How often can we visit?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by xray328, May 29, 2015.

  1. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Just wondering how restrictive the academy is when it come to visiting our DS after his freshman year. Are we allowed to come for a weekend visit for instance?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Your son will accumulate "X" amount of "Passes" per semester. It isn't a "Fixed" number, because besides the normal allocation (Which increases each year there), you can also receive additional passes for other things. (List too long to mention).

    So, for every day on the weekend, even partial, that your son leaves the cadet area (With a few exceptions), he will need to use a pass. With this in mind, realize also that some weekends, his squadron, group, or the entire wing may have plans for that saturday and/or sunday. In which case, he's not allowed to use a pass for those days even if he wanted too. He isn't allowed to leave.

    So, assuming there are no Wing/Group/Squadron plans for the weekend, and your son has enough passes, he can leave the yard and spend the weekend with you.

    FWIW: Unlike the regular military, and similar to a traditional college, there are scheduled days off where a pass isn't required. E.g. thanksgiving, christmas, spring break, summer vacation.
     
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  3. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Assuming he doesn't have enough passes can we spend time on base with him? Not that we plan on being "one of those" parents, just curious.
     
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    You'll be able to visit all you want. If he has passes, he can stay the night out. If he can't leave for some reason, you can relax with him at A-Hall or anywhere else just outside the cadet area. Lots of opportunity to visit if you and he want.
     
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  5. Wild Blue Yonder

    Wild Blue Yonder Member

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    Agree with Hornet, we took Chipotle to our DS, and sometimes squad mates, almost every Sunday during 4 dig and 3 dig year (obviously, we were local...). Watched NFL on the big screen in A-hall during the fall. Not sure if this will still be possible for non-DoD folks with the heightened security though.
     
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  6. nolifepilot

    nolifepilot USAFA Cadet

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    Hornetguy and Wild Blue Yonder are correct. For the moment, the pass policy for 3-degs is unlimited passes and we can leave base every day, we just have to be back by ACQ (1950) each weeknight. You can be gone the entire weekend, you'll just have to be back Sunday by ACQ. This is excluding any mandatory training, which obviously you won't be allowed to leave until after it is complete. I believe 2-degs are allowed out until Taps (2300) on weeknights, and 1-degs just have to be back by their first duty the next day (0700 on mandatory breakfast days, or whenever their first class is on optional breakfast days), so they can stay out the entire night if they want. Not entirely sure for the other two classes, I only know about 3-degs for certain. For 4-degs, each squadron will have different rules. We had only 10 passes, but our AMT gave us more if we asked and were in good standing. As a 4-deg, we weren't allowed to leave during the week, only on Fridays after LMD. However, you could send up paperwork to leave during the week if it was for a legitimate reason. And you can always go anywhere on base at all times as a 4-deg, so hanging out in A-Hall with your parents, hiking, bowling, or anything else on base would not be a problem. Most training on the weekends (excluding football) will end by 1645 at the latest, and after that, they should be able to leave. I don't know of any training during the schoolyear that we ever had on Sunday, so Sundays should always be free.
     
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  7. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Holy cow! Back in my day (whipper snappers), we couldn't leave during the week and had limited passes! hehehe (for real though, pass policies were much more restrictive). As a firstie, staying out and being back by first military duty the next day wasn't granted until "top-off" in April or May or firstie year.

    Have to say I like the change though. More opportunity to be responsible and learn some more about being an adult with responsibilities and making sure you balance life. Reminds me of the old adage about giving them more rope or something.

    Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled thread!
     
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  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Hornet, you mean you were there back in the day... when it was hard?

    Folks parents... yes you want to see your son or daughter *and are already making reservations for PARENTS WEEKEND, right? But please... helicopter mommy & button-popping-proud dad, please... stay home! Let that young adult get through the homesickness, the self questioning, the unfamiliarity. Yes write letters. Send that care package. Let them call or text you as often as THEY please or desire.

    If you canlet go a little, your adult child's life will be simpler, sooner.
     
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  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The question was "how often CAN…." but the real question is "how often SHOULD…." and the answer is… not often. It's college. Let them do their college stuff. It's the military. Let them do their military stuff.

    I'm not a USAFA alum, but I'm guessing the first year is similar to my USCGA experience. It's an important year to meet classmates and make friends (that will last a lifetime) and much of that socializing takes place on the weekends.

    I saw my parents in New London, CT, once my first year. At the time we could only use phones in designated areas (not our rooms) so I also didn't talk to them TOO often. It probably helped the year go by faster and they were always ready to receive one of my profanity filled calls when I was upset. Your kids will know you're still there, supporting them. And when they need it, they'll ask for your help.
     
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  10. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    Agreed LITS. For us locals we should let the DS set those boundaries with a little of our help as parents. I had a call early on last year with my DS and he said "sorry I was planning to come up this weekend but I can't." I told him "Don't worry about it you're an adult now you tell me when you're coming up I don't expect you to come. Just let me know a couple days in advance of when you're coming up and if you're bringing any friends because I need to stock up on food." Holy cow can the boy eat!
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Totally agree. It's time to let the sons/daughters go. Let them grow up. My wife and I are part of the "Local" crowd. We live 2 hours from the academy. In the fall, we have season tickets to football games. We'd see our son for a couple hours during tailgates before the 6 home games. After that, we only saw him at thanksgiving, christmas, spring break, and summer vacation. We did do one or two 3 day weekends in the 4 years, but rarely. And even one of his summer breaks, instead of 3 weeks, we saw him for 2 days. He chose to use his 3 week summer vacation one year to volunteer time at an orphanage in Peru. So we saw him for 1 day when we picked him up and took him to DIA and 1 other day picking him back up on his return flight.

    The rest of the time, he spent his time off with his friends/classmates. They went skiing, biking, or whatever they wanted to do. It doesn't matter how much time or money you have, your son/daughter now have their own lives to live. Unfortunately, their life no longer includes being with mom/dad as much. Now that my son has graduated from the academy, I've basically seen him twice a year. Long weekend when we'd fly out to california to see him around memorial day; and for a week at christmas when he comes home to visit.

    Of course, my family being a military family, we're all use to the idea. For the non-military family, it's hard for many to not think of their son/daughter as simply "OFF TO COLLEGE". They want to be able to see their son/daughter every couple of weekends, along with the entire summer, spring break, and a long christmas break. Get use to it. Once they graduate from the academy, you'll be lucky to see them once a year. Once I was full time active duty, I saw my parents basically once every 3-4 YEARS. Usually on my way moving out or back into the country.
     
  12. xray328

    xray328 Member

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    Yeah, we have no intention of being helicopter parents...live too far away anyway. His mom just felt like he was going off to jail or something...lol. Just trying to reassure her ☺️
     
  13. KTMDad

    KTMDad Member

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    It is funny you mention "going off to jail". At our DS's graduation party, one of his friends mom made that same statement when we were describing his first year........
     
  14. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    I always respond it's not like jail. They have more freedom in Jail! :yllol:
     
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  15. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    I think for local cadets, particularly the freshmen, it would be nice to be able to go to your parents' house and do laundry :)
     
  16. Wild Blue Yonder

    Wild Blue Yonder Member

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    You're right Bailey, didn't happen too often, but yup.... nothing like a 40 pound pile of dirty, muddy BDU's in your washing machine! USAFA just boils them and returns them to your cadet! I think I like the latter!!!
     
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  17. Wild Blue Yonder

    Wild Blue Yonder Member

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    Looking back at a few other posts I understand how lucky my wife and I have been being so close to our cadet during his USAFA adventure. Parents; treasure every moment you have to be with your DS or DD coming up to I-Day in a couple weeks. Our DS is now about to enter UPT and are probably going to hit "radio silence" soon... going to be tough on us. But, since it is something I always wanted to do, I wouldn't trade it for anything....
     
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  18. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    Lol yeah I'm sure it's not so great for the parents! You guys put up with a lot :)
     
  19. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I believe there was some talk about my sons purchasing a new washer dryer for their sponsor fam after four years of popping in with a duffel bag.
     
  20. marathoner94

    marathoner94 Member

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    Whoever, said the passes available... thats wrong... after recognition, you earn unlimited number of passes as long as you remain a cadet in good standing. the only thing that changes is the DI and sign out policy
     

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