BCT preparation for Class of 2022


USAFA c/o 2022
Dec 9, 2017
Hey everyone! Just looking for some extra advice in preparation for BCT coming up in June. Some questions from me are...

- Is there anything inparticular you'd recommend to bring that isn't listed?

- Is there items you'd recommend I NOT bring that isn't otherwise obvious?

- For those who have already gone through BCT, would you have done anything differently? Why?

Any insight from parents/cadets that have already been there and done that would be extremely helpful. All tips and comments are welcome and valued! Thank you!
I understand that when you accept the Appointment they will give you a list of what you SHOULD bring and what you shouldn’t, anything extra from this list I believe will be confiscated according to what I read in other posts, just a mom .
I wrote this for 2021 last year. Still applied. Hope it helps!

Most of you have your appointments by now and are getting excited (nervous?) for BCT. Here are a few tips and things I wish I'd known going in.

Undergarment Colors
I obsessed over bringing the right stuff and not bringing too much or too little and following the directions to a tee, etc. They will not check your undergarments. I repeat, THEY DO NOT CHECK. They don't care what length your spandex are or whether your boxers are white or black. I don't recommend bringing crazy colors, and sports bras should be white (see through shirts) but other than that don't worry about it.

Try to pack light. You don't need much. I recommend bringing bandaids for blisters. 3-in-1 will also be huge when you only have 2 minutes to shower. If you forget anything you'll have a chance to shop within the first week or so.

I did not bring boots and regretted it. They will not take your boots away and having lighter boots than the issued ones will be a blessing when you're running and doing flutter kicks. It might be a little more hectic on Iday but that's minimal compared to the 6 weeks of basic.

Yes basic will be stressful. It'll be tiring. It'll suck. But there are some really cool, funny, awesome moments. Take advantage of those and try to create them when you can. Take basic seriously but don't take yourself seriously. Try to relax and get the most out of the experience. It'll go faster than you expect.
My son took black compression shorts, which he was allowed to keep. He used a silver sharpie to write his ID on the waistband. He also took his own boots (Nike). He wears contacts, but since he had to wear glasses during BCT, he got a pair of prescription sunglasses. He didn’t get to wear them, even though the Appointee Handbook said he could have them, so buying them was a waste of money. He also took moleskin and bandaids, which he used, but he could have bought them there instead of taking them. He took a sports watch, but wasn’t allowed to wear it. He didn’t not take his electric razor, and he said he did fine without it. As far as physical activity, he thought he was in great shape before he arrived (he did crossfit and ran every other day), but he quickly realized he wasn’t! Good luck to you! My son just finished Recognition, and he said this has been the most difficult and most rewarding year of his life!
Oh I never thought about the cough drops, that's good! Does anyone know if I buy my own boots to break them would USAFA reimburse me? Just curious.
Oh I never thought about the cough drops, that's good! Does anyone know if I buy my own boots to break them would USAFA reimburse me? Just curious.

Have you thoroughly reviewed the Instructions to Appointees? Instructions regarding footwear is on Page 17 -- but yes, it is recommended that you bring a pair of boots -- make sure they fit well and that you break them in to help reduce foot issues during BCT.

Cadets actually pay for all of their clothing, so USAFA will not reimburse you for these boots. If you do not bring a pair, USAFA will issue you (and charge you for) two pair. My DS feels that the Danners he brought are far superior to the pair that USAFA issued him (I don't remember the brand of the issued pair).

Cough drops is not on the list of items to bring, so be prepared for them to be confiscated if you bring them to I-Day. Cough drops are helpful at Jacks Valley - basics will be given the opportunity to buy cough drops (either at the C-Store or during Doolies Day Out) prior to the hike to Jacks Valley.
Thank you, I'll be getting the cough drops at the store.
Oh I never thought about the cough drops, that's good! Does anyone know if I buy my own boots to break them would USAFA reimburse me? Just curious.

@FMHS-79 is correct they will not reimburse you for boots, but they will not make you pay for a second pair during BCT, so either way you’re paying for 2 pairs of boots. I recommend bringing your own, they will be lighter and you won’t have to spend the first week with blister covered feet.
What about shaving (for men in particular)? Do I need to bring a basic razor with shaving cream or are electric razors allowed? It seems that an electric razor would save time and be easier, but are they allowed during BCT? Academic year?
The list on page 20 of the Class of 2022 Appointee Booklet indicates that electric razors are allowed. My DS brought one last year and had no problems (his rechargeable model was helpful when they were at Jacks Valley).
DS is a 2016er. He used an electric shaver his entire time at USAFA.
I would make a list of lasts for right now - and make sure that you have a camera or phone, and take time to enjoy everything about where you are now - family, friends, food, and laughter. Later when you finished basic, you will find this set of pictures sustains you thru the first year. I routinely send photo albums of those "last" pics to my DD, a 2021er, and she loves them. And as everyone above has said - run, run, run, run...... every chance that you get. I know that is the ONE thing that my DD wishes that she had done differently in the ramp up to BCT.
My DS order boots from militarybootsdirect.com he got the Danner 50132 Tachyon - they are super light! I thought when they arrived it box might only contain one boot.