2021 Winter Break Schedule

graceelizabeth51

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May 3, 2020
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Hello! I hope everyone is doing well.

I am trying to plan a trip around Christmas 2021. I am currently an applicant to USAFA; I'm not admitted yet (fingers crossed I get a waiver) but I just want to make sure everything I'm planning would not be an issue if I went to the Academy.

The trip I am planning is from December 19-31 2021. From looking at past USAFA academic calendars, I believe this should work. It seems as if there is usually 2-2.5 weeks after Thanksgiving break and before winter break. I was hoping others could also share their opinion as whether or not I could plan a trip for these dates. I know no one can know for certain (I am reaching out to the Academy directly as well), but sometimes the wealth of information on this forum surprises me. I am not expecting any concrete answers, but any insight is welcomed. Thank you!
 

f4fwildcatfm2

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Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
75
Hey! Doolie here.

Officially, everybody is going to tell you each year is different.
Unofficially I'm pretty sure that would work because we're normally let out after our last in person final. In my case last semester our last finals were Dec 11 and we were supposed to come back Jan 3-4 (it changed due to covid). With the buffer time you've given yourself you should be good. Of course next year could be different so don't take my words as gospel truth and have a backup plan. But I'm pretty sure you'll get out before then and not have to be back until after New Years.

Good luck! Wish you the best on your application journey
 

dah19

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Feb 22, 2019
Messages
201
Also remember if you are planning a trip out of the country, that requires asking permission with paperwork. I know my son would like to plan a trip to visit his grandfather in France and he said he would have to fill out some forms. It could always be denied.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
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Also remember if you are planning a trip out of the country, that requires asking permission with paperwork. I know my son would like to plan a trip to visit his grandfather in France and he said he would have to fill out some forms. It could always be denied.
I didn't know that. My parents live in Okinawa. I wonder if they would deny that request because of COVID.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
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Sep 27, 2008
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I didn't know that. My parents live in Okinawa. I wonder if they would deny that request because of COVID.
Once you raise your right hand, you are subject to DOD and Air Force travel policy, which can be fluid at times, driven by security risks to military members and situations such as COVID. Military members require special leave papers for international travel.

Whatever you do, plan for flexibility and refundability.

Travel policies with regard to required COVID tests, vaccination status, etc., are still evolving. If an airline requires you to have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of flying, is that doable for a USAFA cadet in their first year? If you’re going to Okinawa from the U.S., what restrictions might apply from the Okinawa end? Leisure travelers from the U.S. are currently locked out of many countries. It’s very difficult to see what the ground rules will be at the end of 2021.

I only bring these up because you have to bring your planning and research skills to bear, and you are smart to start early. USAFA probably cannot definitively tell you an answer right now either. They are having to make the best decisions they can with the information at hand. The health and welfare of the command as a whole will always come first.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
14
Once you raise your right hand, you are subject to DOD and Air Force travel policy, which can be fluid at times, driven by security risks to military members and situations such as COVID. Military members require special leave papers for international travel.

Whatever you do, plan for flexibility and refundability.

Travel policies with regard to required COVID tests, vaccination status, etc., are still evolving. If an airline requires you to have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of flying, is that doable for a USAFA cadet in their first year? If you’re going to Okinawa from the U.S., what restrictions might apply from the Okinawa end? Leisure travelers from the U.S. are currently locked out of many countries. It’s very difficult to see what the ground rules will be at the end of 2021.

I only bring these up because you have to bring your planning and research skills to bear, and you are smart to start early. USAFA probably cannot definitively tell you an answer right now either. They are having to make the best decisions they can with the information at hand. The health and welfare of the command as a whole will always come first.
You're very right. I just have to hope and pray for the best and accept whatever comes.
 

Bigrod

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Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
135
No, because you're leaving the country to visit family, they will approve your request.
That’s not true. Last year when COVID hit the international students were not allowed to leave to go home. Like has been said before, things are very fluid right now but I definitely wouldn’t expect to get leave for a vacation that is out of country right now.
 

current_cadet

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Feb 15, 2021
Messages
11
That’s not true. Last year when COVID hit the international students were not allowed to leave to go home. Like has been said before, things are very fluid right now but I definitely wouldn’t expect to get leave for a vacation that is out of country right now.
Do you know if it is for specific countries because I know several cadets who were allowed to go to Germany, Japan, etc. The only people that I know that couldn't go out of the country were international cadets because they were afraid if they caught COVID they couldn't come back.
 

Bigrod

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May 19, 2019
Messages
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All I know for sure is last March during first day of recognition all cadets were told to leave within 24 hours to go home. Only seniors stayed to graduate on time and International cadets stayed as well. All others went home and were not allowed to go more than 50 miles away from home. I don’t see how anyone went to Germany, Japan etc as you say. During winter break I believe the mileage was increased to 150 miles but that still doesn’t get you overseas and why would anyone do that knowing they may not be allowed back for possible travel bans.
 

BuckeyeDad20

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Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
193
I would posit that travel rules for 2021 Winter Break are no where close to being known so don't make any definitive plans if possible. If I were to place a bet, given the current trajectory of COVID, vaccinations, etc, I imagine 2021 Winter break will be like 2019 and earlier and those rules would apply. BUT, COVID status can change and USAF and USAFA also change and all three change at varying rates so no way to say what the rules will be for Winter 2021.
 
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