Ring Dance!!!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by fencersmother, May 20, 2011.

  1. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,580
    Likes Received:
    800
    Parents and friends of 2012: can you believe it??? WOW! I remember reading about this before the kids left for Iday.

    Any of you "old timers" care to relate any ring dance stories? I promise, they won't go any further than here. haha
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    No stories, but my son sent me a pix a couple hours ago of his his ring. He's so excited. I know that after the dance, a bunch of them are gong to Denver to spend the weekend. I can't believe where the time had gone. And on graduation day next Wednesday, your boys and mine will become "Firsties" and be the seniors of the academy. The time has gone so quickly. mike....
     
  3. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    342
    Wait'll he calls you in the not-too-distant-future and says: "Dad, the list is OUT, I made MAJOR and am going to ISS!!!" :eek:

    It'll be here before you know it!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    DARN YOU STEVE!!!! LOL!!!! Whenever I think about how I've had to/have to let him grow up and leave; I just think about when I did the same thing at his age.

    Well, he'll always be my "Little Buddy". Even if he is bigger than me. Hee hee. For now, we'll just wait for the fall and the next hurdle. "Assignments and applying to grad schools". Hopefully he'll get everything he wants.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Spoke with my son last night. He told me all about the ring dance. He sounded so excited. He said it was really cool and he loves his ring. "He better; it cost him enough". He said the dance was great too. Then, they all took a stretch hummer limo "20 passengers" to Denver. Spent the weekend there. They all spent Saturday and night together having a lot of fun. Got back to the yard Sunday afternoon. Anyway; apparently they all had a great time.
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    Are there any traditions associated with the ring//ring dance at USAFA?

    Like the dipping into the seven seas at Navy and Coast Guard, or the smelting of metal from a previous ring into the new rings at WP (very cool)?
     
  7. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not quite the same, since it's hard to gather air from around the world :p

    But there is a christening ceremony. Rings are given to each cadet's date at the beginning of the dinner. They sit there all dinner, during the guest speaker, and then a little longer. Eventually the date takes the ring out of the box and places it stone up in a glass of champagne. After given the okay, the cadet drinks the champagne and catches the ring in his/her mouth. The cadet then kisses the ring over to the date (or if a couple doesn't want to kiss, the date simply takes the ring out of the cadet's teeth), and then the date places the ring on the cadet's finger. Then cadets run around showing off their ring to everyone else and taking pictures. It's really a great moment to experience
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,580
    Likes Received:
    800
    Had long (and way overdue) talks with my guys and they both said the ring dance/weekend was the BEST part of their experience so far!!! My two plus their dates and five other couples rented a cabin up in the Rockies and spent Sat white water rafting, horseback riding,etc. Fantastic weekend for them all.

    Their younger sister brought four other co-eds from her college as dates for my guys' cadet friends. Apparently, some of them are all ready "in love!" haha

    What a day! I've got TWO FIRSTIES!
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,804
    Likes Received:
    942
    I do not have enough fingers to count on re:how many officers I know who married a sister of another officer. At Elmendorf alone in a 3 yr tour 5 guys married the sister of an AD member, or the SIL of the AD member. Yes, 5!

    I can't believe our kids will be commissioning in 12 months. It only seemed like a week ago you, CC, Luigi, Bullet and myself were learning the ropes of how the appointment process worked. Now here we are, kids entering the final stretch.

    Just yesterday, I had to do the 30 minute interview with an agent for his TS security clearance. It was surreal, because it hit me, he isn't my child anymore, he is becoming a peer.

    The week after next is his big DodMERB exam for his final clearance for UPT. Fingers crossed! Prayers accepted by everyone!:wink:

    The one thing that hasn't changed over the 4 yrs, besides the support group here...DS is still cool as a cucumber, nothing fazes him, and I am still the worry wart playing the WHAT IF game!:eek:
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,852
    Likes Received:
    342
    The Association of Graduates (AOG) is working on the "ring smelting" from graduates rings that have been donated...much the same as WP.

    I think that's a SUPERB tradition, idea, and I have already told my family that if nobody wants my ring for FAMILY reasons, it's to go to USAFA for this purpose!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,804
    Likes Received:
    942
    One thing I love about the military is the tradition of passing something onto the next generation.

    Bullet's rank for his mess dress was a promotion gift from another officer. That officer received it from a 4 star when he made that rank who received it from another 4 star. Hopefully, by the time our DS gets to that rank the AF won't change the mess dress again. If they do, that's okay, I am sure he will still love the history connected to it.

    Please understand Bullet has never stated anything publicly about this present, but it is neat to know that those you aspire to become wore it yrs before. It is a priceless gift, one to honor and respect in regarding everything you hold near and dear. Lose/misplace the Silver Star/DFC you earned, you can get a replacement at the clothing store. You can't replace something that was worn by those you admire and respect due to their sacrifices.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    One tradition I really liked in the air force; even though it wasn't necessarily world-wide, but I found it in at least 4 bases I was assigned; was passing down rank for good luck.

    When one of the top-3 "Either Commissioned or Non-Commissioned officers"; Msgt, SMsgt, CMsgt, Lt Col, Col, Gen; got promoted to that rank, we would give a set of our shoulder boards or insignia to a subordinate who was coming up on promotion cycle for the rank we were vacating. Just a sign of respect and some good luck. But it meant a lot to a Major when a Colonel handed down a set of silver leafs to the Major. It expressed their confidence in them that they'll get theirs soon enough. Same when a SMsgt handed a Tech a set of his Master shoulder boards after he put on his promotion. Might sound silly and insignificant, but it demonstrated the respect and confidence that the higher individual had with their lower subordinate. I didn't see this at ALL BASES, but most of the ones I was at.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,804
    Likes Received:
    942
    Mike, that was what I was talking about. Bullet has the shoulder boards for his rank at retirement. He passed down all of the others. I don't think we bought a mess dress rank after 2nd Lt., maybe it was 1st.

    20 yrs later, I wish we kept all of them to give to our DS, but OH WELL! Every base we were ever at over the 20 yrs., there was always somebody who passed down their rank. It doesn't occur for everyone. It really is about relationships where somebody does it from a mentoring position. You just don't hand it over for the sake of handing it over. You hand it over because you are connecting yourself with them.

    I recall when Bullet got the mess dress boards as a promotion present from a friend. I thought okay, you are giving him hand me downs. It was only after looking at Bullet's face and how touched he was that I realized the importance behind the hand me down.

    It is a true honor to receive a hand me down. It is never to be taken lightly. Everyone knows that fliers get their leather jackets, and they wear, sometimes the AF is kind enough to replace them. Bullet's gift to our DS at his retirement because we didn't keep all of his rank was his old flight jacket, cracked leather and blood chits. DS was entering AF, but to him it was like thanks DAD, an old worn out jacket.

    He never wore it until this yr after he got picked up for UPT. Minute 1, Day 1, when he placed the jacket on the back of the chair, his instructor asked: Are those Blood Chits?
    Yes, (thinking am I in trouble?) my Dad gave me this jacket at his retirement.
    Show it.

    The class lesson/discussion turned that day to how military members get blood chits to save lives. That they vary depending on the area. Bullet's was Arabic. It basically says I am an American, assist me.

    DS learned that day it wasn't an old, beaten up jacket, it was history, and a gift to carry on those who lived before you. That it was rare and only those who were in combat in that theater had them in their jacket. Instructor laughed because he informed our DS his Dad was out of regs...flight jackets don't come with side pockets, only top pockets...Bullet when he got the chits, had the jacket altered/changed to have top and side pockets (one in the same)! That's very common, just like ripping off the peter pocket for fighter pilots.

    Yes, now he guards it like the Hope Diamond. He gets it now, that handing down rank is the highest form of belief that the recipient is going to be a great military asset. That you don't give it like dropping off at the Good Will. You take time and think about who will appreciate the significance and honor it.

    I love this tradition.

    For cadets. Retirement seems like eons away...close to death! Keep all of your patches, scarves, visor covers, coins, etc., because before you know it you will be retiring.

    For parents, if they have their patches from day one, think about making a shadow box for graduation using them. Trust me every military member had a "I LOVE ME" wall if not a room! Heck we have 1 room (his study), plus an over flow (our office), and more crap in the basement!
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    I think I was posting as you were. I walked away for a couple minutes before hitting send. But it's definitely a nice tradition.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,804
    Likes Received:
    942
    There are so many unique traditions that I love about the military and only found out by the huh? method.

    For example:

    1. Dipping/denting or whatever you call it, with the flight cap.

    ~~~If you have flown a combat mission, you wear with a dent.


    2. Jump wings with a gold star means they jumped into combat.

    ~~~To me I think that was the reason Bullet wanted to jump into Haiti, so he could have a gold star on his jump wings, thus people knew "he earned them the hard way" LOL, sorry, but jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is learning the hard way!

    3. Naming ceremonies

    4. Entering the squadron hootch when the light is on.

    5.. Combat Dining Ins or Warrior banquets. If anything that will force you to imbibe alcohol, it is choosing between the non-alcohol Grog and the alcohol Grog.

    6. Wedding ceremonies.

    DS's good friend will get married this weekend and he will be one of them doing the sabers...of course they all fought over who gets to whap the bride and welcome her into the AF. He didn't win, he will be doing the saber down in front of them.

    Also, for many of you as we discuss such great traditions, we can not forget the most important one. That is the person you ask to give the oath. I cannot tell you how much of an honor it is to be asked to do this. I cannot begin to even find the words. To the honoree, it is the highest form of respect and honor that can be bestowed upon anyone. Very few are fortunate enough to be able to welcome the new generation into the military from this position. The same is true for retirement ceremonies. It is to military officers, the moment that they say you were the best brother/sister I had in the AF for the past 20 yrs.

    Oh and for Mike

    8. Weed!

    ~~~ A drink if you make Betty Beaaach, your spouse calls during an Aircrew meeting, you just did something stupid or to toast. Can't do a promotion party without Weed! Can't announce the birth of your baby on Friday night without Weed either! According to Mike you can't attend an AFA FB game without doing Weed either!
     

Share This Page