A Parent's Guide to Year One at USAFA

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Daretodream, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. whataride

    whataride Member

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    I'll preface this with the fact that my former Army Ranger husband answered this question with "NFW" - but he also didn't attend an SA so I thought I'd go ahead and ask the "experts". How exactly does the leave process work? Is there even a possibility of such a thing as a 4*? We have the opportunity to attend an event as a family every other April. In a perfect world, we are there Wednesday -Sunday evening. I have no illusions that DS would be able to be there for the entire event this year (which is likely the last time we'll be able to go because my mother is 97), but I'm wondering if there is any possibility that he'd be able to earn leave or otherwise be able to attend?
     
  2. 0302grnt

    0302grnt Member

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    What is the event? (USAFA is really good about getting cadets to weddings and funerals.)
     
  3. whataride

    whataride Member

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    Well (obviously) it's not a funeral - although that's good to know. We have had family tickets to the Masters for over 40 years. They are my parents' tickets and will disappear when my mother (97) passes away (dad died several years ago). We get together as a family there every other year - it's the only time we all clear the calendar for this reunion. Every year we wonder if it will be the last time we can share this event and spend time with my mom. I'm guessing that this won't likely receive the same priority as a wedding or funeral - but frankly, in our family, it's right up there. My naive and uneducated thought is that if there is ANY room for eventual consideration, I didn't want him to "use up" any potential leave or largess that might otherwise go toward this opportunity. Am I truly crazy?
     
  4. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    These documents may also be helpful - https://www.usafa.edu/app/uploads/Parent-BCT-Infograph-info.pdf and https://www.usafa.edu/app/uploads/BCT_2018_Edition.pdf.
     
  5. whataride

    whataride Member

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    This is great! Thank you so much
     
  6. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    I have never understood booking flights and hotels to see a cadet on "A" Day. You see the cadet at I Day, at Parents Weekend, at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring break, and after classes end during the summer. That's seeing your kid six times in a calendar year.

    A-Day you might get 2 hours with them if you're lucky. Even if you have the money, it might be overkill. Some parents will comment that it's totally worth it. That it was a special time with their cast. Sometimes parents are needier than the kids. Doolie year is a time to separate, to learn to take care of themselves and to develop survival skills and independence. So many parents try to visit on weekends, and some have even leased or bought homes to be near their kid during the academic year. You know, the same ones that went to the prom with their DS/DD.

    Don't feel bad if you cant afford it. Separation once on active duty is a given. We all need to get used to it. Now all of this is IMO. I'm sure it will rankle some of you. Sorry.
     
  7. whataride

    whataride Member

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    You make some great points. In my case - we live in the Denver area (no, we didn't move here to be close to DS - we've been here 20+ years) and, as strange as it might seem, I'm just interested in the experience of A-Day. If we are able to make contact with DS that day, all the better. But that's not my primary motivation.
     
  8. BlueStar

    BlueStar Member

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    I agree with Maplerock's second paragraph in terms of needing to separate. That is incredibly important for parents to realize and help put into practice, from the beginning.

    As far as visiting on A-Day, I also agree you shouldn't feel bad if you can't make it. Personally, I am glad I was able to be there.

    As far as seeing your cadets "X" times in a calendar year or during every break...well, I guess it all depends on the activities your cadets are involved in/opportunities they take advantage of. Between ds and dd combined, they have "missed" Parents' Weekend, Thanksgiving, Spring Break, and Summer breaks, because of great opportunities they have pursued. As parents, we couldn't be more thrilled for them, and have been completely supportive of their decisions!!

    I guess I just don't want 2022er parents to assume that their future cadets will be home/available during the normal break times. Many of them won't be, because of internship/academic/special programs they pursue to further their education---things they cannot possibly anticipate now. Root them on and be excited that those opportunities are abundant at USAFA!!!
     
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  9. FMHS-79

    FMHS-79 Parent

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    +1 @Maplerock @BlueStar

    We started the year assuming that we would not be able to see our DS except during the posted leave periods (and those periods were not guaranteed).

    On a related tangent -- I encountered a class of 2021 parent in early October who was upset that they had flown out to Colorado to see their cadet only to find out that the doolies were restricted and unable to leave campus that weekend. IMHO, resist the temptation to drop in on your cadet - this is not the typical college experience and their availability will be very limited (especially up through recognition).
     
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  10. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB 10-Year Member

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    I would give this a decent chance depending on how the first year goes. April is post recognition and second semester, so if your DS is a rockstar that first semester with good grades/Pt scores/military performance, it is possible an AOC (the officer in charge of the squadron) will allow it, especially if it involves missing no or very few classes (over a weekend), however it is certainly not a guarantee and something that I’d recommend bringing up early second semester if the First went well. If your DS is on or close to being on any probation (academic, physical or military) then it’s a definite no. My info could be outdated but AOCs are usually pretty understanding and will try to help a cadet in good standing make it to important events, although this is definitely pushing it.
     
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  11. 2021mom

    2021mom Member

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    +1 for USAFA10s. We had a family event (not a wedding or a funeral) in May and our 2021 DS was able to get a pass for the weekend. He waited til post recognition to even ask, though.
     
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  12. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    The weekend is likely possible (assuming no major events scheduled then). Getting days off from the academic schedule is more difficult.
     
  13. whataride

    whataride Member

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    Thank you to everyone for the responses. I've shared them with DS whose initial reaction was "Well, my goal was to achieve rockstar status anyway - now I have another reason to reach the goal." He knows it's not a given, but it's good to know that there is a slim possibility to make it work.
     
  14. 0302grnt

    0302grnt Member

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    Plus . . . there's a better than 50% chance his AOC is a golfer -- this is the Air Force we're talking about!
     
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