any break in. DS followed this advice and was issued 2 pairs of the standard issue boots. However, he observed that a few Basics did bring boots and that that they were much higher quality than the issued boots. DS recommendation for 2017 Basics is to bring a pair of Rocky S2V sage green boots on I-Day. They are expensive but he found them to be worth the price and are worn by many of the upperclassmen and AD staff. I'm sure others will disagree but that is the opinion of my DS.

    4) DS used a Braun Series 7 electric shaver throughout Basic with no issues that I am aware of. By the way, a great shaver. Again on the expensive side but worth it IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  8. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    Needing to know

    Hi
    Thanks for all the good information as it is all new to our family. I am sure it will be different for my DS than it was for me in boot camp (Oh So Many Years Ago). I am sure that a lot of this information has been posted over the years, but things change and to get it fresh from you who have and are living it helps me a lot. I have heard that as a recruited athlete my DS will have a somewhat different schedule. He already uses the Braun 7 razor and it is nice. I bought him boots to just get the feel as he is always in tennis shoes.
    My DS was rather grumpy the other day and when I asked him why so grumpy he said" I guess I am just a little scared dad". He said he had only 5 months until his life changed forever and it weighed on his mind. I told him to just keep enjoying high school and his friends, and not to worry. This new upcoming life puts pressure on the kids, kind of like Mr. Toads Wild Ride! (Disney Land)
    Thanks for the great info, please add if you thank of something else.
    John
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    That seems to be a common reaction that I can certainly understand. Personally I'd be taking the glass half full approach and start getting excited about my new and excellent adventure. But then, I'm a retired old man with a few more years of wisdom under my belt. :biggrin:
     
  10. USAF463

    USAF463 Member

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    Be sure that the cadet is in possession of a spare copy of shot record. Ours did and it saved him from getting shots that he did not need even though he had submitted his ahead of time according to instructions.
     
  11. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    Needing to know

    Hi
    Good info about shot records as I would have not done that. I agree with my life experiences I would be giddy over the thought of going to the academy. Instead at 17 I learned how to chip paint and drive a Guided Missile Frigate in the Navy. But considering first two years Hawaii and second two years San Diego.....Not bad duty. Plus GI bill put me through college and set me up for law school and business. In the end....I Win!!
    Regards
    John
     
  12. NN&B

    NN&B Member

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    Enquiring minds want to know

    Does anyone have the link or know off hand which vaccinations/boosters are needed? Thanks!
     
  13. sportsmom10

    sportsmom10 ProudFalcomMom2016

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    s

    This information will be included in the BFE that your son/daughter receive. I think the most important advice is to make sure your basic cadet has a binder with a copy of any and all paperwork that was sent in, including the shot record. My son did not need to get any shots on I Day either. Also, the information about the letters is really important. Remember that these electronic minded young adults, will have no electronics for over 6 weeks. I wrote to my son every day, sometimes twice a day. Just keep positive in your letters and let them know about things going on in the world. And do not expect to receive half as many letters as you mail out to them. Good Luck to you and your Basic Cadet, as I've read on this forum, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride. Don't forget to sign up for Webguy either. Best investment I made. :thumb:
     
  14. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    WebGuy

    Hi
    I did this already as I also thank it is well worth the cost
    John
     
  15. Wing77

    Wing77 Member

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    One more note on the mail ...

    As sportsmom noted, keep them positive and connected to home. I sent along a few inspirational quotes and stories - this was NOT a positive selection for our daughter. She was getting many "inspirational" quotes and stories as part of the military knowledge so I think she was OD'd on it.

    She loved the updates about home and family. I had a note going to her every day called The Daily Update that had a brief (and funny) snapshot of what each person in the family did that day and some general stuff about home and in the news (they don't get much news). She liked this a lot.

    We also sent along in our letters a paper and SASE - the paper had questions like
    My roommate's name is: __________
    She is from: _______
    My favorite thing today was: ________
    My least favorite thing was: _____

    This allowed us to ask questions we were interested in knowing and allowed her to quickly jot down quick answers without the energy of "writing" a letter. This worked nicely - and many times that's all we got back.
     
  16. John41057

    John41057 Member

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    Cool Parents

    Hi
    Boy there are some very cool parents on this forum. It makes me seem like an unloving dad. You guys do things I would have never have thought to do. WOW!! this is great stuff to make not only our DS experience better but add to our own feeling of involvement. My DS often accuses me of living what I missed in life through him. In many ways he is right on target, but he is so blessed to have been offered this opportunity because he can throw a very fast base ball. Who would have thunk it when he was in T-Ball trying to catch butterflies in the outfield. I sure never did, watching him growing up I was thinking junior college Ha Ha.
    Regards
    John
     
  17. jackson1989

    jackson1989 Member

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    One more note on the letters...We numbered our letters to our DS, so he knew what order they were written in. I did the same things with the letters he wrote home. He really enjoyed reading his own letters home after "he was on the other side of Basic during his thanksgiving leave". He laughed at his perspective at the time!:shake:
     
  18. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Yet another note on letters. Last year, we had great success with www.write2them.com. Most of the mail for DS went through this service which allows friends and family to send notes/letters to their Basic by emailing them to write2them.com. Then every day write2them.com converts all the emails for each Basic into a letter and delivers the letters directly to the Academy Post Office early in the morning so that the Basics receive the letter later that same day (or whenever they have mail call next). This service makes it very easy for loved ones to email an note of encouragement or an update anytime without needing to mail it. And it's great for the younger generation that doesn't use snail mail but has 24/7 access to a smart phone.
     
  19. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    We had a graduation lunch for my DD and at the lunch we put paper and pens and envelopes and each guest wrote at least one letter. Everywhere we went, we carried pens and paper and asked our friends and family to jot down a quick note to her. I started mailing letters to her about 4 days before we left so there would be no danger of an empty mailbox. We spaced out sending the letters from friends and family over the course of the 6 weeks. DD said there was nothing better than having a bundle of letters to open. They don't get mail every day and in Jacks it is even more sporadic and sometimes gets messed up, so having alot of letters to spread out over the days is great for their morale. I wrote at least one letter a day and would send inspirational and goofy quotes as well. I also did the "fill in the blank" and "multiple choice" letters to her like Wing77 and made them funny and she said her tentmates thought it was pretty ingenious (thanks Wing77 for the idea!).
    And if you can swing it, GO TO ACCEPTANCE DAY! There is nothing better after finishing that grueling 6 weeks than seeing your family and eating a relaxing lunch. Yes, it is short, but my DD said it meant the world to her.
     
  20. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    One thing that I haven't seen this year is a comment on the wisdom teeth. The recommendation is that if they need to come out, then have them done and healed long before they report for I day. It isn't recommended to take out healthy ones but to have them seen and if they will need to come out in the future, get it done now so that they don't have to interrupt their USAFA education.
     

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