The purpose of this guide is to provide some advice on how to reduce the stress and worry of coming to Basic and to get the most out of your training. In Basic, In General: • If you are ever offered food by somebody other than cadre (such as at the tailor shop) take it, eat it, and enjoy it. • Some people will offer you phones and if you are allowed to, use the phone to call your parents. I had the opportunity and didn’t take it because I did not whether it was allowed or not. 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 JVduring the assault course and it will take less time to wash in the shower. • Girls: Bring all the hair clips and bobby pins you think you will need. You have to keep your hair secure at all times and out of your face. When they cut my hair short my biggest problem was it falling into my face during training sessions. Clips (those black berette type) will stop this and prevent cadre from yelling at you to secure your hair. • Learn how to report in: Sir/Ma'am, Basic Cadet Your Name reports as ordered. • Learn how to ask questions: Cadet Name, Pardon me please Sir/Ma'am. Basic Cadet Your Name reports as ordered. Sir/Ma'am may I ask a question? • Practice your salute prior to entering on in-processing. • You have to know your staff lists! For any new cadre you meet, stop and write down their name, rank, and job title. You are required to greet all cadre. This will help you in the long run if that cadre decides to walk through a training session. Greet as loud as you can, your voice will get hoarse at some point in Basic. Many times the cadre will get tired of the loudness and let you pass with no issues. • Use intramurals as a chance to get to know other squadrons or as a chance, in my case, to go to the bathroom without a time crunch. • If you feel sick: go to sick call. Do not try to suck it up as this could make things worse. It is better to get meds for an illness than to have your performance affected. • Go to all the church services you can • For goodness sakes, write your parents at least every other day. Parents tend to worry about their new cadets and how they are adapting to military life. They issue you a small amount of stationary, envelopes, and stamps to do this. A simple letter home chronicling your day provides insight into your new life and helps your parents cope. Cadre pick up letters from the mail clips on your door every morning and deliver them to the mail room. Acceptance Day: • 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. • A note to parents: Bring extra food or goodie bags for other new cadets in your son or daughter’s squadron. I had two roommates who did not have parents come for a-day and I was able to give them food. Needless to say, this made their day a whole lot better. • 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, first semester freshmen have around five classes. • I recommend having your parents buy you a BROTHER LC61 ink cartridge brand printer and bringing it for you to set 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 around twelve dollars a cartridge. • Have your parents bring you storage boxes for food. Though there may be no limit to the amount of food you can have, all snacks and food in the dorms has to be stored in bins. Boxes range in size from (LWH) 20in by 12in by 8in to the normal size clear storage bins, no particular color specifications, but most people use clear white or solid black. • Textbooks: Do not worry about getting them as you will not get your schedules until you get your computers. Additionally, new fourth class cadets get what is called “magic money” to buy their fall semester textbooks (at least 2014 did). What this amounts to is that money from your bank account will be taken to purchase your textbooks regardless of if you buy them from the c-store, an upperclassman, or the internet. It benefits you to buy what you need from the c-store. • A final note: Above all, have fun in basic. Attend a taps quad rave, run down the hallway in bathrobes. The cadre will train you no matter what, so make the best out of it. Do something memorable that you can laugh at when you look back in your BCT yearbook. Make the cadre laugh, they need to relieve stress too and it will be seriously funny to your squad mates. Think up alternate food names for Mitch’s food such as yellow squishes for bananas and purple drank for Gatorade. Be creative, USAFA only chooses the best to become future officers and you made the cut, always remember this!