AFROTC LEAD Questions

larrygettingmarried

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Jul 26, 2017
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Please help. My fiancé is in the AFROTC and left for the LEAD program last Wednesday 7/16 (MAX 6? Is what that's called? Maybe?) and I have had no contact with him since. Is that normal? I'm so new to this and have no idea how any of this works. Does anyone know when they will be moving to Shelby? I've read that there may be a graduation of some sort? Can someone please share some knowledge or advice with me? Unless they aren't allowing him to write, this is very out of character for him and I'm starting to get worried. Thanks in advance and no negativity please. I'm just trying to learn. This is a whole new world for me that I am trying to adjust to.
 

Capt MJ

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Please help. My fiancé is in the AFROTC and left for the LEAD program last Wednesday 7/16 (MAX 6? Is what that's called? Maybe?) and I have had no contact with him since. Is that normal? I'm so new to this and have no idea how any of this works. Does anyone know when they will be moving to Shelby? I've read that there may be a graduation of some sort? Can someone please share some knowledge or advice with me? Unless they aren't allowing him to write, this is very out of character for him and I'm starting to get worried. Thanks in advance and no negativity please. I'm just trying to learn. This is a whole new world for me that I am trying to adjust to.

I am sure others with experience of this program themselves or through their sons or daughters will comment.

There are official and unofficial links about this program, but I think the LEAD program is the most easily understood here in a general way:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Reserve_Officer_Training_Corps

I just felt for you, knowing you have likely seen each other/talked/texted every day, and now, zip. He is in a busy, competitive environment, with limited personal time. Do your best to not fill the blank spaces with negative conjecture, and in the meantime, live your own life. Be busy, productive, physically and mentally active. Be your own independent person, proactive and not reactive. Make your own happiness. Consider this good training for marrying a military person. They will be out of touch sometimes, they will be preoccupied with the mission, you may not be the first thing on their minds at some moments, though they love you. You can drive yourself crazy or you can get on with living life.

When you do get to talk to him, be positive and supportive. He is learning how this works too and may feel pressured. Now is not the time to add to that. Well before his next away training period, that is the time to talk about communications needs. As someone who was military married to military, with deployments, separate duty stations and all manner of "dark and silent" periods, I learned that expectations, needs and assumptions do not necessarily match on both sides. From that can grow arguments, resentment, misunderstanding and erosion of love. It takes good, respectful listening - and actual hearing - open non-blaming discussion - no expectation of mind-reading - to build the basis of a solid communication pattern. This is the glue that will hold you together through tough times, when the rainbows and unicorns phase seems to have faded. Two-way trust is also key. You have to trust he will contact you when he can. He has to trust that you will be fine while he's gone. This engagement period during his AFROTC training is a gift - a practice run for the realities ahead.

Let's hope @Pima and others with great experience and insight chime in.

PS. Our 35th anniversary is approaching. We still work on communications but know we will get through it.
 

Pima

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MJ is correct they are busy. I would not think anything about it. Chances are he will not call you until the day before the graduation because they will not receive their phones back until that point. They take their phones on the day they report. I believe they have changed the graduation ceremony, but even if they haven't unless you live close by in my opinion it is not worth the travel. It really isn't a big thing and most cadets would be happy to leave earlier than to do the graduation. Very very very few people go to the graduation.
~ In all of my yrs here I think maybe 1 or 2 posters on this board have attended the graduation and that was because they lived close enough by to drive.

I agree with MJ that this is the simplest trial you will go through. Trust us there will be many TDYs and deployments throughout the course of his career, be it 4 yrs or 20.
 

Robuxes

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Jul 27, 2017
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Are we the same person? My fiancé left that same day for LEAD and he's also in MAX 6. I have sent three letters already and one of them with extra stamps and envelopes and no response yet. I was able to find a copy of the Field Training manual online and I checked the mail section and they should be receiving mail daily as it is picked up daily. I will continue sending letters, even if he doesn't respond I want to encourage him. I did read in the manual that mail shouldn't be sent seven days before their expected return.
 

zrxkuma

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Nov 2, 2012
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LEAD has been significantly condensed this year, almost by half. That means the "free time" time they may have had last year is now obsorbed by "mission requirements". As the others have stated, they are working hard and spending what time they have either studying, cleaning, polishing, or helping their fellow cadets who are not up to speed. I understand your concern regarding this new dynamic, but I agree with "MJ" on this being your time to grow and understand life on your side of the military life. I applaud your support for your cadets and the fact that you're sending encouragement down the line. It takes a special person to be married to military. Ask questions, believe in yourself and believe in your spouse/fiance.
 

blueandgold19

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Nov 12, 2014
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I was at MAX 4. In my experience, mail was less than snails pace. I received a letter 10 days after it was written, so even a letter sent last Wednesday still may have not reached him yet. And try not to worry if nothing comes back. The 16 hr days are chock full, and most of the time I had trouble finding time to write the 5 line journals our CTAs wanted, much less a letter to a SO. I didn't write home, but anything you send them will help a lot. I guarantee it!

Graduation is no longer public, just a short "ceremony" at Shelby. MAXs used to go back to Maxwell to graduate after Shelby, but now they will take buses to New Orleans Airport and just fly out.
 

Humey

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My son went last year. It seems like the mail we sent out was received quicker than the mail he sent to us. Dont be surprised if you receive several at the same time or within a short period of each other. He wont be able to call you until the last night as they took his phone from him
 

larrygettingmarried

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Jul 26, 2017
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Thank y'all so so so much. It sounds wrong, but I feel so much better knowing he's too busy, honestly. I was scared something may have happened (I'm not sure what could have happened. Lol Maybe scared he was being disciplined or was too stressed?) When do I need to start addressing letters to Shelby instead of Maxwell? And where can I find that address?
 

blueandgold19

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Nov 12, 2014
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The address remains the same. I believe that they have a runner to travel from Shelby to Maxwell and back to pick up mail every day or every couple of days.
 

Pima

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It is the same address. Honestly he has 2 weeks down and probably only a week to go. You might want to stop mailing him in the next few days because by the time he gets it he will be on his way home.

OOPS xposted.
 

larrygettingmarried

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Jul 26, 2017
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Are we the same person? My fiancé left that same day for LEAD and he's also in MAX 6. I have sent three letters already and one of them with extra stamps and envelopes and no response yet. I was able to find a copy of the Field Training manual online and I checked the mail section and they should be receiving mail daily as it is picked up daily. I will continue sending letters, even if he doesn't respond I want to encourage him. I did read in the manual that mail shouldn't be sent seven days before their expected return.

Awh! What flight is your fiancé in?
 

COAFROTCMom

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Jun 20, 2017
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My DD was Max 3 this year. She didn't even take envelopes or stamps with her. We had a discussion about how much time and energy she would have for letter writing and I told her to not worry about it. It wasn't easy because I wanted to know how she was doing, but I took the approach that no news is good news (and it was as she made SP in her flight). He is on the last leg now and will be home in a week loaded with stores and successful smiles.
 

luluarnold

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Jan 12, 2015
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My DS is at Max 6 as well. They are at Camp Shelby at this point and recommended not to send any mail. I did finally get a letter yesterday, however I never expected it lol. It was written on day 7 and received yesterday so it takes a few days to get it. We discussed it before he left and told him I understood if he couldn't write and no pressure. As a mom I did try to make it as simple as possible and already addressed the envelope and stamped it just in case he wanted to jot a quick note back to us. So needless to say I was a very happy and shocked mom when I got his note. He stated it was very hectic and barely had time to write and you could tell it was written very very quickly. Had I not pre-addressed the envelope, I don't think he would have taken the time to do it lol. Can't wait to hear all his stories when he gets home! :)
 

Humey

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Jun 21, 2016
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My DS is at Max 6 as well. They are at Camp Shelby at this point and recommended not to send any mail. I did finally get a letter yesterday, however I never expected it lol. It was written on day 7 and received yesterday so it takes a few days to get it. We discussed it before he left and told him I understood if he couldn't write and no pressure. As a mom I did try to make it as simple as possible and already addressed the envelope and stamped it just in case he wanted to jot a quick note back to us. So needless to say I was a very happy and shocked mom when I got his note. He stated it was very hectic and barely had time to write and you could tell it was written very very quickly. Had I not pre-addressed the envelope, I don't think he would have taken the time to do it lol. Can't wait to hear all his stories when he gets home! :)
Well at least your son knew he could write home. My son had no idea and was only able to write home because someone in his group gave him stamps and writing paper
 

luluarnold

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Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
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My DS is at Max 6 as well. They are at Camp Shelby at this point and recommended not to send any mail. I did finally get a letter yesterday, however I never expected it lol. It was written on day 7 and received yesterday so it takes a few days to get it. We discussed it before he left and told him I understood if he couldn't write and no pressure. As a mom I did try to make it as simple as possible and already addressed the envelope and stamped it just in case he wanted to jot a quick note back to us. So needless to say I was a very happy and shocked mom when I got his note. He stated it was very hectic and barely had time to write and you could tell it was written very very quickly. Had I not pre-addressed the envelope, I don't think he would have taken the time to do it lol. Can't wait to hear all his stories when he gets home! :)
Well at least your son knew he could write home. My son had no idea and was only able to write home because someone in his group gave him stamps and writing paper
 

luluarnold

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Jan 12, 2015
Messages
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Yes I've heard of stories like that so I sent him with extra stamps and envelopes in case someone else needed some. I would feel so bad if someone wanted to write home but forgot to bring those items and couldn't.
 
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