Some knowledge to know before?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by 34KING18, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. 34KING18

    34KING18 Member

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    I know part of the fun on I Day is getting yelled at but is there some common knowledge that should be known before then? I've seen videos where they ask the 7 basic commands and stuff like that. Thanks
     
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  2. ServiceBeforeSelf325

    ServiceBeforeSelf325 Member

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    I know a few cadets currently at USAFA and they told me that during BCT, basics have to memorize some definitions and other things. However, unlike USCGA and USNA basics are not given books with pages and pages of memory work to memorize until after BCT (thats what the "contrails" book is). I am also a 2020 appointee and I am going to prepare physically and mentally for the challenges ahead. I-Day is supposed to be a crazy and intense environment, thus trying to memorize everything and be perfect can be a bad thing. People think that doing things perfectly will get you out of any yelling, however, doing things perfectly when your classmates aren't will get you unwanted attention. Thus, prepare now and try to fly under the radar at BCT. Don't be that person that shows up on I-Day expecting to do everything perfectly!
     
  3. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    If you really feel compelled to walk in with any knowledge, memorize the 7 basic responses. That's all I would recommend knowing-cadre won't be "surprised" or feel you're "selling out your classmates."

    Other than that, I would encourage you to have some basic knowledge of the Air Force: not because it's going to help you in BCT, but because that is the service you are preparing to enter.

    Also, you are given a book during BCT with knowledge, but you are right that Contrails is given after BCT.
     
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  4. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    A perfect example of advice coming from a source that has not yet been a cadet, nor is the parent of a cadet. I would encourage all newbies to be like the wise old owl. The less he talked, the more he heard. Experience is usually the best teacher. In no time at all you'll be qualified to give expert advice.
     
  5. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    Also, the order of the 7 basic responses may be different than the way you learned them, so be prepared. I knew all the responses, but I had to relearn the order on the fly (and by "on the fly", I mean on the bus!).
     
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  6. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    This is very, very wrong. You will get a basic manual that you will be studying until you can't feel you arms anymore.

    Even if you know the seven basic responses, great, you'll still be wrong.

    Enjoy your last few months as a civilian and don't worry about I-day.
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    If you want to go into BCT with knowledge, then realize, that the only knowledge that you need to know is WHY. Why is it the way it is, Why are you treated the way you are, and Why are you expected to go through it.

    The answer is simple. Take 1200 +/- individuals from 50 states, numerous territories and countries, with different backgrounds, morals, values, and beliefs; break them down; give them all something in COMMON; and get them to work together as a team. That is what BCT and the military is all about. "Team-Work". You can't defend the country, go to battle, or win a war; by yourself. You need each other. You need to throw away all that "ME" attitude and change it to "US". Believe it or not, that is one of the reasons the academies look so highly on "Athletics" and team sports in an individual's application. It's not because they are looking for NCAA D-1 athletes. It's because they know those individuals understand a bit more about team work, and NEEDING each other to accomplish the mission.

    Forget that you were the BIG FISH in a little pond back home. Forget that you were popular, top of your class, star athlete/student. The majority of the other 1200 at BCT were in the same place as you. NOW, you're a LITTLE FISH in a BIG POND. There will come a time when you'll be able to use your individuality. You'll learn to become an effective leader. But you can't learn to LEAD....... until you learn to FOLLOW.

    So, if you truly want to walk into BCT with some knowledge that's going to help you through BCT and the academy; then don't worry about knowing any facts, dates, etc. You'll have time for that. Get rid of the Millennial attitude of what's in it for you, your future, your goals, your anything. You'll earn the right soon enough to get back your individuality to contribute. For now, use your skills and abilities to help THE TEAM. Worry about just THE TEAM. Everything you do in BCT and your first year there, think of THE TEAM. And most importantly, make sure that your classmates with you FEEL that they too are part of THE TEAM

    Once you know that everything that BCT and what you go through is about developing THE TEAM, then it will all make sense to you. And once it all makes sense, it becomes so much easier to deal with and succeed. If you think of it any other way, it will be hard. You'll take it personal. You'll feel you're being picked on. You'll feel you're not liked or respected. This is not high school. It's NOT JrROTC, CAP, or the Boy/Girl Scouts. This is the MILITARY. It just so happens that your job for the first 4 years in the MILITARY happens to be "STUDENT". But unlike a civilian university, where you get to keep your individuality and feel special, (And the school really doesn't care about you at all, as long as you pay your tuition); this is the MILITARY. And they DO CARE about you. Because how well you learn to be part of the TEAM, can directly affect if people die or not.

    You want knowledge going into BCT, that is the knowledge you need to have. Not just the words I wrote, but actually understand and BELIEVE them. If you do that, you'll do so much better. And you'll be able to help the others around you who might not know this knowledge and are having a difficult time. Best of luck.
     
  8. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    My best advice to you (if you want to avoid attention) would be to wear very nondescript clothing. I wore a plain gray t-shirt and black shorts on I-Day, and had a grand total of 2 cadre yell at me on the footprints. That's a pretty good score, given how crazy the footprints cadre are.

    However, if you WANT to make an extra-special memory (not saying whether it'll be a good or a bad one), then wear a shirt that says "Talk to me Goose!" or "I'm kind of a big deal". Or wear a nice shirt and tie. You might be there for a while. Just saying.

    (Oh, and make sure to TUCK YOUR SHIRT IN before you get on the bus. ;))
     
  9. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    A double thumbs up to Christcorp's post, as well. Mine was about street tips--convenient but not necessary. His is is the one you honestly need to know and understand.
     
  10. Kiowa19

    Kiowa19 Member

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    This is going to sound backwards but I implore you to read the whole thing. Never be first. If you complete a task first that does not mean run out into the hallway and report to your cadre. They WILL NOT be impressed at how quickly you completed the task. They will most likely tear you to pieces for leaving your classmates behind and then proceed to tear into you for how 'poorly' you completed said task, and they will continue to do so until two of your classmates run out into the hall to rescue you. This does not mean be slow. If you finish something first, you go help your classmates and finish as a team (the importance of which Christcorp rightly emphasized). Know that no matter how well you do the cadre will not be impressed by your individual effort, only the team matters. Some new basics misguidedly try to show the cadre how dedicated they are by rapidly completely tasks and consequently leaving their teammates in the dust. Continually be a team player and your dedication will become apparent, act individually and it will be a long 6 weeks.

    Also, I had to roll my eyes (classic millennial move?) at the 'lose the Millennial attitude' portion of your post, Christcorp. Us darn youngfolk!
     
  11. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    If you need it, USAFA will provide it. If you need to know it, your Cadre will instruct you.

    The only thing you need to know is that you will be wrong. Read Christcorp's post all the way through. My advice to my DD was "middle of the pack" for BCT. Never get behind, and don't finish ahead of your element. As soon as you think you got it, the next Cadre will come along and "politely" explain why you are wrong and change the rules. Until you can appreciate that you will always be wrong until your Cadre tell you otherwise, you will swim against the tide -- sorry, that's USNA -- fly into a headwind.

    Complete the assigned task, help your teammates when they need help, accept their help when you need it, never complain, never quit -- that will gain you respect and make BCT as bearable as possible. Just focus on getting through the current task and make it to lunch, dinner, bed, whatever the next "safe place" is. Six weeks will go by before you know it. Then you will see the Webguy pics that demonstrate that it was basically just a big summer camp (joking here, but that is what it looks like to parents in the pics sometimes).
     
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  12. Blueblood1

    Blueblood1 Member

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    Don't forget to bring that great big box full of contraband to carry over your head all day for the "bonus prize." [34KING18 - I hope you realize that Wildblueyonder and I are kidding here -- these are past examples of Basics that drew a little extra - and unwanted - attention to themselves]
     
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  13. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Nike's old slogan works well here..."Just do it" the why or the when is not your problem. This is not about you and it is not personal. Don't try to second guess or anticipate the next move. Just shift into neutral and do what they tell you when they tell you. In other words don't phyc yourself out.
     
  14. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I remember standing at the wall by the chapel on I-day, looking for a glimpse of DD. There were basics running in single file everywhere, lead by cadre yelling "Hurry up! Go! Go! Go!" The basics were picking up all their necessities at different stations: uniforms, boots. etc.

    Right in front of the chapel, there's this tiny young lady whose bag, by now, is about as big as she is and she's struggling. She's trying to run, but the bag keeps slipping and hitting the ground. She's obviously holding up the line & the cadre are still yelling at everyone. Suddenly, the young man behind her runs AROUND her. I cringe knowing what's going to happen next. Instantly 4 cadre are on him. It doesn't take him long to realize that the CORRECT course of action is to turn around and HELP the young lady who's struggling. He goes back and helps her lift her bag and runs with her.

    As Christcorp said: Teamwork!
     
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  15. SoloDad

    SoloDad New Member

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    Read Christcorp's post several times. My son went with some basic knowledge of the USAF and its mission, and generally knew there would be a lot of screaming and confusion on I-Day. However, he wasn't interested in knowing every detail he could find about I-Day and BCT. He wanted this to be a unique and new experience. He said that first couple of days were the longest days of his life. Your going to get screamed at because you know too much, too little, or because your the most convenient basic to scream at that moment. Remember it's nothing personal, it's just the system. When we received his first letter (written on his second night) he said "I never really appreciated my family as much as I do now," first time he had ever been homesick, but by the third letter he was already telling funny stories and seemed to almost relish the challenges ahead. He's a changed kid (man) both mentally and physically. Remember your part of a team!
     
  16. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

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    Unfortunately, Christcorp was right on the button with the Millennial attitude. Do you know how many large well respected corporations give managers classes on dealing with millennials? How to get them to contribute, understand that just doing the job isn't enough for raises and promotions, how to get through to them, how to get past the me and buy into the we, how to let them know their actions impact others, etc?? This is the first generation that these large corporations have had to design management courses for. And many of these companies predate the 1980s. Some of them predate the birth of your parents.

    I realize that most service academy applicants are not typical Millennials. But there are some accepted who will encounter a seriously rude awakening when attending a service academy.

    One of the things you as service academy cadets should contemplate is how to deal with the millennial generation, your generation, once you are leaders. How do you get them to support the military? How do you deal with them as civilian contractors? How do you deal with them as MOC and other political representatives? How do you interact with them when they are members of the press (I do realize that in the armed forces, only those deisgnated by the command chain can deal with the press)?

    Each generation has it's own set of issues. However, the Millennials have the distinction of being the first group that even corporations have to design educational courses to deal with.
     
  17. Kiowa19

    Kiowa19 Member

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    I imagine the generation proceeding yours also had concerns about how your generation would handle the transition into leadership roles. Even though attitudes change between generations, I believe the recipe for success remains largely the same and that those who strive to excel will rise to positions of importance. Also, not to be contrary, but I have trouble believing companies have never created courses targeted at how to best influence/sell to/convince other demographics than millenials. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding your statement. Apologies for getting a tad off topic.
     
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  18. MombaBomba

    MombaBomba Member

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    Regardless of your belief, these courses do exist for managers and were created due to the issues of hiring millennials. These courses did not exist for other previous generations. There was no need for them.

    As I pointed out, I do not believe most service academy applicants are "typical millennials." I also don't believe that every millennial on the planet has these issues. But I do believe enough of them do that it requires correction in the private sector because parents, other family members and the education establishment enabled the problems and are not stepping up to the plate to fix the problem.
     
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  19. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I think you're being a little general with your use of term.
     
  20. Kiowa19

    Kiowa19 Member

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    Unfortunately, I refuse to be dismissed on this matter.

    I understand the fact millennials have been targeted by the management industry in order to make them more effective employees. My point is that companies across the board have looked at their employees, who are often of varying demographics, and created programs to improve productivity/efficiency/teamwork etc. To say that millennials are the only generation in the history of the capitalist business model to be instructed by companies is inaccurate, regardless of your belief.
     
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