Air Force C4C Willing to Answer Questions

I saw a USMA cadet offer a solidarity thread and thought y'all deserve a similar opportunity. I'm only a 4-def but I can give you inside as to how your first will look and some of basic. Therefore, fire away with questions!
 

HardWorker

Member
What was your background going in (academically, physically, military experience) and how did that translate at the academy? Thank you!
 
What was your background going in (academically, physically, military experience) and how did that translate at the academy? Thank you!
Academically: I had a 4.0. My school didn't offer any actual AP courses but did have a few dual credit classes. Even though I didn't get any credits for the dual credit classes, they did help out at the academy. A lot of the info you learn in advanced classes does make class a whole lot easier at USAFA and provides a GPA boost. Btw, try your hardest for a 3.5 GPA so you can take scholars classes. This will give you discussion based classes. By far the hardest aspect of academics is studying. I'd never experienced challenging courses or real studying before getting here so it was a wake up call.

Physically: I ran cross country and track in high school. During my senior year I went to the gym 3 times a week as well to work mostly body weight things. Being able to do push-ups and pull-ups is definitely huge for basic and school year. However, I found the most challenging aspect to be front leaning rest (the up position in a push-up that you'd stay in for long periods of time). The stamina from running definitely paid off in keeping going through the days. However, the real challenge of basic isn't physical but mental perseverance.

Military: I did CAP during freshman and sophomore year of high school. The marching I already knew from this was definitely huge! Also, being able to hold barring was helpful. However, my only military background really was my grandfather, who I unfortunately never got to meet. I knew nothing besides what I saw on this forum!

Ultimately, entering I felt very underprepared for what I was entering. However, you quickly learn that your background doesn't really matter. You'll adjust with your fellow squad mates. Every experience you have will pay off here, some more than others. The best background you can possibly have is a positive attitude. That can get you through anything, including doolie year.
 
This question may be silly, but how long do they usually have you at the front leaning rest position? I'm trying to prepare physically, and it would be of great help if I may have a rough estimate, thanks!
 

tex2021

Proud parent of USAFA C/O 2021
Academically: I had a 4.0. My school didn't offer any actual AP courses but did have a few dual credit classes. Even though I didn't get any credits for the dual credit classes, they did help out at the academy. A lot of the info you learn in advanced classes does make class a whole lot easier at USAFA and provides a GPA boost. Btw, try your hardest for a 3.5 GPA so you can take scholars classes. This will give you discussion based classes. By far the hardest aspect of academics is studying. I'd never experienced challenging courses or real studying before getting here so it was a wake up call.

Physically: I ran cross country and track in high school. During my senior year I went to the gym 3 times a week as well to work mostly body weight things. Being able to do push-ups and pull-ups is definitely huge for basic and school year. However, I found the most challenging aspect to be front leaning rest (the up position in a push-up that you'd stay in for long periods of time). The stamina from running definitely paid off in keeping going through the days. However, the real challenge of basic isn't physical but mental perseverance.

Military: I did CAP during freshman and sophomore year of high school. The marching I already knew from this was definitely huge! Also, being able to hold barring was helpful. However, my only military background really was my grandfather, who I unfortunately never got to meet. I knew nothing besides what I saw on this forum!

Ultimately, entering I felt very underprepared for what I was entering. However, you quickly learn that your background doesn't really matter. You'll adjust with your fellow squad mates. Every experience you have will pay off here, some more than others. The best background you can possibly have is a positive attitude. That can get you through anything, including doolie year.
Could you comment on bringing your own boots for BCT and thereafter. Which make/type do you recommend ?
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
This question may be silly, but how long do they usually have you at the front leaning rest position? I'm trying to prepare physically, and it would be of great help if I may have a rough estimate, thanks!
I love this question and I am curious what it is like now, I have heard things have changed...:)
 

wildblueyonder

USAFA '19
This question may be silly, but how long do they usually have you at the front leaning rest position? I'm trying to prepare physically, and it would be of great help if I may have a rough estimate, thanks!
Don't worry about it. You will be told when you are done. :director:

But seriously--train for it as much as you can. Also recognize, though, that no matter how hard you train, you will never be able to fully prepare for the physical challenges of BCT. What's far more important than how long you can hold the front leaning rest is what you do when you reach your breaking point, because everyone will at some point. Practice pushing through your own breaking point, and it will help you far more than training to hold the front leaning rest for X minutes. Good luck!
 

EfusaurusRex

USAFA '21
This is probably more silly of a question than TheAspiringWon's, but do you know what happens to those cadets who are unlucky enough to have a birthday during BCT? Birthday push-ups or anything like that?:DIt just dawned on me that my birthday is right in the middle of BCT, and now for the first time ever I'm not happy that I have a summer birthday :eek3:
 

USAFA10s

USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB
10-Year Member
Birthday push-ups, birthday songs, the cadre in general having a good time and getting creative. If it's in the middle it won't be bad, it'll add a little comic relief to the day
 
Academically: I had a 4.0. My school didn't offer any actual AP courses but did have a few dual credit classes. Even though I didn't get any credits for the dual credit classes, they did help out at the academy. A lot of the info you learn in advanced classes does make class a whole lot easier at USAFA and provides a GPA boost. Btw, try your hardest for a 3.5 GPA so you can take scholars classes. This will give you discussion based classes. By far the hardest aspect of academics is studying. I'd never experienced challenging courses or real studying before getting here so it was a wake up call.

Physically: I ran cross country and track in high school. During my senior year I went to the gym 3 times a week as well to work mostly body weight things. Being able to do push-ups and pull-ups is definitely huge for basic and school year. However, I found the most challenging aspect to be front leaning rest (the up position in a push-up that you'd stay in for long periods of time). The stamina from running definitely paid off in keeping going through the days. However, the real challenge of basic isn't physical but mental perseverance.

Military: I did CAP during freshman and sophomore year of high school. The marching I already knew from this was definitely huge! Also, being able to hold barring was helpful. However, my only military background really was my grandfather, who I unfortunately never got to meet. I knew nothing besides what I saw on this forum!

Ultimately, entering I felt very underprepared for what I was entering. However, you quickly learn that your background doesn't really matter. You'll adjust with your fellow squad mates. Every experience you have will pay off here, some more than others. The best background you can possibly have is a positive attitude. That can get you through anything, including doolie year.
Yukestrong, do you think your CAP experience help at USAFA? My son, a sophomore, is currently in CAP and is the Squadron Commander and working towards the Billy Mitchell Award.
 
This is probably more silly of a question than TheAspiringWon's, but do you know what happens to those cadets who are unlucky enough to have a birthday during BCT? Birthday push-ups or anything like that?:DIt just dawned on me that my birthday is right in the middle of BCT, and now for the first time ever I'm not happy that I have a summer birthday :eek3:
I actually had my birthday during BCT as well. My suggestion is that you keep it quiet. While your cadre will have paperwork that says your birthday on it, you could possibly slip by. Fortunately my cadre either forgot about it or were being very nice lol. Worst case scenario is a beat session though. However, that beat sess would happen wether it was your bday or not really. It's actually an interesting experience having a birthday in basic. I didn't even realize what day it was until sometime afternoon and the forgot about it about an hour later.
 
Yukestrong, do you think your CAP experience help at USAFA? My son, a sophomore, is currently in CAP and is the Squadron Commander and working towards the Billy Mitchell Award.
Personally, I think the two greatest benefits of CAP were drill and ceremonies and the application process. Drill and ceremonies is pretty self-explanatory. Knowing the basics of marching, customs, and courtesies pays off at the beginning of basic. Everyone gets to the same level very quickly, but it's a little less stress in a very stressful environment. The first couple days are the hardest due to the whole new environment. Therefore, I'd say it just helped make the transition easier.

More importantly, CAP is great during the application process. It looks great on a resume and shows interest in the AF. As well, it provides at least some insight into the military world. As well, a job like Squad Comm will show a capability to lead. Nonetheless, CAP alone won't get anyone into the academy, but that's not a surprise. Lots of people here have a CAP background. In the end, it's another little boost but one that is looked upon fairly highly (especially if you are higher up in the system). HOWEVER, I've always heard the advice that upon receiving an appointment one should keep CAP fairly quiet. Be proud of your accomplishments but don't flaunt CAP. It's a totally different world and some cadets aren't necessarily supporters of the program. Yet, many are. If it's important to you, don't hide that aspect of your life from squad mates but do hide it from cadre.
 
Could you comment on bringing your own boots for BCT and thereafter. Which make/type do you recommend ?
I did not bring boots with me to basic. Different years have very different experiences with the boot situation. I got a pair before basic, ran in them, and just got used to the feel a bit. Then, following basic, I had them shipped out here and enjoyed the lighter pair. I'd say it's about 50/50 on people bringing boots. I by no means think it's bad to bring boots. I will say that you'll get a better ab workout with basic boots over your own lol. As well, don't expect to wear the same pair of boots that you wear in basic. It definitely takes a toll on them.
 

AFrpaso

USAFA Alumnus
5-Year Member
Personally, I think the two greatest benefits of CAP were drill and ceremonies and the application process. Drill and ceremonies is pretty self-explanatory. Knowing the basics of marching, customs, and courtesies pays off at the beginning of basic. Everyone gets to the same level very quickly, but it's a little less stress in a very stressful environment. The first couple days are the hardest due to the whole new environment. Therefore, I'd say it just helped make the transition easier.

More importantly, CAP is great during the application process. It looks great on a resume and shows interest in the AF. As well, it provides at least some insight into the military world. As well, a job like Squad Comm will show a capability to lead. Nonetheless, CAP alone won't get anyone into the academy, but that's not a surprise. Lots of people here have a CAP background. In the end, it's another little boost but one that is looked upon fairly highly (especially if you are higher up in the system). HOWEVER, I've always heard the advice that upon receiving an appointment one should keep CAP fairly quiet. Be proud of your accomplishments but don't flaunt CAP. It's a totally different world and some cadets aren't necessarily supporters of the program. Yet, many are. If it's important to you, don't hide that aspect of your life from squad mates but do hide it from cadre.
The reason things like CAP and JROTC are generally looked down upon is because there have been appointees with a CAP and/or JROTC background who act entitled. Some think that they are better than their peers and even the cadre. The simple fact is that programs like CAP and JROTC do give an advantage during BCT. Military related knowledge, uniform wear, drill, and other things generally come a little easier to the CAP/JROTC kids. This advantage will disappear as the weeks progress and everyone else 'catches up'. If you have a CAP/JROTC background, then I implore you to stay humble and use your experience to lift the performance of your flight as a whole.

This goes for any prior-enlisted and ROTC appointees as well. Good luck!
 

Hoodlum15

Member
I didn't bring boots and I regretted it. I strongly recommend you get a light pair of boots and break them in before basic. They'll be way easier to run and exercise in and they will probably fit better. People will tell you to make sure you stay in the boot warehouse long enough to make sure they fit and last year I thought "well yeah" but in the moment it's stressful and a lot of people get the wrong sized boot.

In reference to the front leaning rest, don't be surprised if a half an hour passes. ;)
 
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