Graduation tossing of caps tradition.

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by EagleDriver, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. EagleDriver

    EagleDriver Member

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    Can anyone shed some light regarding Graduates tossing their Caps at the end of the Ceremony...to be specific I was wondering how much money should be placed inside? :scratch: I've heard that "kids" or whomever finds the Caps should try to bring it back to the owner, but it seems the kids are just running around and grabbing as many hats as they can and look for the money and tossing the cap aside! :thumbdown: etc...I told my son maybe instead of putting CASH in his cap...put a note that state he will give a $25-$50? if the finder, "a civilian" brings his cap back to him. :yay: . But realistically, I would think its pretty hectic for anyone "finding" the owner in all the hoopla!:jump1:
     
  2. ParkMom

    ParkMom Member

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    I think it was on this forum that I read about the WP tradition of putting a note about the owner of the cap, who they are, why they chose the military, what they hope to accomplish. I love that idea for my 2016'er! Maybe you could incorporate that along with your 'finder's fee' offer?
     
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  3. Kurt in S.A.

    Kurt in S.A. Member

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  4. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    The tradition has been to put $20.15 (or whatever the year) in the cap. Leadership told them not to do it last year because of the mad rush and fighting over it, but many did anyway.
     
  5. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    I don't know about Air Force but the reason USNA grads toss their caps into the air is that they do not need them any more. A Midshipman's cover is quite different than an officer's. In a Midshipman's cover there is a large label covered by a clear plastic sheet to keep hair oil from staining the white cloth cover. It was a tradition that IF you had a girl friend you would slit a side of the plastic sheet and slip in a photo of her to enjoy every time you put on your cover. Upon my class's graduation we were sternly warned not to put any pornographic photos in the cap.....the class before us was very naughty. My roomate at our last reunion confessed he has been waiting for a call regarding his old cover for 45 years now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  6. ebotterb3

    ebotterb3 Member

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    DS caught a cap at my cousins West Point graduation approx. 2001. It had the cadet's last name in it, $20 and a note (It's been real, it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun.) in it which he still has to this day. It was a big deal for DS at 4 or 5 years old. He marched around with that hat on for weeks! We were able to track down the cadet, through my cousin, who are both still in the Army. We thought it would be cool to let him know what an influence having that hat and note and experiencing the graduation had on someone.
     
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  7. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Our son's class put $20.11 in the hat and didn't expect (or want) the cap back because as was said earlier, the hat is not useable in AD life. The process at the USAFA graduation for retrieving hats is somewhat controlled. Only kids under 12 can participate and they are herded into one of the end zones before the ceremony and only allowed into the graduation area after they open the gate. They are warned about only taking one hat. There will be announcements beforehand to let them know where to meet.

    Stealth_81
     
  8. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Haha, I gotta admit when I attended the 2014 graduation ceremony last year, I kind of wished I was young enough to rush out and grab a cover! I think it is a really neat tradition and for some, like ebotterb3's DS, it can hold a lot of meaning for the kids!
     
  9. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    Hate to admit it, but I only but $0.13 in mine. That's what we were advised versus $20.13. Although they do a good job of corralling the youngins before the toss, that won't stop the older or more aggressive kids from getting money from as many hats as possible.
     
  10. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Does anyone at USAFA put notes in their hat for those who recover it? I think it would be so cool for a grad, 10 years later, to hear from the kid that got their hat, saying "I'm going to USAFA too!"
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    What you don't often see in the videos of cadets and midshipmen throwing their covers in the air, is the pain of gravity kicking back in... that's a lot of covers to dodge.
     
  12. haleym

    haleym Member

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    I don't blame you at all. I corralled the kids last year, and it can definitely get out of hand!
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I can't remember what I put in.... maybe a $20 bill.

    The real winner though, was my first salute.

    As a 4/c cadet I found a silver dollar in the ship's store (each company had snacks, on the honor system). I put a dollar in and took the silver dollar out. It was a 1928 or maybe later (It wasn't the $200+ one,but it was probably worth $50-$80). It was a Peace dollar. Honestly, I think the Peace dollar is probably the nicest silver dollar the U.S. has ever minted. The rare 1928 Peace dollar was the first coin I ever got (given to me, by way of my parents, when I was born, from a neighbor who would later die from AIDS). I put it on my knick knack shelf with one idea... in four years, when I graduated, I would give it to the first 4/c who saluted me, and I would tell them to keep it and give it to the first 4/c who saluted them....

    There was a 4/c my first year who was from my small Nashville-based high school. Our families were friends, and she was a good cadet, so I sought her out, and handed over my Peace dollar. Of course, the anchor cadet came away the richest that day, HA!

    Traditions are cool. Don't be afraid to start one or two of your own.
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I collect a lot of silver and gold. I had a special silver dollar for my son to give for his first salute. It was going to go to his grandfather who is a Korean War vet. But he was too ill from a stroke to make it to graduation. My son was going to give it to his alo, who happened to be my commanding officer before I retired, but she couldn't make graduation. So I wound up being my sons first salute. I didn't make him give me a silver dollar though. That would have been pointless. But he did give me and his grandfather one of his class coins for 2012. That meant so much more to his grandfather. So much more personal than a silver dollar that's pretty generic.
     

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