Things to have, after A-DAY

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by RogersCO'19, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    So I was reading through some forums on the USMA page seeing what things I'm allowed to put into a care package for my friend at West Point. And I seen a thread about packing a bag and leaving it for parents to bring on A-Day. My parents won't come till Parents weekend but I still thing it is a great idea! Anyone have any ideas what I could pack for them to bring?
    So far I have...

    School Supplies
    Calculator
    Non issue underwear

    Any input is great!
     
  2. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Hi Rogers,

    Congrats on your appointment. Guessing you are a guy, so here are some things our DS wanted....

    * Local food/snacks from home
    * In-ear Headphones
    * Non-issue boots
    * Local food/snacks from home
    * Favorite pocket knife
    * Toiletries not sold at C-store
    oh and....
    * Local food/snacks from home
     
  3. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Thanks for the help! And I'm a girl lol, maybe you guessed that by the underwear thing. I've just seen it on like every post so i figured women and men were issued underwear xD
     
  4. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    A family photo in a small frame, if it's allowed. Noise canceling headphones (IF they are permitted) were a life saver for our other kids. Makes studying in a noisy room much easier.

    The other items you mentioned sound reasonable, especially the calculator. The school supplies can be purchased at a local Walmart/Target I would guess (as well as on campus) as I am sure you will want to get off base during PW anyway.

    As for non-issued underwear....if USAFA is anything like USCGA, you bring your own, they aren't issued. :) I'm guessing you meant underwear of your own choosing/style. Again, that sounds reasonable to have parents bring, but a shopping trip during PW was always on our cadets agenda!

    Don't stress too much. You will be told exactly what you need and when you need it by your cadre. They are the pros and will have valuable insight into the survival of your first year at USAFA. Apparently, on Doolie Day Out you will have access to your phone, and can call home. You may then have a much clearer picture of what you will need come the academic year, and can ask your folks for those needed items.
     
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  5. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Thanks for the tips! And that makes sense
     
  6. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Hi Rogers! My DD told us not to send anything until her squadron approved it. So play it safe since you don't want to be caught with "contraband." Also, get yourself an Amazon account, it will be your best friend.

    Here's what my daughter was allowed the first semester:
    snacks (non perishable)
    school supplies (though you can buy this through the C-store or Amazon)
    a shower caddie (to carry shampoo, body wash, etc.)
    shampoo, body wash, etc.
    a desk drawer organizer (you can have one on your desk but for SAMIs, they'll go in the trunk)
    panties and nice bras. You'll want to feel like a girl again.
    perfume & makeup. Same reason.
    headbands that match the color of your hair
    lighter -- to help shine your shoes. An upperclassman will show you the trick.

    DD's squadron didn't allow non-issue boots & non-issue tennis shoes until 2nd semester. Space is limited, especially if there's 3 in a room, so don't bring anything you can't have, yet.
     
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  7. nolifepilot

    nolifepilot USAFA Cadet

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    Each squadron is different, but you can pretty much have anything and it won't be a problem. Obvious exceptions are drugs, alcohol, that type of stuff. The only thing that we weren't allowed to have were our own pair of boots until after the first semester. Everything else is free game. There might be a few things that you can't have, but they're things that you probably wouldn't think of to bring for a-day.
     
  8. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    Some tips after going through this with our 2018er

    1. Everything is Squadron Specific.
    2. Everything is Squadron Specific.
    3. Everything is Squadron Specific.
    4. Everything is Squadron Specific.

    We did pre-pack some some basic supplies before DS left for I-day though. Such as his favorite type pens, basic 'office supplies' (staplers, etc.), replacement undershirts and underwear since Jacks Valley takes a toll... and it all fit in a shoebox or so. As a doolie, you wont have a lot of space, and you could end up as 3 men in a 2 man room. Search the forums specific to USAFA, it's all out there. I promise.

    Oh yeah, Congratulations!!

    Unsolicited advice #1. Never quit on a bad day.
    Unsolicited advice #2. Just don't quit. Don't give up. You're not alone. There is always someone to talk to.

    And um, oh yeah...CONGRATULATIONS!!
     
  9. Enlisted_Programmer

    Enlisted_Programmer 323rd Mustangs

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    Congrats! Doolie here. Bring more than a week's worth of underwear/bras. Unless you enjoy sweat-soaked undergarments, bring about two weeks. For specific acceptable undergarments/other, AFI 36-2903 is excellent and applies to us all. As for the stipulation on what type of underwear, your call. They do not inspect this and I did not bring "whitey tighty's" for myself. It was totally fine.

    Don't bring: colors that stick out through white that aren't conservative, anything expensive besides phone and maybe watch(they are confiscated though),
    Do bring: boots that you have already(squad may let you wear them immediately after BCT),

    Bring your A-game and best attitude! Be the one to help your flight through and squad through. It makes it easier when you are helping others than if you only focus on yourself, not to mention you will have a harder time if you even make it through that way. Be a leader! It's what this place is about. Make a call. Ask questions. Ask a buddy first, if they don't know ask a cadre/upperclassman. Give it your best, and your squad will already like you when/"if" A-day comes. Get used to "if you make it that far." Enjoy your time now. You will be joining the military. I definitely enjoyed my summer leading up to my enlistment, and my leave days leading up to leaving enlisted. :( This place will be tough if you are fit or not, so be an athlete but don't sacrifice your last days before USAFA. Make friends and enjoy BCT! Good luck! 再见。
     
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  10. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Thanks so much everybody! I think Im getting a general idea of what is okay and what isn't
     
  11. Invisibility

    Invisibility Member

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    I would recommend holding off on getting boots... you can go shopping for them over Parent's Weekend if you really want, but it'll be squad specific and you won't necessarily know by then whether you can have them or what brand you want.

    You will (probaby) want:
    -Food
    -Probably underwear (although girls are required to bring their own to Basic... and I still use most of the same stuff I had then. :p)
    -School supplies--especially notebook paper & 3-ring binders, decent pens, highlighter, stapler, scissors, 3-hole punch. You can print in the library or at your squad's printer until PW.
    -Assuming you have long hair, probably a large "jaws" clip that matches your hair color. It's a life-saver in terms of hair health... I destroyed a good bit of my hair during basic due to constantly putting it up and tearing at it when I had to change from up to down and vice versa quickly.
    -A towel (you can wait for this, too, since it takes up a lot of space)
    -Pictures from home
    -Headphones
    -Your own running shoes. This is squad specific, but most will likely let you have them.
    -Makeup! (Don't overdo it just because you can't wear it all summer... seriously, it's a stereotype that newly-accepted frosh girls look like clowns.)
    -Sleep. Good luck with that!

    Amazon offers a free Prime trial to college kids. Sign up ASAP and get your books that way if you can swing it, with the free 2-day shipping. Will save you LOTS of money and time waiting in line at the C-store.

    You won't need a calculator, as the only one allowed for use during tests in most math classes is the so-called "honorlator," which you are issued.
     
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  12. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    Thanks for all the tips :))
     
  13. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    Curious parent here....so please forgive the questions :) Do the cadets change roommates every semester? Is ordering books from Amazon allowed or is that an upper class privilege? Is your paycheck automatically deducted for things like books, uniforms, haircuts, etc or are the cadets required to budget for those items?

    Thx from a curious mom.
     
  14. RogersCO'19

    RogersCO'19 Member

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    I can't answer the first two questions but cadets get a pay that they are allowed to acced which is a small portion of the cadet pay that can be used for whatever and than the rest is put in a separate account and is only allowed to be used for the things you mentioned, hair cuts and such. More or less we are forced to budget for that stuff but its good.
     
  15. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    Changing roommates is like MANY other things... squadron dependent. Some have no choice, some have a choice, some change every semester, some can stay the same.

    Books can be bought wherever they can get them in the correct edition. This can be from the C store, Amazon or, most cost effective, upperclassmen!


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  16. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    As mentioned, changing roommates every semester is squadron dependent. However, they do take your preferences into consideration (i.e. you and your roommate get along great and you don't want to change.) My DD kept her roommate.

    You will find that there isn't enough pay to cover your books (yes, we got the money call). I'm not sure how it is handled if the cadet can't pay it - I suspect that the money is "loaned", but someone else may know better. Buying books from upperclassmen is cheapest, C-store is most convenient and Amazon is always an option.

    Your pay is automatically deducted for uniforms, haircuts (even if you don't use the service), etc. Not for books, however.
     
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  17. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    Thanks everyone. Your input is very helpful! I asked about the pay issue because we had a different experience with our oldest at CGA. For his first 3 years, the academy deducted all necessary funds for books, uniforms, haircuts, etc. All leftover money was play money. Turns out, the newly minted ensigns got to the fleet and many struggled with budgeting and got into financial trouble. So, my son's 1/c year the academy decided all cadets would receive full pay and be required to budget accordingly for all expenses (maybe not haircuts or dry cleaning?). I think it's great for the cadets to learn early on how to set a budget and live within their means, but it's good for us to be at the ready in case we get the "can't afford my books" call that first semester.

    I'm guessing the academy will have some sort of cadet financial 101 training so that they know what to budget and plan for. Should be interesting!
     
  18. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    They'll be asked to open bank accounts and have the option to get a debit card. Initially DD went with the one that USAFA has them sign up for to get their pay. After a couple of weeks, she switched to USAA and got a secured credit card. Either way works, its all about preferences. There are a few money things that your cadet with have to learn (getting that credit card was a learning experience for DD.) They also have an office to help the cadets with their taxes each year.

    Edit: get ready for that $200+ Chemistry book!
     
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  19. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    Back in the day, roommates were assigned in alphabetical order for basic. We were allowed some say in academic year roommates the first semester, then were randomly switched second semester to mix things up. As has been said for everything, it's squadron dependent. I'm proud that I maintained the same roommate for my last seven semesters at USAFA.

    For stuff to have after basic, I started including things I'd like and need in letters home during July. That way my dad knew what exactly what to bring for A-day.
     
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