It's Almost THAT time of year again...

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by GemStateMom, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. GemStateMom

    GemStateMom Member

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    Well, I know that many of us are concerned with what may happen with pending funding cuts. On a happier topic, however, I would like to know if anyone has suggestions for Christmas gifts for an ROTC student (specifically an AFROTC 100 in my case). I am looking for ideas that relate to ROTC rather than gifts he would normally receive. Any ideas appreciated!
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well... Not a gift he may appreciate, or he may already have one, but how about a good iron? Gotta keep those uniforms pressed, and my kid uses it for extra income. If anyone had told me my DS would be taking in ironing, I would have said they were crazy.
     
  3. GemStateMom

    GemStateMom Member

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    Good idea! I was also thinking about an electric shaver. Do they shave close enough for what he will need?
     
  4. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Depending on the facial hair they are adequate, but for me and alot of other guys they dont get as close as a straight razor. If you can grow decent stubble in a day or two then I would say no.
     
  5. LEWAF

    LEWAF Member

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    Gotta keep those low quarters in tip top shape, a nice shoe shining kit would make the perfect gift.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would think a lot of those gifts were staples sent with the cadet to college.

    I would suggest:
    1. Extra pr of blues, at least the shirt.
    ~~~ I am sure he has not returned home yet for T-Day, but if he brings his clothes home, and is like our DS, you will notice ring around the collar.
    ~~~ Additionally upon graduation, they have the option of paying for that ROTC uniform, or buying a new set. If you buy a few shirts, and pants, each yr, by the time he graduates he will have his set and will not have to buy the one he has had for his entire ROTC career.
    2. White tee shirts.
    ~~~ They wear out quickly
    3. Shirt garter
    ~~~ This is an item that will allow the shirt to remain taut and not ride up while they are sitting.
    ~~~ Most 100's don't know about them prior to arriving.
    4. Frogs
    ~~~ Great stocking stuffer. They get lost all the time when the kids remove them to wash their shirt. They are the small gold clips that hold their name tag and ribbons in place.
    5. Black dress socks
    ~~~ Even as adults we know you put 4 socks in, and only 3 come out.
    6. Gift certificate for the dry cleaner near the campus.
    7. Sneakers
    ~~~ He may have decided the sneaks he went to school with don't work real well for PT.
    8. Hair razor/trimmer.
    ~~~ Along the lines of money making/saving ideas. They get their haircut at least every few weeks, and if they are like our kid, it is almost a buzz cut. The guys will always find one guy that has it and he does it for them for @ 5 bucks or a pizza! Cheaper than going to a barber every 2 weeks.
    9. The biggie
    ~~~ If he wants to go rated, and has never flown, by him 1 hour of flight time at the local airport. Usually they have pilot schools there. This will allow him to do 1 of 2 things:
    A. Decide it is his dream --- great motivation for keeping those grades up
    B. Decide it isn't his dream --- allowing him to start looking at the AF differently for his career path.

    Finally I have made a tradition of every yr buying a Xmas ornament related to the school, or the AF. Here is a link to http://www.cafepress.com/+air-force+ornaments . They sell them for other branches too. Their quality is nice, the ornaments are unique and the prices are good.

    I do this because I remember being a newlywed to an AF officer and our 1st Xmas was in the UK, I had no family ornaments, and that made me miss home during the holidays. This way when he gets married, I will send them to him, and a part of us will be with him.

    Happy holidays. Hope that helps.
     
  7. GemStateMom

    GemStateMom Member

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    Thank you for all the great ideas Pima.
     
  8. GemStateMom

    GemStateMom Member

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    What are low quarters? Are they uniform dress shoes? DS doesn't have any type of uniform yet except the camo one they just received - I can't remember the initials.
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I posted this before but I'll offer it again:

    PALights make the perfect flashlight for a variety of military uses. I've carried the NVG compatible green one on my kit for years now. One 9-volt (included) will last about 3 years. You can buy through Amazon, but ensure the lights have the black body and not the colored. For cadets, I recommend the red light.

    I don't know how much AFROTC uses field-type items but it would be great for AROTC.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    ABU is the initials. Which is interesting because usually they get blues first.

    Low quarters are the dress shoes for the service uniform (blues).

    I am also shocked he hasn't received PT gear.

    We actually also bought DS an additional PT shirt for him...again boys have a habit of not washing clothes as often as girls.

    If he has his ABU's than he has the suede boots. You would need to buy a different kit than the quarters.

    I don't recall if they come with what is called zip ties. It is placed on the laces, and they pull it closed instead of tieing...think of a zipper on a jacket instead of buttons.

    Check to see if he has those. A lot of the stuff our DS has is just from experience his Dad being AD for 20 yrs.

    For those that are 300's parents you may want to consider the big gift...the Mess Dress. At our DS's college they wear it about 2x a yr for the formal functions.

    If they have the Mess Dress, go online an buy what is called the party shirt. It looks like the traditional white shirt until they take it off, and than the sleeves and back are funky designs like bowling pins or Hawaiin themed. Every one in the AD world does this.

    You may also want as a stocking stuffer to put in a can of spray starch or cotton balls.

    The cotton balls are for the low quarters to shine the shoes.

    You may also want to get for those that have their service uniform, a pr of Corframs.

    Corframs are the low quarter shoes that are basically fake patent leather aka plastic. They clean them with windex. No shoe shining.

    Many 200's and 300's understand it is near impossible to get Excellent on their inspection, instead of wasting hours shining shoes and still not getting an E. They take the easier route and wear corframs, but spend more time on the other stuff, so the points equal out.

    DS has not polished a pr of shoes in 2 yrs. He wears corframs. He beeacched to his Dad about never being able to get an E even after hours of polishing. I will never forget what DH said to him. You need to understand how to use your time wisely, and what to use it on.

    Polishing shoes using rubbing alcohol to clean with cotton balls, wax, than a lighter to melt the wax in, than spit, than repeating again is a long process to get that mirror shine, hours on a good day. It takes a way from polishing the silver buckle, pulling out the ruler to measure exactly where the name tag should be placed, and doing your hw.

    Trust me. I watched Bullet for 20 yrs do all of that for his blues, except the shoes. He only did the polish for his flight boots, which are now the same as ABUs...suede. He wore corframs his entire AFAD career, and so did everyone else we knew.

    The other stocking stuffer to give him is a travel sewing kit. Buttons fall off and most guys don't have blue or camo green thread hanging around in their dorm, instead I have seen even AFA cadets use safety pins to keep them on.

    Silver polish is also a great gift if they have their service uniform.

    If they blouse their ABU pants, that basically means tuck them in to the boot. They sell something like the shirt garter. It is a velcro strap they place on their calf to keep the pant in place so it won't ride up when sitting. Again these straps are like socks. Inevitably one will get lost, and even if they were issued a set, a back up is a good idea.

    Last would be a pair of nice black leather gloves to use during PT runs if you are in a cold climate. They can also wear them with their ABU or Blues.

    Black umbrella for rainy days. A black wool hat for PT is also a good idea.

    Camo tees for the ABUs instead of white may also be an option.

    If he is at a school that does intense training like a Corps, moleskin is also a great stocking stuffer. You can get that at any CVS/Rite-Aid, etc.

    I think I am out of everything we have given to our AFROTC cadet over the past 3 yrs.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AFROTC does not use this item.

    It is a great idea for any C400 that has an AFSC for ALO or ABM, but otherwise as an AFROTC cadet 100 it would never be used not even at SFT.

    I forgot one more gift.

    Ironman watch.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  12. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    So what the heck is SFT good for then? They never even read a map? Do they not do anything tactical.

    For you AROTC parents (and NROTC as well) small pieces of kit like that can be great gifts. There are all sorts of things for an IOTV or LBV that make field problems easier.
     
  13. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Just an Opinion- but Personally- I seriously question buying someone a Christmas present focused on being an ROTC Cadet (or for that matter a Cadet at a Military College or Service Academy). An Iron? Corfam shoes? Why not a couple of nice pairs of skivvies while you are at it? :eek: And a Mess Dress? For an ROTC cadet? Half of them if they go on AD will have a career that is over in a couple of years and the other half will wear it once every decade or so.
    Ranger Joes is on line- they can always find what they want there if they are desperate for cool field toys.
    But If it were me I would buy them a gift Certificate to a decent restaurant, or give them something ($$/ Frequent Flyer miles, Hotel nights etc...) toward an airline ticket or a Hotel for spring break etc...

    I hate to break this to you, but unless they are utter geeks- they don't spend their lives thinking of themselves as uniforms who happen to be in college- they are college kids first and foremost (and I guarantee that is true whether they are at USMA, or VMI, or Whatsamatta U). Buy them something that they will want to use to have fun, eat, or to get away from the Cafeteria/Mess Hall/Dorm/Barracks etc...
    (Scout- that does sound like a good light though- 3 years on one 9 volt?)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    SFT has a bag drag, and only specific items are allowed. You can't bring that if that is not an item on the list.

    Maybe it is this yr, I don't know, I will say in 12 it wasn't.

    SFT also occurs during the summer of their rising jr yr. C100 is a freshman. Even if they buy it and AFROTC SFT allows it, only about 55% go to SFT nationally.

    Giving them this as a gift could be a sad reminder of what could have been.

    No SFT = no commissioning.

    AF is not like the Army. There is no 100% guarantee for summer training, there is no reservist opportunity.

    It is sim, to an SA. Graduate and you go AD.

    Finally, yes, they read maps when they are in the field. However, as I stated earlier the AF will supply them with the tools, such as that gift suggestion.

    Remember AF mission is AIR not land like the Army. LDAC is going to be more intense because it is the Army. Seriously, how many Intel AF officers are placed in the mtns of Afghanistan compared to Army? They aren't.

    AF is the corporate branch. They like comfy beds, internet connections and 8-4 hour duty days even in combat! :rolleyes:
     
  15. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Pima, great suggestions. Thanks! They should be a sticky!
     
  16. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Couldn't agree more! Kids don't want an iron for Christmas!

    Here's what they REALLY want: http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/headphones/noise_cancelling_headphones/index.jsp
     
  17. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    DS wants nothing--will buy him something anyhow, but no, not one thing for ROTC/Army. I'd kill my DH if he ever bought me an iron or any other "practical" item - do I need them to take care of our home, sure, but not under the tree on Christmas morning:thumb:
     
  18. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Hmmmmm . . . guess the vacuum cleaner for my better half wasn't such a very good idea after all!
     
  19. Ohio2015Parent

    Ohio2015Parent Member

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    Good thing my DH and I talked about that a long time ago, it saved him from that particular mistake. A thoughtful card is fine, but no, no cleaning supplies ever:biggrin:
     
  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    ^^^^ Hey. For some of us its that kind of economy! :wink: plus, we have a kid in college. I would say judge by the kid. I know mine is asking for a new iron. But, he's expecting some fun stuff too.
     

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