Tips for BCT?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Hoff2012, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Hoff2012

    Hoff2012 New Member

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    Do any grads or current cadets have any tips for BCT that they would like to share? Anything they wish they had known on I-day?
     
  2. cadet15

    cadet15 Member

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    This was one that I got from an '83 grad: Laugh at something everyday. It is basic and you are going to be wrong. People are going to say and do stupid things because basics don't know any better. At some point in the day, you or someone in your flight will have done or said something stupid. Every night before you go to bed, find something to laugh at and realize you are one day closer to being done with basic. Those are the memories you are going to have from basic, not the rest of the stuff. If you don't reflect on it and laugh, you are missing out on a good show.
     
  3. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    The best advice my dad (also a USAFA grad) gave me before I left: "The days are long, but the weeks are short."

    Put yourself in the mindset of living meal to meal, ie "I'll just make it to breakfast" or "I just have to get to dinner." During basic, it can be very tough to keep going when you think "it's going to be like this for another __ days." Living in the moment, or meal to meal, will prevent you from getting overwhelmed with thoughts of what is still to come.

    In 1st BCT, find a way to calm and "recenter" yourself when you are allowed to go back to your room. For me, this was washing my face. Usually, you'll return to your room after being physically trained, yelled at for your inability to follow simple instructions, and stressed to the max. You'll be frazzled, confused, down on yourself, and exhausted. Take a moment to separate yourself from the stress, calm down, and then put your "game face" back on.

    Your classmates are everything; you will succeed and fail together. This is initially a tough one for many basic cadets, because to get into the academy you have to be very successful individually. During basic, the game changes. You will not only be responsible for your own appearance, knowledge, and military bearing, but also for your classmates and specifically, your roommate. For example, lets say you fall out for formation with a perfect uniform, but your roommate's nametag is on the wrong side of his shirt. He will be punished for wearing an incorrect uniform, and you will be punished for not checking him before you left.

    You are not alone. Feeling alone is tough, especially during the first week of basic. You don't know anyone in your flight, you're tired, you can't do anything right, the cadre are constantly at you for minute things, and it's hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Just remember that 1000 of your classmates are going through the same thing, and feeling the same way you do. As basic goes on, you will find that the shared hardship bonds you to your flight-mates like nothing else can.
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I heard if you wear a Superman T-shirt when you report, or one that says something about being the "Push-up champion of Old-Town High School" the cadre will leave you alone and go after someone else.
     
  5. sportsmom10

    sportsmom10 ProudFalcomMom2016

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    I would have to say that both of you have provided excellent responses to the question asked. I guess each person going through basic has to realize that everyone is feeling the same things. It is probably the first time many are on their own without their parents, siblings, or even friends. Hopefully with all the social networks out there, many have an opportunity to at least reach out and try to get to know each other to some degree. Just be careful what is written on the internet. Word has it that the cadre look in to facebook and other social networks. Be smart, after all, if you didn't have a head on your shoulders, you probably wouldn't be reporting for BCT!! Good Luck to all appointees for the class of 2016!!!:thumb:
     
  6. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA '17

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    Falcongirl hit the nail on the head.

    I'm only familiar with the enlisted BMT, which adds 3 weeks to the program, but I'm sure there are many similarities. Living chow to chow is some of the best advice I was given and can give. Also, suck up any personal entitlement you may have and just do what they tell you. If you actually care about the program and move with a sense of urgency, then you will excel.
     
  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Don't Give Up!

    The cadre aren't your enemy. They may be tough, but they are there to train you.
     
  8. airman

    airman Member

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    Living chow to chow is the best advice anyone will ever give you. Focus on what you gotta do now, cause looking at the big picture will overwhelm you.
     
  9. Liberator45

    Liberator45 Member

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    Living meal to meal is probably the best advice. Also, get really good at pushups and flutterkicks.

    What was said earlier about the days are long but the weeks are short is completely accurate. I can still hardly believe that Recognition has passed and my freshman year is almost over. This place is really great when the freshman training is behind you.

    But if you show up on I-day with your immediate goal being Recognition or Graduation you are looking way too far ahead and basic cadet training will discourage you. So focus on making it to the next meal and never forget how you felt when you received your acceptance letter.
     
  10. LFry94

    LFry94 USAFA C1C '17

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    I sense slight bits of trickery and deception here.
     
  11. AFAYahoo

    AFAYahoo Member

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    As prep for BCT:
    Run, run, run, do some flutterkicks and pushups, and run some more. Being in decent shape will help. Remember most basics will be at a much higher altitude than they are used to, which will affect endurance etc.

    Don't take all the yelling personally. The cadre will find something to yell at you (and everyone else) about. Sounds silly, but practice maintaining a straight face (military bearing) when getting yelled at--no smiling, crying, or arguing back. That will lead to more yelling.

    I like what falcongirl said about recentering yourself. Whether you wash your face, say a quick prayer, or give yourself a quiet pep talk, this is an impt. skill for BCT and any tough situation you could find yourself in.

    If it gets so tough that you think you want to quit, give yourself a timeline to reconsider. Make it through the weekend, and re-evaluate, or make it to the next meal and re-evaluate. Moods will fluctuate wildly during BCT. Don't let any one bad experience be the deciding factor for you--look at the whole picture and your ultimate goal of the AFA/Air Force. Its not going to be a walk in the park, but there will be bright spots here and there.

    And LFry94, you're a smart cookie. Hopefully no one will bite on Luigi's wardrobe advice!
     
  12. jlo

    jlo Member

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    BMT

    when i was in BMT, our motto was:

    Live Chow to Chow- Sunday to Sunday

    Meals were our only downtime, even though they were 8 minutes long. We were zombie mode between meals, glassy eyed and just going through the motions.

    Sundays were the only days we got to listen to music (in church) and have a little time to relax. we always kept those times and days in mind, and it makes a day short and a week even shorter
     
  13. goldenlion

    goldenlion Member

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    Someone told DD the other day that they are no longer making you do pullups before meals. Maybe while you are on the hill, but I can't believe while in Jacks Valley they aren't doing this any longer. Please tell me this ain't so!!!!
     
  14. goldenlion

    goldenlion Member

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    Advice...don't call a "sir" a "ma'am" or a "ma'am" a "sir".
     
  15. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Ha! Our son did just that once, and had to call the "Ma'am's" father back home in Nebraska and apologize to him for calling his daughter a "Sir".

    Stealth_81
     
  16. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    If you walk out your door in the morning and see your fellow squadmates doing pushups, don't just walk by since it's "not your problem." Get right down and do them, too.

    And in Luigi's spirit, I suggest wearing your favorite "Go Navy!" shirt to I-Day. You'll be a favorite!

    and make sure your mommy and girlfriend know to send your mail in bright pink envelopes with purple and green marker and butterfly stickers. That should keep you out of harms way with cadre. :)
     
  17. cadet15

    cadet15 Member

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    Ah cadre favorites of "Ma'am, you are a ma'am, not a sir, ma'am, one ma'am" push ups. To go along with that, if you don't know how to greet a cadre fully or properly and they are not a part of your immediate staff, just say good morning/afternoon/evening sir/ma'am. Don't only give just first name and last name. We had the fight next to us do that out in Jacks and they got to do, "Sir, you are a sir, not a bro sir, one sir" push ups which was a classic. Respect is key.
     
  18. 2bornot2b

    2bornot2b Member

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    get a T-shirt printed with a picture of Zack Mayo and the quote "I wanna fly jets, Sir!". That way the cadre will know how motivated you are.
     
  19. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    On the serious side - for female Basics -- there were several good threads last year concerning hair, make up, clothing, etc. on I Day. Maybe someone who knows how -- could bring those forward. In particular, there was good information about hair length -- and whether to keep your hair long, cut it before I Day, etc. If I remember correctly, the advice was (for the most part) keep your hair long enough to put up in a bun and report to IDay having practiced how to get your hair into a bun. There will be an opportunity for female Basics to show upperclassmen Cadets that they can get their hair into a regulation bun within the time allotted. My daughter, now a C2C, worked at the hair table last year -- she was able to teach most female Basics how to get their hair into a regulation bun without them having to have their hair cut (I believe unusually long or thick hair was the exception) -- the decision as to whether a female Basic's hair has to be cut is made by a Master Sargeant (not by the upperclass cadets). Come to I Day with your hair pulled back into a pony tail and for obvious reasons, don't bleach or dye your hair some weird color before you report. For females, there is no reason to wear make up to I Day. You will draw negative attention. Tight or revealing tops, shorts, etc. will also draw negative attention; cover up appropriately.
     
  20. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    Dodean is correct. Additionally, make sure you are not wearing any nail polish, toepolish, jewelry, etc to I-day. The goal is to be a "stealth cadet" and draw no (additional) personal attention. Ladies, if you have any specific questions feel free to pm me.
     

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