Gifts and/or needs for new appointee

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Daretodream, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    Our son just received his appointment and accepted. He is on cloud 9 and as parents we are beaming with pride. He has a birthday prior to leaving and we are thinking it might be a great chance to get him some needs for school. I know USAFA gives the cadets almost everything they need, but thought I would ask if anyone has any suggestions or specifics we might consider.

    I know he wants to complete his flight training and get his pilot license prior to leaving for Cadet basic. Thanks.
     
  2. 5Day

    5Day Member

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    I wonder the same thing, since they will get everything they need from the academy. Civilian clothing would be out.
    Flight training would be expensive, but far less than the cost of college.
    How about a flag flown over our nation's capital. You can get them from your MOC for a fee.
     
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    While awaiting comments, I suggest a Search on Gifts. This comes up regularly for HS graduation, plebe/doolie/swab/SMC summers, and commissioning.
     
  4. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    They are given everything they need and are allowed. Some small items might include Bible (or other books of worship), stationary ... wow, really can't think of anything else! Remember, anything you give them that isn't on "the list", will have to go into storage until after BCT.

    I suppose you can get them a new phone or new data plan (with more data). A bigger data plan would be very much appreciated given the school network doesn't always have the best throughput.

    Parent's weekend is a different story. There are lots of gift ideas for that!
     
  5. 5Day

    5Day Member

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  6. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    There is an Aero Club at USAFA. It used to be a relatively cheap program to obtain your private pilots license and then to rent planes to fly once obtaining the license.

    Most of the instructors were former military pilots so even though it is civilian training, you can learn from folks that were trained in the military.

    Relatively cheap does not mean it isn't expensive.

    It is a fun thing to do and (back in my day), even if you couldn't go off base - you could still fly.

    It can be challenging to get to the flight line before you have your own transportation authorized as a junior.

    Having flight time also made it easier to get into what was called the T-41 in the summer. Often the summer flight program was filled with folks that had X powered flight hours and soaring instructors.
     
  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    The old threads are a good summary for bday gifts and graduation presents. If you child will be flying to/from USAFA for leave periods gift cards for the airline they will normally travel are always good (also help you out too if you will be paying for them). Money to an Amazon Prime account. Not sure if USAFA issues iPads or not, but if they don't have one, might be a good option. Gift cards to some of their favorite restaurants that are around the Colorado Springs area and same for movie theater tickets. If they want to venture into snow sports while at USAFA and don't own snow gear might be a good purchase.
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Just keep paying for flight time and save your money for what he wants after A-Day (early August).
     
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  9. MD2020

    MD2020 Member

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    My DD is a C4C. What we learned early on is that the kids cannot get on the wifi network with non-issued devices. For Christmas she asked for an IPAD that came with data. This allows her to face time us from her room (she does not have an iphone and other chat apps do not work that well). For acceptance day she asked for a watch. We purchased a black G-Shock watch which she loves. They are not allowed to use cell phones while in motion so she could no longer use her phone to tell time. Data is always a good thing. When she was home she had a 2gb plan and never went over. Now that she is at USAFA she uses over 10Gb per month.
     
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  10. serendipity

    serendipity Member

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    I would agree that data usage is pretty large here because we can't connect our phones to WiFi unless we go to Arnold Hall. Another thing that many cadets find useful after A-Day is Subway gift cards. There is a Subway in A-Hall, and it is a welcome break from Mitch's, especially on weekends. A digital picture frame is also a useful item. You can load a lot of pictures on it, but it still only counts as 1 personal item, so that's nice when you're a Doolie and you're only allowed to have 2.
     
  11. Blessedmom

    Blessedmom Member

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    Since we are on topic of gifts, would it be appropriate to send gift to congressman's office and his selection committee. What would be appropriate gifts other than thank you cards flowers dessert tray etc. I bought very fancy pens engraved with his high school on it, which I gave to all his teachers (who wrote his recommendations) but wasn't sure if I can send to MOC office & his team & BGO??
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I personally would not send anything to the office.

    1. MoCs typically have no part in the process, but to sign off on the slate that the committee submits.
    2. If you don't pay attention to their website, most of the time the SA noms applications are sent to their state office, not the one in DC. If you send it to DC than the real people (staffers) in the state will never know of any gift, and the DC staff will enjoy whatever you send when they had no impact regarding the work that occurred at the state office. Additionally, depending where you live, that MoC might not go back to their state office for months at a time (IE the Cong. from AK is probably not going back there monthly).
    3. MoCs must adhere to laws regarding gifts. That might be considered a gift that they have to declare because it is over the strange limits that the govt places upon them.
    4. MoCs have their own budgets that they can use for flowers, water bottles, snacks within the office, etc.

    Most importantly, ask yourself would you send someone anything if it was part of their job description? It is part of their job description, they didn't go out of their way to nominate your child. Your child was nominated because they earned that nomination through threir own hard work.

    I am also not someone that is a big fan of the thank you letter, unless you are wanting to praise someone in particular for going the extra mile. IOWS, if you are going to send a thank you note, than highlight that staff member that surpassed any expectations you had during the application process, so the MoC knows the asset in their office from a constituent,
    ~ If you want to send flowers or cookie tray, same deal. Send it to office where the nominations are handled, and email a note to the MoC stating that you sent to staffer Smith and the office a tray to thank them for their tireless work.
    ~~ The staffer as far as I know does not have to declare the gift like an MoC.

    In the end, your child earned that spot, and IMPO, is unless you unlimited funds, I would spend that money on my kid to celebrate their success.
    ~ Google play card
    ~ Flight hours, or portion of flight hours
    ~ Gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings for them to make memories with friends that they will embrace during BCT.

    Heartless, unthankful, not following etiquette rules? Maybe, but 10 will get you 20, that gift or thank you note, unless insanely amazing will be forgotten as soon as the card, the empty dessert tray or dead flowers hit the garbage can. That money spent on your kid to illustrate how proud of them will be a memory they hold onto during the hard times. It will be a memory that they will share with others.
    ~ It is also a memory you will hold onto when they come back with a smile on their face, and tell you of the memories they made with that gift.

    Sorry for my novella, but after years here, and someone that works, I m always bewildered why anyone wants to do this, obviously I get it is polite, but basically, I am left with the same thing...would you send any of these items to his plan B admissions dept upon acceptance? If the answer is no, than why not? If you say that is their job, than there you go. It is in their (MOC) job description too.
    ~ That is what you pay taxes for!
     
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  13. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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  14. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    Under federal law, it is considered a bribe if you give public officials anything over $20. While I've never seen anyone prosecuted for small things, it is something to remember.

    I would also agree with Pima that it's not something that's appropriate regardless of value and laws.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Off topic for a second

    afmom,

    I knew there was a limit, because believe it or not Bullet as a GS knows this too since if he goes out to lunch/dinner with Lockheed they can't pick up the tab for that reason, nor can he pick up their tab. They can do a combat split.

    I am also a fan of Top Chef. When they did the DC season, they held a function for the MoCs interns. The chefs were told that by law the food could not be anything that required cutlery.
    ~ Guessing is the reason why is that if you use any cutlery, it would be considered a meal.

    Back on topic:
    1. Flying a flag over the Capitol.
    ~ Get in front of it now. It usually is a 6-9 week wait.
    ~~ Not a fan of this idea because for the next 4 years it will sit back in your home.
    ~~~ You'd also be amazed how much stuff they will have for their I Love Me Wall by their 2nd tour.
    ~ If you want to do something amazing from a wall art aspect, I would frame the nomination letter and the appointment letter. Place it in their bedroom and give it to them when they move. I would request the flag 4 yrs from now for the day they commission.
    OBTW, the flag literally goes up and down from a ceremonial aspect. Many military members request this for their retirement. It is not like they fly it all day long. Bullets shadow box from his retirement has a flag flown, and so does everyone else that retired that month. He also contacted his parents MOC and had a flag flown for their 50th anniversary. Just saying that when you take into account how many MOCs there are, how many requests there can be, you get why it goes up the flag pole, and right down on any given day.
    2. Think about a watch
    3. If you have a DD, think about a SPA day.
    ~ Last time to do girly stuff...mani/pedis, facials, etc.
    4. Save the money and do one last family outing, even if it is just for a day.
    ~ Let them decide.
    ~~ Amusement park, beach, Top Golf etc. MEMORIES
     
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  16. Blessedmom

    Blessedmom Member

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    Okay no gifts:) guess the only acceptable gift would be a big fat check to MOC campaign fund, which I don have money for so will have to just thank him in our hearts:)
     
  17. Joos

    Joos Member

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    How often do cadets have the opportunity to go skiing? Should I not expect to make it out at all freshman year? Or is it something I can plan on doing once a month?
     
  18. USAFretired1996

    USAFretired1996 Member

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    Another off topic comment – my ’16 son did CSRP at the Intel Corporation last summer in Portland OR. Set up was similar to the “Google” movie with free food and drinks in the cafeteria, fitness center, crazy contests, etc. Because of the relationship Intel has with the Federal government, he was not able to avail himself of any of them. Towards the end of his 5 week TDY, USAFA legal advised that he could use the fitness center. Awesome experience without the freebies.


    I agree with the comments about data usage on the cell phone plan. We bumped it up a little and he pays for any overage out of his cadet pay which has increased considerably this year.
     
  19. 5Day

    5Day Member

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  20. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    One suggestion for later:

    There are a few places which will deliver everything from pizza to birthday cakes. Perhaps a few current cadets could make suggestions and you could start a collection of gift cards to send to your cadet (NOT your BASIC, mind you). My kids loved Boriellos pizza since it was part of their NY heritage and they delivered but it's been some time now since we've been to COS (almost now as long as they were at USAFA!). Your cadet and his/her squadron will love you. :)
     

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