Thanksgiving for Cadets

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Sooner Julie, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Sooner Julie

    Sooner Julie Member

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    Before I purchased tickets for my C4C to fly home for Thanksgiving I asked a question on a parent group about planning the travel. Some parents posted that their cadets were told to hold off on purchasing tickets while other cadets were not given this message. Some parents wondered if a change is going to be made to the calendar and some wondered if the cadets were going to have to attend the football on Friday now that it is going to be televised. Does anyone have any information about why some cadets were told not to buy airline tickets yet? Thank you!
     
  2. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    Sorry, I can't really offer up any specific information, but what does your cadet know? My parents always kindly paid for my flights home, but I always liked actually picking and purchasing the actual flight. Your cadet is probably in the best place to find out (from AMT/AOC/other guidance) when they are allowed to leave. And unfortunately (for getting the best deal), USAFA and big AF (at least in my one year in AETC), leadership does like to release or change guidance late in the game, so you need to be flexible with tickets.
     
  3. zachtx

    zachtx Member

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    We were told to hold off for the time being on purchasing tickets, and to stand-by for further guidance to come in the near future.
     
  4. Sooner Julie

    Sooner Julie Member

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    When I heard that some parents had been given this information from their cadets I asked my DS if he had heard anything. He had not. I thought I'd check on this forum for any information. Guess I'll wait and see.
     
  5. Sooner Julie

    Sooner Julie Member

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    Thank you!
     
  6. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    Rose Marie Nikovits(parent club liaison) specifically said they were not required to be at the Friday football game. I already bought tickets but I always buy southwest for my son due to frequent changes. At times when he changed it he actually saved money.


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  7. zachtx

    zachtx Member

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    I want to make it clear that no decisions have be made yet, but,

    There is a possibility that all or some of the Cadet Wing will be required to attend the 28 Nov home football game. This would obviously affect leave which is why we have been asked to hold off on flights. We should have further guidance within the next two weeks.

    Cadet leadership and squadron permanent party understand that this would be extremely unpopular, and are making these concerns very well known. That being said, this is not our decision and we will follow whatever guidance comes down.
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Sounds like someone making the football schedule (USAFA liaison to Mountain West Conference?) didn't both to consider the cadet wing. Oopsie.
     
  9. Campfamily

    Campfamily Member

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    The latest Academic calendar I saw has the game on the 29th (Saturday). Did it get moved to the 28th?
     
  10. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Message from USAFA Parent's Liaison

    Good afternoon!

    I have been receiving calls/e-mails in reference to changes for Thanksgiving break for cadets.

    I talked with the Cadet Wing CAG and was brief that the cadets were advised not to make travel arrangements until the Operations Order (OPORD), in case of changes, has been signed. This will not be signed until Oct or so.

    Right now there are no plans to change the dates for the Thanksgiving break. The Cadet Wing CAG told me that if cadets are on leave they will not be asked to return for the football game. Not sure what that may mean for cadets who are in the local area and permanent party as that has to be worked out. The game is being televised so of course USAFA leadership would like a full house if possible.

    If I hear any updates I will get out ASAP. Thank you all for calling/e-mailing asking the question and help me to get the correct information out.

    Marie

    ROSE MARIE NIKOVITS
    Parents' Liaison
    U.S. Air Force Academy, CO
    (719) 333-3828 Toll Free 877-268-3383
    Fax (719) 333-1433
    e-mail: rose.nikovits@usafa.edu
     
  11. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I have mentioned my advice on cadet travel before, but I will repeat it again.

    Please let your cadet schedule their own flights home from USAFA. They are the ones who are informed and can pick the times that fit into their instructions from command. If a parent is set on paying for the flights, that's great, but then give your cadet your account/password info for Orbitz, Southwest .com, or wherever you get your tickets and let them schedule it themselves. The experience will pay off later on AD when they need to schedule things for TDYs and other trips.

    Stealth_81
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Good advice Stealth!

    Also, let them find their own rides to/from COS. It used to make me really nervous to hear the boys were flying into DIA with no plans to get to USAFA. There were always rides available - somehow, someway.

    Once, when Twin A was flying into DIA, he sat next to a Lt Colonel on the flight. This wonderful man gave son a ride back to USAFA (I think he was a 1980s grad?), and took him out for a steak dinner, AND gave him a gift card to the local "burger and brewery."

    It's remarkable what fate has in store!
     
  13. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    You would think that if this were the case that USAFA leadership would avoid scheduling a home game during one of the pre-scheduled leave times. Thanksgiving being on November 27, 2014 can't be too big of a surprise. My guess is that Thanksgiving next year will also be the 4th Thursday of November. Considering there is only one scheduled holiday leave during football season....this shouldn't be too difficult for someone to keep track of.

    A possible solution this year would be to keep the entire wing (4000+) at the academy for Thanksgiving break while the person(s) that scheduled this game (or agreed to this time) is able to spend their Thanksgiving at home in Colorado Springs with their family. Additionally we should wait to sign the Op Order (actually make a decision) until mid October so that the cadets and their families will have limited (and more expensive) air fare options for the busiest travel day of the year....in the event that USAFA leadership feels they can allow the cadets to go home instead of being used as decoration for a football game.

    While I expect and understand that there will likely be many holidays that my children will not be able to leave their military duties and come home...helping to fill up a football stadium so that it looks good for the TV audience is not my image of military duty....or military leadership.
     
  14. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Folks...

    One VERY CRITICAL THING to remember....

    Your DS and DD are members of the US Air Force. You will experience the following:

    a. Missed holidays
    b. Missed birthdays
    c. Missed "really important days"

    I promise you...this is a way of life.

    I can't tell you how many birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc., I missed in 32 years of service. It's "how it is."

    I hate to say "get used to it" because it's not easy and you really never get used to it but...as the kids say today: it is what it is.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  15. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Flieger - funny, my DH said the exact same thing. And me being an Army brat, I answered, "Yup."

    We've already told the younger DS to standby, we may be flying to CO for Thanksgiving. At least I don't have to cook!

    Having said that, parents will vent about what appears to be a silly decision. DH told me that there are very few televised games and when there is, it becomes a HUGE "Mission Support" activity because of recruitment and PR opportunities. From seeing the cadets march out, to watching them do pushups, to seeing all the blue uniforms in the crowd, it becomes a "wow" moment for the television viewers. I think they are also paid for televised games. Think about all the PR and money that comes in during Thanksgiving weekend because everybody is watching the game.
     
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  16. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    What happened to military leadership and taking care of your people? It's one thing to require your subordinates to sacrifice for a good cause but to act as decoration for the stadium? I'm more upset about the quality of leadership being demonstrated at USAFA than I am about not seeing my cadet for Thanksgiving. I realize that our cadets can learn as much from bad leaders as they can from the good ones but at the levels these decision are being made (or in the case of the op-order...not being made) you would EXPECT better. Or maybe not. If I understand some of the posts on this thread perhaps not taking care of your people is the military norm and as parents we should expect that. I will agree that my son does not seem too surprised that his officers are willing to kick the entire wing under the bus for PR purposes so perhaps he is already at that lower expectation point and ready to accept that "this is a way of life".
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Welcome to NCAA athletics. This isn't unique to the air force academy. Maybe having students attend the games when at home, but not the holiday schedule. I remember a few bowl games in recent years where the football Ayers had to cut their Christmas leave short by quite a few days so they could travel for a game the day after Christmas. And they aren't the only sport affected by holidays.

    And God forbid that the academies, unlike most other schools, promote teamwork and school pride in all their students. On and off the field.

    Do I have a gripe? Yes. My only gripe is the football is the only sport that the cadet wing must attend for home games. I'd like to see all cadets at home basketball games as well as other sports. But having the entire cadet wing in clune arena for basketball or hockey in such a small arena probably wouldn't leave too many seats left for other paying fans. But it would be nice for the baskrtball , hockey, and other sports to have that type of turnout and support.
     
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  18. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Are you saying that you think this decision (whenever it's actually made) is an attempt by USAFA leadership to promote teamwork and school pride in all their students?
     
  19. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Simply saying that having college sporting events around holidays is part of NCAA life. Schools only get a small say so on the schedule. As for the academy choosing yea or nay on the rest of the cadet wing attending games, that's part of academy/military life. I will say however that the academy is pretty considerate when it comes to major conflicts such as holidays. They do a pretty good job accommodating the cadets.

    But I can't tell you how many times in my 20+ year military career I wasn't able to spend a holiday with particular family or friends. And contrary to what many people may think, their kids ARE IN THE MILITARY. It just so happens that their current JOB is "Student". But this isn't a case of "My kid is off to college". No, your kid "Joined the Military". S/He just so happens to have the JOB of "Student" at this particular time in their career. No different than my son, is graduated the academy in 2012, still has the JOB of "Student". Just like Hornet did before him and many others. Again; "Student" just happens to be their current job. I know many parents want to think and believe that their kid is in "College" and that they (Parent) can plan to do many/most of the things that a "Normal" college parent can do. When I got out of basic training in September (a hundred years ago), that's when I could start using leave. (Vacation time). We accumulate 2.5 days per month. I couldn't go home for thanksgiving or Christmas. I simply didn't have the vacation time saved up. The fact that the military doesn't calculate leave time for cadets and has automatic time off at thanksgiving, christmas, spring break, and summer is a lot more generous than any of the enlisted folks get coming out of basic training. And a lot more time off per year than any of the active duty members. (Officers and enlisted). Active duty gets 30 days vacation/leave time per year. Cadets get quite a bit more time off than that.

    I'm not rationalizing or chastising anyone for being concerned about trying to make vacation plans for them and their kids (cadets). It's understandable, and by all means take advantage of all the time you can spend with your kids. Simply saying that the attitude has to be that "This ISN'T COLLEGE.... It's the MILITARY". Once you understand and accept that, then you can accept and appreciate more the time you can spend with your kids.
     
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  20. toms663

    toms663 Member

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    Well, we heard about this and we said, ok, were coming to Colorado to see a Thanks Giving Football game and spend whatever time is allowed with our DD. In her 18 years, only a small number of Tdays we have been home, most were shared in other lands/countries etc. She is committed to USAFA and as it stands now..... she wants to see the game live. It sounds like fun. We support her and what she is doing. Life has changed sand so we must. Go Falcons. BTW: we live 14 hours away from the Springs.
     
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