Facing the "BCT"!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by baileydb, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Hey guys,
    Since receiving my appointment yesterday, I have constantly been thinking about BCT. So I thought I would make a thread for those, who like me, need to nerd out about BCT a bit, and don't want to completely drive their families insane with the freaking out!
    So....what are you guys doing to prepare? What will you miss the most? What are you most excited/afraid for?
    And any contribution that current cadets are allowed to make would be very much appreciated! Any advice or tips? To start off with, what is the correct order of the 7 basic responses? I may have asked this before somewhere on the forum, but I can't remember for sure. And different sources on the internet never seem to have the same order....
     
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  2. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    Don't stress the order of the 7 basic responses (or honestly, learning any knowledge before you get here.) I've heard the order taught differently by different cadre and that you're familiar with what they are will give you enough of a temporary leg up.
     
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  3. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    Here's my personal advice:

    I've been through 8+3+6 weeks of basic training . . . hey that adds up to 17!

    Anyway, basic training is mostly a mind game. They want to break you down to build you up. They want to erase your sense of "specialness" or "uniqueness" and replace it with a team mentality. They do this by subjecting you to situations which are impossible to deal with on an individual basis. You are forced to lean on the team and the team is forced to lean on you.

    Physical preparation is key. You'll most likely be gaining some altitude when you arrive at the Academy and that can really affect some people. Anticipate this by being in the best shape you can be. If you haven't been working out, start today, start right now.

    Studying knowledge etc., is kind of pointless in my opinion (and possibly harmful). You will be given all the information you need to know by your cadre. They will specify which order of the 7 basic responses they want, they will teach you how to make a bed (or maybe some preppies will) and they will teach you how to execute drill movements. It is important that most if not all of the flight is on the same level because it builds unit cohesion. That guy (or gal) who can rattle off all the quotes perfectly, make a bed perfectly, do everything perfectly is not always revered among the team. Part of the experience is struggling together to meet a goal. If you are over prepared then it makes it look like you care mostly about yourself and not the team even though that may not be true. It's likely there will be some priors/preppies with you during basic. They understandably have a slight edge. The cadre are aware of this and will use it to the benefit of the flight. Trust me, whatever perceived "advantage" they have will disappear rather quickly.

    Other forms of mental preparation are beneficial. Establishing intrinsic reasons why you've come to serve is extremely important. The people who quit often had the Academy chosen for them by someone else. It's important to build a good foundation which you can fall back on when times get tough. Another mental trick that I used throughout my basic trainings is the classic "Live meal to meal, Sunday to Sunday" approach. Waking up to another day of basic is tough. Focus on just getting to breakfast. After breakfast, focus on getting to lunch. Finally, survive until dinner. You'll find the days are long, but the weeks are short. If you're struggling during the week, just focus on making it to Sunday. Try not to think about the end until maybe the last week. Believe it or not, there are aspects of basic which can be "fun". Taking advantage of a relaxed situation is critical to staying sane. That said, you'll also encounter something called "the switch". "Flipping the switch" is known as being able to transition seamlessly between a relaxed training environment back into a strict one.

    Prepare physically. Prepare mentally by practicing strategies to get yourself through the days/weeks. You'll be told everything you need to know when you arrive/as you go through training so don't worry too much about memorizing stuff beforehand.

    No matter how much you read you will not be fully prepared for the weeks that lie ahead of you. I think that is a good thing. I hope I haven't given too much away.

    For now, enjoy your final months of freedom and don't do anything too stupid. Good luck to all!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    AFrpaso, extremely well stated. This guidance goes for all SAs. I survived Plebe Summer exactly how he mentions, meal to meal, Sunday to Sunday, big event to the next. Days are long but weeks are fast. You will be pushed, you will fail, but 10s of thousands have gone through it and survived, so can you. Other than really PTing a lot and hydrating well upon your arrival, enjoy your family and friends. Seriously don't worry about the summer, because you can't control it. Just work out and have fun.
     
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  5. Hulagirl

    Hulagirl Member

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    Thank you AFrpaso!! That helps a lot and Im really excited to meet everyone in 96 days!
     
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  6. AmenToThat

    AmenToThat New Member

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    One thing I'll add is get used to saying "sir" and "ma'am" if you are not already. Coming from Wisconsin, it wasn't part of my vernacular. So I was calling my female MTI "sir" quite a bit. I do not recommend doing this!
     
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  7. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Ma'am! You're a ma'am not a sir, ma'am!
     
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  8. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    "Sir? Basic? Did you just call me sir? do I look like a SIR to you?"
     
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  9. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Haha in Civil Air Patrol us females get called "sir" from time to time and we just kind of laugh it off...I'm guessing cadre at BCT won't be so nice lol!
    Seriously though I am so excited to meet my new "family" on I-Day! I think it will be an incredible experience to be part of the team of basics, and I can't wait to see how much stronger we are at the end of those six weeks! It's weird...I feel like 6 months from now, I'll be a completely different (and hopefully better) person!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
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  10. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    I work in the customer service department of a local store...let's just say I don't mix up my "sir's" and "ma'am's" very often anymore! :D
     
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  11. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    During our first Parent’s Weekend our son introduced us to a female member of his BCT cadre and her parents. My son had made the mistake of calling her Sir during first BCT. She whipped out her phone and called her dad in Florida. Our son had to explain to her dad why he thought his delightful daughter had changed genders. He didn’t think it was funny during BCT but he sure does now.
     
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  12. Sam2018

    Sam2018 Member

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    Baileydb, You will be changed in ways you can't even imagine...but for the good :) And this time next year will be the happiest time, after recognition and spring break!
     
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  13. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    I am so excited to see who I am after BCT! I think it'll be a very challenging but rewarding experience and I can't even wait!
     
  14. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    Baileybd, BCT is only the first of many challenges you have in store for you. Buckle your seatbelt, it's going to be a long ride!
     
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  15. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Lol you right! I can't believe how many crazy adventures I've had just up to this point! I can't wait to see where AF takes us all!!!!
     
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