BCT Graduation

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by nipar, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. nipar

    nipar New Member

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    Does anyone know the date(s) of BCT graduation/ceremonies and if it is something parents can (or should) attend?
     
  2. RickD_USAF

    RickD_USAF Air Force Veteran

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    A- DAY is 8 AUG 17 I believe and BCT graduation is 4 AUG 17. Parents can attend A-DAY but will only see you for about an hour. They can watch the ceremony, but can only see you when you get the shoulder boards.
    https://www.usafa.edu/app/uploads/AY-2017-2018-Calendar-Approved-14-Dec-16.pdf
     
  3. parktrack

    parktrack "Hoov!" "Target In Sight"

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    By graduation it is assumed you mean Acceptance Day, more commonly referred to as A-Day. A-Day should be on August 8. Parents can attend and I would highly recommend it IF you can justify the cost of the trip for spending approximately 2 hours with your DD/DS. There are many posts on this forum about A-Day. With a little searching I'm sure you can get all the answers you need.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    Agreed. A-Day is a "Nice" event to attend. But for such a short time, it may not be worth the expense. Especially if you're planning on being down there 3 weeks later for Parent's weekend which is basically 4 days with your son/daughter.

    Now, for people who can afford, or live close by, it's definitely something worth trying to attend. We only live 2 hours away, so we went. But knowing that there isn't much time; not even enough to really go get lunch together; we packed a lunch. Well, more like a feast. Non-Messy sandwiches, chips, soda, juice, snacks, etc. And we brought enough for us, our son, and possibly 4-5 friends he made in basic who's parent's couldn't make A-Day. Then, after pinning on their shoulder boards, we all found a shady spot under the trees and basically had a picnic. Spent a couple hours with our son and their friends, and then let them go.

    Oh, and we made sure that I, my wife, and my daughter all had our cell phones. We let each of our son's cadet friends call home to their family. That made them so happy.

    Anyway; it's nice if you can attend, but considering you'll be there 3 weeks later, it's really a matter of cost and convenience.
     
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  5. shawruns

    shawruns New Member

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    Below is some information from the USAFA Parents Liason:

    Acceptance Day Parade: (8 Aug 17) If you are close, you can spend 1 or 2 hours with your cadet after the parade. This is a parade officially accepting the Freshman (C4Cs) into the cadet wing. You must stay on campus and suggest you bring a picnic lunch or you will spend all your time in line at Subway, & WingZone in Arnold Hall. You can also eat at Mitchell Hall for a small fee from 11-1pm. Pay attention to the time. Ensure you leave enough time for your cadet to walk you out of the secure area and get back to their appointed duty location. Appointees will be allowed cell phones but plan on meeting up on the parade field after the parade. Shoulder boards have to be put on by the Cadets, but parents are allowed on the field to observe. To help you find your cadet, the squadrons are organized from your left to your right. Cadets squadrons 1-10 followed by squadrons 11-20. To the right of the center are Cadet squadron(s) 21-39, followed by 31-40.

    It normally begins at 9am or so. You will have 1 to 1 1/2 hours with your cadet on campus. I believe they normally have to be back at 1pm so you can plan your flight sometime after that.
     
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  6. greentrees

    greentrees 5-Year Member

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    Parents don't feel guilty if you can't attend. There will be plenty of other parents who will adopt your DS/DD for lunch, and send you a nice picture of your now C4C with shoulder boards and a huge smile. While I really wanted to go, our DS said to save our money for PW for 4 years and he wouldn't have much time with us anyway (we live in VA so trip wouldn't have been super easy, but I was ready to do it). Turns out he ended up having a dental appointment that day, right in the middle of their "free" time - so I wouldn't have seen him anyway. We ended up arranging a trip the following spring near his birthday and his older brother went with DH for a short weekend - and they had many hours together plus by then he was recognized.
     
  7. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    If still the same - it is a pretty cool parade as the C4C's are separated and then march into the wing where they are 'accepted'. 44 months later, they will do it again in reverse as they leave the Wing at the graduation parade.

    As far as parades go - these 2 tend to be the most memorable parades of most cadets.
     
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  8. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    This is just my opinion, but the first year at USAFA is a special experience for the entire family. Your DS/DD is going through a lot of change and the experience is very unique and special. It is just a difference from the normal college or military experience and much of the first year "family" events are rolled up into the first couple of months. There are only three major events at USAFA built around easy family participation for freshman Cadets - I Day, A Day and Parent's Weekend. The entire Cadet wing participates in graduation, but it is built for the graduating seniors.

    I Day is fun because as a parent you experience the thrill of dropping off a child for college, but with a sick basic twist to it. Staying around for the next morning parade and swearing-in allows you a quick glimpse into how the transformation process will play out for your DS/DD. It also will give you a ton of pride and allow you to meet other parents who are in the same boat as you. It really is a family.

    A Day was special because it is the first event of the year where the entire Cadet wing parades together. It marks the completion of BCT and acceptance (sort of) into the Cadet Wing. It is the first day new Cadets really feel like they are part of the wing. It is also the first opportunity as a parent you have to spend a couple of hours with your Cadet in person. They will have their phones days before A Day so there will time for calls and catching up, but the in-person opportunity and seeing the pride on the DS/DD's face when they get their shoulder boards is special.

    Parent's weekend is the biggie. The school does demonstrations, campus is open and there are even tours of Jack's Valley. It all culminates with the first football game and watching the cadets take the stands is a great site. You get to spend a few days with your DS/DD and it is wonderful. PW is the one event you may want to attend each year your child is at USAFA.

    I recommend thinking about going to all three. I understand the expenses and timing, but there will not be other events like these during the first year. If you can't make them don't worry about it - as I said - it is a family and those who are there will take in your cadet and make them feel at home.

    The last piece of advice I have for parents is to not overthink things or over parent. USAFA will give your child what they need to survive and thrive. If they need other things while there then they will get the chance to ask you for them. They may be 17 or 18 but once they get on the bus at I Day they are in the military and are expected to take ownership of themselves. As parents we hear venting and want to help, but giving support and letting them figure things out is the best way to help them thrive during their first year.

    Last year, the nigh before I Day we had dinner with another family from our state. It was the first time we or our soon to be basics had met. Yesterday the other families DD completed her first jump and my DS is in the woods in the middle of survival training. In just over a week they will both be home for summer leave (3 weeks). It really goes by that fast.
     
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  9. RickD_USAF

    RickD_USAF Air Force Veteran

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    Thanks for the information. We, the whole family, will be flying out to drop off DS for I-Day. Either my wife or I will do a quick 2 day visit to cover A-Day, and my wife and I already booked our trip for PW (w/ tickets to the game). Flying from the east coast obviously adds up with hotel/car/food/etc. But as you stated, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our DS (as well as the rest of us). And not to mention the fact we just love it out there in the area. I first visited around '89. We went as a family in '13 which was the final bit DS needed to see to seal his decision on where he wanted to be.
     
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  10. Daretodream

    Daretodream Member

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    It was costly that first couple of months. However, those trips along with the occasional flights home still pales in comparison to costs associated with other colleges. I think meeting families from all over the country who are sharing the experience has been the most fun for me.
     
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  11. RickD_USAF

    RickD_USAF Air Force Veteran

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    Totally agree and looking forward to it.
     
  12. skismuggs

    skismuggs 5-Year Member

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    We did everything except for A-Day. All PWs, all games and graduation. Somehow I still feel we should have gone to A-Day. Just a parent looking back. We saw the ecstatic looks on their faces as they matched out of the wing for the very last time. Priceless. Something that every parent should see.
     
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  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    Definitely agree, that if you can afford the time and money to go to A-Day, as well as all of the Parent's weekends, you should. We were fortunate, if you want to call it that, that we only lived 2 hours away. We were down at the academy for everything. Unfortunately, it was also a curse. During the first 2 years, when cadets can't "Own/Possess" a car, my son would call us for almost every 3 day weekend or similar holiday so we could pick him up and bring him home. Sometimes with additional friends. But that was OK too; I guess. Although, it was funny as hell when he and his roommate "From Madagascar - off the coast of Africa" came back to Wyoming for Christmas. His roommate didn't know the PLANET could get that cold. It was like watching the movie "Cool Runnings" when the Jamaican Bobsled team landed in Canada in the winter and saw cold/wind/snow/ice for the first time.

    But all in all, the more you can do, especially the FIRST YEAR, the better it will be. Not necessarily for your cadet, but for you as parents. Your cadet has 4,000 others near him/her that are in the exact same boat; and ARE or HAS gone through exactly the same thing as them. Your cadet will be just fine. You on the other hand don't have anyone else around who understands. And for what it's worth, the 4 years at the academy are going to SCREAM BY. You're going to wake up and s/he will be graduating. Then, they are off to their real first base. Then, you'll be lucky to see them once a year. While on active duty, I say my parents about once every 3-4 YEARS. I actually saw them more when I retired. They would come to wyoming for a visit; kids graduating high school; graduating college; etc.

    So enjoy your time with your kids as much as you can now. Just make sure they have the space they need. And once they are at the academy; DON'T tell, suggest, remark, or opine on anything about the academy/military UNLESS THEY ASK!!! This is THEIR LIFE NOW. You can think they are "Off to College"; but they aren't. They are emancipated, legally responsible, adults who have to make their own decisions and deal with what's in front of them. So, if you can make it to A-day as well as all the parent weekends, definitely go for it. If not, then at least make as many parent weekends as possible. Especially the first one.
     
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