I was also wondering this, and, is it even worth getting, since they change the general knowledge every year
This has been discussed before I'm pretty sure... At the AFA they keep a little tighter control over who gets contrails (vrs. USNA for example), and I have seen a copy before on ebay though...

BUT... Even if you manage to get an version from years past you don't wanna be labelled as "that guy" that knows everything and tries to flout their knowledge making their teammates look bad during your 4th class year.

A current cadet or graduate would probably be able to answer the question and voice the disadvantages of getting it early. The way I see it is that everyone is going to get it eventually and you might as well learn it as the others do...
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true, but it certainly can't hurt to go ahead and memorize the stuff that never changes- i.e. the mission, vision, honor code, plane models, alma mater...
Call me old fashioned; but I believe in the "Experience of life". Part of the experience is to grow with your team. It's a competition to get in; but once you are there, the TEAM IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Stop thinking about how to WIN. And you definitely don't want to be a smart-ass or a know it all. Not that you are trying to be. Also, while we're on the topic of perception; when you get to the academy, don't mention being in JRotc, Eagle Scout, and CAP. Others really don't want to hear it. Every person that is there is/was in the top 17% of all applicants. They ALL excelled in some area of their teen-age years. You don't need to tell anyone that you did also.

But really; realize what the academy is about. If you're smart enough to get into the academy, then you're smart enough to memorize and do all the things that 75% of all cadets have done before you. It's not a game you're trying to win. It's a way of life that you need to grow up into. Remember; separate HIGH SCHOOL from the academy. It's no longer a competition. It's about doing things together as a team. Best of luck to you all. later... mike....
Good lord, get one if you wish to invite the WRATH of all the cadre.

  1. DON'T DO IT
  2. Contrails does change from year to year, and even things you expect to be knowledge aren't always.
  3. DON'T DO IT!!!
  4. Part of being a Basic is learning contrails with your classmates, coming more "prepared" does not help and could hurt you and your classmates is so many ways that I could create another long list JUST for that
  5. DON'T DO IT!!!
  6. Enjoy the rest of being a civilian before you come. Go hang with friends, work-out, study your math and science, DON'T study contrails, that would waste what little time you have left
  7. DON'T DO IT!!!
  8. Contrails is VERY hard to get unless you are lucky enough to get a couple hundred dollar copy on eBay if one pops up.
  9. DON'T DO IT!!!
  10. Contrails is technically a 4 dig priviledge, you would already be treating yourself to being a cadet that Basics don't even have. Bad idea for your subconcious among other things.
  11. DON'T DO IT!!!
  12. Getting my point? Getting Contrails is a bad idea all around. Trust myself and others that will post and don't do it. Go out, work-out, have a good time, and be ready to start learning knowledge in the front leaning rest with the rest of your classmates without contrails when you get to the academy.
Contrails is technically a 4 dig priviledge, you would already be treating yourself to being a cadet that Basics don't even have. Bad idea for your subconcious among other things.

Clarification.. . Contrails is handed out after BCT???
That is correct. You receive a binder to use and get contrails AFTER BCT unless things have changed...
wow... yes i am with Hornetguy, please don't be that guy/gal.

You will be spending most of your 4dig year learning the contrails and will get sick of carrying it around everywhere ;)

Enjoy you're freedom while you still have it.
OH my heavens!

You've just made this "old grad" sad....contrails AFTER BCT???

Did I miss the four horseman bounding across the T-Zo? Did I not see the plagues returning: toads, locusts, burning hail???

That handed to this guy a few moments after a big tag was hung around my neck with all my sizes...

It sits on my bookshelf today; MUCH the worse for wear...but who needs it anyway? When at age 49, one can still spout off:

SIR...Major General John M. Schofield's graduation address to the graduating class of 1879 at West Point is as follows: The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction...."


Time for therapy again... :yllol:
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Is there any specific reason they don't give it to basics during BCT? Fear of kids dropping out and keeping contrails?
I think some are making more of contrails than what needs to be. They aren't some secret code that only the privileged few can see. They are part of a discipline, heritage, history, and lifestyle that a cadet is learning to be part of. There's no reason to brain warp a new basic trainee with such things. Basic trainees have enough to think about and worry about. To be honest; but I can't remember exactly; I think my son said he had a lot of things he had to memorize during basic. They may not have been contrails, but the same principle applies.

Realize that the number 1 priority of BCT is to take 1400 cadets from all different backgrounds; different races; with different personalities; different likes/dislikes; etc... and break down their individuality. Take all these individuals and find a common denominator that they all share. Use this thing they have in common as the corner stone to build a team attitude with. Once they learn that they are part of a team, then they can learn to be military cadets, students, and eventually military leaders. But it all starts with putting aside individuality and developing the common denominator. Then they can allow the individuality to rejoin this new attitude and personality to develop. The common denominator is that they are ALL Americans and they are all at the academy. Sometimes that common denominator means getting all of them to be pissed at the cadre. Maybe it means creating scenarios that are impossible to do individually. The point is; the purpose of BCT is to remove the I/Me factor. And find things that the 18 year old from Alabama has in common with the city boy from Newark and the country girl from Idaho.

Same here. Stop thinking about how YOU can advance in BCT or at the academy. it's not about you. If memorizing facts in a book was actually important, they would have sent you the book to know before you get there. Anybody can look up facts, policies, etc... in a book. If you want to try and figure out a way that you can do the best in BCT and the academy; then be introspective about yourself and find out what you can do to be a better TEAM PLAYER. How you can learn to HELP OTHERS. How you can become humble and allow others to HELP YOU. Learn to do these things before you get to the academy, and the rest will take care of itself. later... mike..../
You know, Christcorp is totally correct.

Yeah, "old grads" like to grumble and moan and...well, you get the idea.

But he's precisely on target: taking 1200 - 1400 amazing "super achievers" and putting them in a group and then making them a CLASS is the goal/objective. It's not to see who can be the best at knowledge, manual of arms, etc. ANYONE can learn everything in contrails, regulations, traditions, etc., they just have to apply themselves a bit. It's NOT an amazing achievement. Bringing 1200 - 1400 INDIVIDUALS together as a class in a short period of time and then forging a lifelong bond...THAT is amazing. And it stays with you, even with this old grad; 29+ years after BCT ended.

However, it IS a common "right" of older grads to whine, moan, and complain that the place has totally gone soft SINCE they graduated... :smile:
yeah, I havent been accepted yet, but if I do I am more worried about being with 1399 other 1st class leaders. I know how it can be when you just throw 10 leaders together. I think there will be a lot of conflict the first week.
flieger83'; we may be old farts, but you have definitely EARNED THE RIGHT to Whine, Moan, and Complain. You've got the T-shirt and the Movie rights. I think the greatest thing that these young men and women will learn through this whole experience; especially if they make the military a career; is the real family that it becomes. It's a family closer to me than many bloodline family members. I can run into old friends that I haven't seen in 10 years and we pick up right where we left off. And you really notice it when you finally retire after 20+ years and you start working for a non-military organization. You realize just how great it was. And maybe that's why I spend time on these boards. To find a way to get some of that family feeling back. I have to say, that in the summer of 2007 when my son went to summer seminar and started the academy process; it was like being born again, All those GREAT FEELINGS I remembered but haven't had for a while came back. And now that he is a C4C; people on this forum and similar get to put up with my emotions and passions until at least 2012 when he graduates. LOL!!!!

Bless you flieger; bless all those who served and are serving. And bless every one of you young men and women who are willing to serve in the future. A lot of civilians don't understand that the academy isn't just an ivy league quality education. Especially those *****ing because it's tax payer funded. The academy is where future leaders are born. Where our county's insurance policy is paid. Where our freedoms are recharged. Thank you all, and have a really nice holiday season. later.... mike....
Christcorp said:
The common denominator is that they are ALL Americans and they are all at the academy.

Only half of that actually. ;) We have several internationals that will not be serving the USA. :)
Never met anyone from madagascar or about a dozen other countries before this year haha.
So true. We definitely have students from other countries. Funny you bring up Madagascar. My son (c4c) room mate is a freshman from madagascar. We brought him home for thanksgiving break. Totally excellent young man. later... mike.....