The Dark Days before Recognition

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by lsredmond, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. lsredmond

    lsredmond Member

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    My DD is a C4C and is currently going through the Dark Days at USAFA. For those who don't know, these are the days after Christmas break leading up to Recognition in March. These days are tough mentally, physically, and emotionally and many Cadets are rethinking their decision to attend the Academy. I wish they could revisit this time last year when they were all hoping to get a nomination and an appointment. The anticipation on this forum was exciting! All you current applicants, remember this exciting time because next year you will need these memories as well as your reasons for wanting USAFA to keep you focused and on track. Good luck to the future class of 2016! Stay strong and remember that the benefits of being a USAFA grad far outweigh the few months of misery during your 4th degree year!
     
  2. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Did your son mention the change in the "40 Days" part of Recognition? This year instead of 40 days they will experience 58 days and I believe it begins next Tuesday after the 3 day weekend. Supposedly this year it is only 5 days a week (weekends off) but over a longer period of time. USAFA is probably saving the weekends for the Doolies to accomplish their new cleaning duties.:cool:
     
  3. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    Actually I believe the reason for the change came from the Dean. Grades tend to drop during 40 days (and I think most of us can probably guess why). Thus for some reason we are not allowed to conduct weekend training. Personally if I were a 4 degree, I would prefer weekend training to weekday training during school, but hey, we'll see what works better after this semester.
     
  4. Rage_14

    Rage_14 Member

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    I am on Major Training Events staff and we were told the change was made so that everyone gets a chance to do their spirit mission and have every one see it. In the past, when squadron's day for a spirit mission fell on the weekend they either wouldn't get to do one or no one would see it.
     
  5. CadCandMateus

    CadCandMateus Recent Grad

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    Most commonly known as the Dark Ages
     
  6. Dad

    Dad Member

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    Dark Ages are survivable.

    Some cadets, even C4Cs, take advantage of the ski areas at this time. DS (a C4C) is going skiing for the first time ever this weekend with 8 squadmates. :biggrin: There are brief reprives between "training sessions".

    As mentioned above, make sure you enjoy your senior year as you wait for the BFE. BCT and Recognition will be here before you know it. Good luck to every one! :thumb:
     
  7. lsredmond

    lsredmond Member

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    Yes aglages my daughter did mention it. Therefore she took the opportunity during this past 3-day weekend to enjoy herself with friends at home (we live in Littleton,CO - 45 minutes north of the Academy). She thinks she might not get to leave the Academy again until after Recognition.
     
  8. USAFA_Falcon_15

    USAFA_Falcon_15 USAFA '15 Appointee

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    Ya, I'm in your daughters squad. Holy crizznap this is starting to blow. It's only 59 days until recognition. But.. Oy it feels like eternity. To all of you getting your appointments, write yourself a letter reminding yourself why you wanted this. I had a video of myself taken when I signed my letter of acceptance last December; I had the biggest smile on my face. This is what I worked hard for, but I often forget when I see my friends statuses on Facebook reminding me we will NEVER have the same experience. Late nights aren't full of fun here, rather we're up late finishing homework. An early morning to them is 10:00, haha that's sleeping well past what I'm used to. By that time I've been in class for 2 hours and some change. I don't get to party in the same manner my friends do.. But the friends I have made here will last more than a lifetime. I have people to look up to, and things to look forward to. It doesn't seem like a lot now, but I still remember counting down the days from December to basic. (hindsight it's not worth it) Enjoy what you have now, because soon those things will be long gone. This isn't to scare you or give you a negative outlook on the Academy, it's simply to remind you that you have to really want this. All of you can and will succeed, it's all about wanting it. I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors to come here. But, I strongly suggest you write that letter. Have your parents send it during basic, and e-mail it to you when you're coming back after winter break next year, because most of you WILL need it.

    Good luck and God speed,

    Falcon
     
  9. lsredmond

    lsredmond Member

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    USAFA_Falcon_15: You are one of the Colorado cadets aren't you? I remember last year when you received your appointment and how happy you were. I think you were one of the early appointees? Your advice to those seeking an appointment this year is great! I wish I had thought of that so that I could email my DD her own words of excitement and pride. Keep up the good work, Falcon! You are already wise beyond your years....
     
  10. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    If it is any consolation (probably not right now) my DD (c/o 2014) went through recognition training a year ago. When all was said and done, she said it was a highlight in her life, bigger than high school graduation. I think this says a lot because she was valedictorian of her 2010 class. I know it seems hard now, but in the end it will be worth all the effort. Keep thinking of the brass ring at the end. :shake: You will survive, and in retrospect it won't be as bad as you thought it was going to be. This from a DD who is from sunny California. Winters were quite an experience her first year.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I usually post this about once a year. (Around now because of recognition, or because of a new appointee who thinks the academy is all rosey). Hope it puts things into perspective. Mike....

    *****************************************************
    Emotions of a Cadet:

    1) Get accepted to the academy: EMOTION: HELL YEA!!!!!
    2) I-Day: EMOTION: Why do I feel like I'm going to puke?
    3) 1st half of BCT: EMOTION: Well, at least I'm not the only one who looks retarded. Please look at someone else besides me. PLEASE!!!!
    4) 2nd half of BCT (Jack's): EMOTION: This ain't so bad. This part is pretty fun. GOD, I'm so tired. What the hell did I get myself into???? Please let me sleep!!!!
    5) Last week of BCT: EMOTION: I'm almost there. This is the hardest part. After this, the rest of the academy will be a breeze. (Delusional thoughts. Probably the lack of oxygen and sleep)
    6. A-Day: EMOTION: YES! I'm really a cadet now. All the others will respect me now. (More lack of oxygen and definite lack of sleep)
    7. Classes Start: EMOTION: What? Who? Where? When? ARGGGGG!!! MY HEAD HURTS.
    8. Mid-term: EMOTION: Holy crap! What if I forget? What if I fail? What will my parents think? Can I get kicked out for this? ARGGGGG!!!! Head Still Hurts
    9. Thanksgiving break: EMOTION: Yes!!! Out of this place! Do I really want to come back? State U looks really good right now. My friends at home seem pretty happy. What about me????
    10. Back to school getting ready for finals: EMOTION: This sucks!!! I don't need this crap!!! I can transfer my credits and go to another school. God why am I doing this???
    11. Finals Finished Christmas Break: EMOTION: PEACE and GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN!!!! Yea, it sucks there, but that's 1 semester down and 7 more to go. Put this place out of my mind.
    12. Return to academy: EMOTION: Take a deep breath. New Room Mates; Cool. Different classes. Cool. Still cold and dark a lot. That sucks. Well, I guess I can give it one more semester. See what happens.
    13. R-DAY: EMOTION: I really AM a Cadet now. They actually DO RESPECT me. "At least a little bit". OK; it could be worse.

    REPEAT STEPS 7-12; seven more times. Throw in a spring break before the end of #2,4,6,and 8. Throw a Summer break prior to 3,5, and 7. Stamina grows stronger each semester. See the light at the end of the tunnel. Every couple of days remember how much this place sucks. Every OTHER couple of days remember that this place ain't so bad. Every once in a while realize that this place is pretty cool. ALWAYS REMEMBER WHY YOU WANTED TO COME HERE AND WHAT YOUR GOAL IS.

    Good luck to all cadets and appointees. Congrats to the C4C who are about to be recognized. Mike....
    **************************************************
     
  12. lsredmond

    lsredmond Member

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    Wow kdc246! That is really something coming from a valedictorian!!! I want to tell my cadet this story but I don't think she is in the mode to hear such things :(

    Christcorp: I love your post and will pass it along to my cadet whenever I think she is in the mood to read such things. Yes the dark days have decended upon her. Every other word in her texts begin with "F"! Let the venting begin!!!!
     
  13. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    She may not be quite ready now. Though once the 40 (59) days of recognition are over it will feel like a great accomplishment. It will be a great accomplishment. There are so many things my DD didn't think she could do, but she stayed with it, never gave up, and ended up learning so many things about herself. Then last summer after CST (not so much fun) she jumped out of perfectly good airplanes (really fun) and had an absolute blast. There are highs and lows to every year just like Christcorp pointed out. There are still days that some things are predicated with the F word. Usually, I think it is just the way they communicate. Their way of emphasizing displeasure. From my maintenance military background, I remember this well. Just be there to listen, send a cute card or care package every now and then, and it will all pass. Oh, and web guy takes pictures of the final days of Recognition training. So you too can enjoy the smiles and grimaces of Recognition. Before you know it she will be looking forward to wearing civvies again :biggrin:
     
  14. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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  15. Marine75-78

    Marine75-78 Member

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    Text message from '11 grad.

    "just soloed in a 4.8 million turbo jet"

    "then went and did aerobatics"

    Its all worth it if you want it.....:thumb:
     
  16. AVT

    AVT USAFA 2015

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    I am personally very excited for this, for in my mind one only has the chance to go through 40 Days once.
    My goal is to always perform to the best of my ability to show myself and others why I deserve to be Recognized.
    It is also the opportunity to be a leader amongst your peers and assist them in the same cause.
    Survival is just the minimum, and striving for the minimum does not make good cadets or officers, so we should all persevere and ultimately excel to earn our place as upperclassmen even more than those who merely slid by.
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Excellent post AVT. And remember.... To key to excelling; especially in the military; is to realize that you don't know krap. That you WANT to learn. And once you learn whatever it is, you want to learn more. If you walk into BCT and school with the right attitude, you'll not only survive, but definitely succeed. If you walk in thinking that somehow, in any way shape or form, you have a step up, advantage, etc... over someone else; or that somehow you're prepared because of something you did in high school; you will indeed fail. Doesn't mean you can't get back on track; just that the military/academy way..... is NOT your way, or any way you thought it would be. They have their own reason and way, and there's a reason for it. best of luck to you. mike...
     
  18. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

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    From our son (2014) we learned last year that the upperclass also can't wait for recognition because they can then treat the freshmen as friends. Our son's facebook gained about 80 new friends from upperclassmen within a few days of recognition. Last May he said, "after recognition, it's almost like a normal college." (Note "almost.")
     
  19. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Well, I'm going to say there are things the military could improve upon, but a lot of the people who get cynical don't understand why and how the system got to its current state. They wind up complaining about things that actually are designed well (from an overall picture). Usually, you need a few years of experience before you start to understand the thinking behind a lot of systems and policies. The people who think their perspective is the only correct one tend to get VERY frustrated very quickly.
     
  20. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Don't worry, it gets so much better once you're out of your freshman year. I'm sure you've noticed that all of your friends back home are doing the same old thing, whereas you'll actually be going places. Just remember that it's only a few days.
     

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