Basic Training Questions

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by jcb227, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. jcb227

    jcb227 New Member

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    1. Will basic cadet be allowed to bring a box/storage to put stationery in or will it be confiscated?
    2. I ordered stationery that's addressed just to "Cadet _" and not "Basic Cadet ____." Will this be an issue?
    3. Will basic cadet be allowed to bring photos from back home to BTC?
    4. Will basic cadet get extra attention if I send him colorful/funny stationery from back home and not just plain white envelopes/cards? I bought him some funny cards before I learned that white is recommended and don't want him getting in trouble/getting too much attention. Additionally, can cadet send non-white stationery back?
    5. Can basic cadet call more than one person on doolie day or is it just limited to one call?
    6. Is there a way to send basic cadet photos without being caught? I have a tiny photo printer that prints really small photos and was wondering if it's likely to be confiscated or if it might be able to sneak through?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :) Thank you!
     
  2. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Make sure you read the appointee handbook very closely and follow those directions.

    1. Not really sure what kind of box you mean but a small, nondescript box shouldn't be a problem.
    2. It really depends on his cadre. Technically he is not a cadet yet and thus not entitled to the title of cadet. I'd recommend writing "basic" in front of cadet but ultimately that's your choice. It's a gamble whether the cadre will notice/care.
    3. Absolutely not. These are confiscated. BCT is meant to initiate basics into the military lifestyle and part of that is limiting personal items. Furthermore, pictures are taken because they can worsen homesickness.
    4. You should be fine both ways. An envelope might get some attention but the cadre don't see the contents of the envelope. It's on his honor to report if he gets contraband, but if he doesn't report it and they find it there will be hell to pay for him and his flight.
    5. He should be given unlimited access to his phone to do with as he wishes on that day, including calling anyone and everyone he wants to.
    6. Yes you could probably send photos without being caught but that would require him to break an explicitly stated rule and likely lie to his cadre. Don't put your basic in that position. BCT is about growing up a lot, he'll be fine without pictures for 6 weeks.
     
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  3. jcb227

    jcb227 New Member

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    Thank you!!
     
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  4. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Good luck! He has a long, but extremely rewarding (and sometimes really fun) road ahead.
     
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  5. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    Last year there was a rush for small clear containers after BCT ended (especially those who lived in Sijon to keep the rodents out of their food). I know during BCT they move around a good bit so I wouldn't worry or stress about it until after BCT.

    It needs to say Basic Cadet through BCT. After A Day drop the Basic. I suggest paying for two months subscription to Write2them. The mail gets delivered to them more quickly. We used both, but sent daily messages by email. My DS liked to get a joke or two and a motivational quote in the letters. He also wanted to know what was going on in the world as there is little information that gets to Basic Cadets.

    The list tells you what is allowed once BCT is over. It allows for only a few personal items to be displayed in the room. There are no exceptions here.

    I wouldn't worry about the attention and small photos were alright last year. It varies year to year based on the Cadre. Your child will get plenty of attention. Most ask that you do nothing to draw extra attention to them.

    Doolie Day out is their time. They can call you and whoever else they want during the day. Our DS called home a couple of times during the day. He also called his grandparents and a couple of close friends. Towards the end they are excited and nervous to get back and meet the new Cadre for Beast 2 and to get to Jack's Valley.

    My advice to you as the nervous parent is to get ready for a fun ride. Trust that the child you have raised to get this amazing opportunity is built to handle it. Become addicted to Webguy and spend every day looking for the photos to see your DS/DD. Trust USAFA will give them everything they need and remember if they really want something they will ask you for it. I remember going to I Day and thinking 6 weeks is a long time to go without seeing our DS and 3 weeks is a long time without contact. It flew by as did the first year. Be proud and take the time to really enjoy the parent experience.
     
  6. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    ^ This is extremely important for all parents to focus on. Don't EVER put your plebe/basic/cadet/mid in a position to compromise his integrity in order to please you.
     
  7. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    Can't ^+1000 this one enough.
     
  8. jcb227

    jcb227 New Member

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    Thank you so much for your help. Are they allowed to bring maybe one or two photos with them to BTC or is that not allowed? Just trying to gain all the facts I can and certainly don't want him getting in trouble

    Thank
     
  9. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Current cadets can correct me if I am wrong, but I would NOT recommend bringing photos or anything other than what is on the packing list. Correspondence is highly recommended to be in plain white envelopes. I remember reading somewhere where a plebe received a letter covered in "penguin" stickers. The cadre saw to it that these became "penguin" push ups for said cadet.

    Later in the year, things will lighten up for your basic, and he should eventually be allowed to keep a picture frame (digital or regular) in his room. Be patient.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  10. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Unfortunately no. Pictures are specifically contraband during BCT, I believe this is noted in the instructions to appointees. Judging by your questions though, pictures seem to be really important. Consider an electronic picture frame as an end of basic gift, like AROTC-dad said. He'll only he allowed to display 2 personal items during his first year, so an electronic picture frame can be great.
     
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  11. backpacker20

    backpacker20 New Member

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    Coming from someone who just completed doolie year... yes, photos aren't allowed - and the cadre have you show them all your mail in the mailroom so they can confiscate contraband (so no use in sending stuff through the mail, even cards with designs on the front get taken. Literally just write to your basic on plain white paper.) BUT if you're religious and plan on bringing your Bible, etc. -- then you could always put small pictures in the Bible, etc. because the cadre aren't allowed to touch your religious items. Not saying I did that...not saying I'm encouraging it...but just gonna leave that there.
     
  12. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Okay, so just ask this question: "Why is the Academy so "mean" as to not allow photos during BCT?

    Think about it. One of the biggest problems to overcome during BCT is "homesickness." During BCT, they will keep your basic so busy and exhausted that they will not have TIME to get homesick.....UNLESS they have a sentimental photo of family/girlfriend/boyfriend staring at them in the face!

    There are reasons that rules are in place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  13. Hoodlum15

    Hoodlum15 Member

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    Totally agree with AROTC-Dad. There are always ways to break the rules but the rules are in place for a reason. Furthermore, act in a way that makes you proud of your abilities and accomplishments in basic (or life for that matter). Don't let your son short change himself. If not having pictures is hard then good. It's meant to be hard and he'll be that much more proud of himself when he makes it through without. He will have proven to himself that he could do it, maybe when he thought he couldn't, and that will mean exponentially more to him in the long run.
     
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  14. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    AROTC-dad and Hoodlum15 are correct.

    DD said that even the letters from home were the best (nice to hear from home and the outside world) but also the worst (made her homesick).

    Pictures would have been even worse.
     
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  15. xcmum

    xcmum Member

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    I understand and support following the rules set up for our cadets & definitely don't want to do anything to draw extra attention to my incoming 2021 basic cadet. I have signed up for the Write2them service for his time in BCT which I think will be a great way for family & friends to support & encourage him during this time. In the email that is sent out from Write2them to the family/friends we added to our account it says, "Share pictures by attaching image files (.gif, .jpg, .png) to your emails that fit within the 5MB size limit per message. Please make sure that all pictures are in good taste so that cadet stays out of trouble.". Should I email all his family/friends on our account and tell them NOT to send any pics at all just to be safe?
     
  16. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

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    Last year, a close family friend sent a letter and "picture" via write2them to my DD. He didn't know he shouldn't. The cadre took the letter, along with all others on that page away.

    One thing to know, when using write2them, all emails that come in on the same day or so are printed as ONE letter. So, if one person writes something or sends a pic that is not allowed, the basic has eveyone's info on that letter taken away.

    The pic was in good taste, nothing wrong, but, it was a picture.

    Having letters taken away so you cannot read and reread them until after BCT can be more disheartening than not receiving a letter at all, especially from someone you want to hear from and who is very motivational
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
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  17. xcmum

    xcmum Member

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    I will definitely email all the people on our account and share this information with them. I think I'll title it DO NOT SEND ANY PICTURES. Thank you Capri120 for sharing this.
     
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  18. jag3

    jag3 Member

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    Cannot stress this enough. FOLLOW THE RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS. Trust me, you will survive.

    The parents on FB drove me insane by trying to do things like this, complaining about things like this being taken, complaining about pushups, etc.

    In fact their meddling last year resulted in a message from the cadre to the parents basically telling them to STOP calling, complaining to the academy, etc because they were making things worse for the cadets.

    I sent 20 plain envelopes with stamps affixed to them and one plain white sheet of paper in each with our son last year for him to use during BCT. I also signed up for writetothem and gave that email out to friends and family BUT I also disabled photos on there! If you dont do that you will have someone try even though you tell them not to.

    Not sure why it is so hard for parents to follow the rules and cut the cord but anything that is done that shouldnt can cause problems for the entire squadron, not just one cadet.
     
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  19. jag3

    jag3 Member

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    Just to make sure you new subscribers to writetothem see this......go into the settings and DISABLE photos!
     
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  20. xcmum

    xcmum Member

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    Thank you for sharing that we can disable any photos. I just went into our account and unchecked the "Print Photos" box. I totally missed this when signing up for the account. That will save me from having to send out a group email informing his family/friends to not send photos through this service. So much simpler to just remove the option all together.
     
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