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..../