From a Zeamer: In Basic, FIRST BEAST: BOOTS: buy some Belleville 650’s and wear them prior to basic. Find out where you will bet blisters, and put duck tape on the inside of the boots. I got really bad blisters on my heels from the seams along the back of the boot, but I also ran a few times for about two miles in them to know this. You will run in your boots at some point, so get used to it. The boots they issue here are cheap and heavy, they give even worse blisters than the Bellevilles. The most debilitating issue for a new cadet is blisters as you spend a majority of your time in boots and your feet will have little time to breath. Compressions shorts, compression shorts, compression shorts! Yes, even for the girls, they will save your life when you first get your ABU’s and they are all stiff. There is no rule against having them (just make sure they are white or black, put the last four of your social on them), as it is not worth having thigh-chafing. Make sure to have an inseam less than 6inches. About colored underwear: Girls, they really don’t mind and they are not going to check. Obviously, don’t go extreme, stay conservative in color choices. The reason they say white is that clothes do not get washed, they get boiled in super huge machines, and they don’t want colors to fade or run. Get to Colorado Springs a few days before in-processing to get used to the altitude. Yes, the 7,258 feet above sea level will really get you the first couple days. The headaches of altitude sickness stinks, so minimizing the effects of it are suggested Have your parents and friends mail you letters a few days before basic starts, this way you have some mail to open when your cadre take you to the mail room for the first time. You can have printed pics and comics and other fun stuff on the back of your letters. I suggest having your parents type letters and put jokes/funny sayings/inspirational words on the back. Share your letters with your fellow freshmen when you get the chance, it will make everybody’s day better. Establish your Armed Forces Bank charge card BEFORE coming to basic, you will not have time during basic and you will need the money for cleaning supplies at the cadet store. Bring cash with you, it is also valid currency at the cadet store, and you can expect to spend at least twenty to thirty dollars on cleaning supplies (vacuum/iron/iron-board/ect.) The cadet store will also charge you a random $45 for any “cleaning supplies” left in your room and some of the misc. toiletries you were issued upon your first purchse. Do not depend on protein powders or energy foods like power bars before coming to basic. I had the worst with-drawl the first couple weeks because I had become used to drinking protein shakes and eating power bars after my workouts. The same goes with coffee or monster or other energy supplements. Do not sit down in your rooms, we had an entire training session because we got caught sitting in our rooms. If you can disguise kneeling as praying, try it. In Basic, JACKS VALLEY Be sure to pack sunscreen, burnt basics are the worst. Pack extra clothes in your duffle bag the night before the march to JV, you do not have to carry your rucksack for three miles to JV, it gets put in a truck and driven to where your tent is. Bring cash to JV for rodeo day. The food at the rodeo is not mitch’s and is amazing (ice cream, hamburgers, turkey legs, ect.) and they let you buy as much as you can eat. Trains in JV come every two hours, you go to bed at 2200 and wake up at 0600. Figure this out. Get the tent guard to wake you up prior to the cadre bus coming and waking you up. Tent guards have a watch. In Basic, In General: If you are ever offered candy by somebody other than cadre (such as at the tailor shop) take it and eat it. Don’t bring any evidence to the dorms, but when offered anything not mitch’s take it. If you are at the airfield or the rodeo or somewhere and you are offered a phone call to your parents for even two minutes, take the opportunity. You may feel guilty at first, but I had the opportunity and didn’t take it, and I regret it as I could have told my parents that everything was alright and I was doing fine. Girls, figure out how to do your hair in a bun BEFORE in-processing day. I had a problem with putting my hair in a bun so they had to cut my hair short on in-processing day. This really freaked me out as I thought that I looked like a boy, and made my in-processing day a lot more stressful. On the plus side, if you do cut your hair short, you will not have to worry about it falling out in JV during the assult course and it will take less time to wash in the shower. Get to in-processing early. Unless you want to be yelled at longer or possibly stuck on the bus for multiple trips (yes the cadre do this), I advise getting to in-processing when it opens. You cannot avoid the inevitable, so just do it. Mom and Dad will deal with it. In-processing within the first few bus loads guarantees that you will have plenty of time to get all your stuff issued and inventoried. Learn how to report in: Sir/Ma'am, Basic Cadet Name reports as ordered. Learn how to ask questions: Cadet Name, Pardon me please Sir/Ma'am. Basic Cadet Name reports as ordered. Sir/Ma'am may I ask a question? Practice your salute prior to entering on in-processing. My squadron actually had a salute test and I failed miserably. Have your parents come up for acceptance day. This will be an all around good experience even though you cannot go off base and only have about three hours with family. Seeing your parents after basic ends is comforting; a lot of people use acceptance day to go and buy books at the c-store. You will have plenty of time to do this later. SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY. Your parents can also bring you the necessary supplies you will need for the school year. A good idea is to buy binders, notebooks, pens, and other school items before entering basic and then have your parents bring them up on acceptance day. Have your parents buy you a BROTHER brand printer and set it up on acceptance day. It will save your life when you have to print the syllabi for all your classes as the ink is sold in the c-store and only costs twelve dollars a cartridge. Finally, have your parents bring you storage boxes for food. All snacks and food in the dorms has to be stored in bins.