Current Doolie Q/A

SA2026hopeful

USAFA c/o '26
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
176
I had a lot of questions when I was getting ready for BCT & Doolie year so I figured I could help anyone who may be in the same situation. Feel free to ask questions about BCT & four Degree year and I will do my best to try and answer them.
 

Rader20

USAFA C/O '27 Appointee
Joined
Jan 13, 2023
Messages
33
I had a lot of questions when I was getting ready for BCT & Doolie year so I figured I could help anyone who may be in the same situation. Feel free to ask questions about BCT & four Degree year and I will do my best to try and answer them.
Hey! I just got my appointment on friday last week!
I have lots of questions about BCT and I-day. If anyone could answer these that would be great!!

-When you were going through I-Day, did most people's hair already meet the requirements when they arrived (buzzed hair)?

-Did you bring your own boots to BCT? If so, what kind did you bring and how did they hold up?

-What is biggest thing to be physically prepared for and to train before getting to BCT?

-Should I work on studying anything that we will be required to memorize at BCT to help give me extra time during the day?

I'm sure I will come up with more later, but here are my starters. Thank you!
 

rtmac

New Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2023
Messages
4
Do you know if you can bring OTC antihistamines when reporting for BCT?
 

altomatic

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
21
Hey! I just got my appointment on friday last week!
I have lots of questions about BCT and I-day. If anyone could answer these that would be great!!

-When you were going through I-Day, did most people's hair already meet the requirements when they arrived (buzzed hair)?

-Did you bring your own boots to BCT? If so, what kind did you bring and how did they hold up?

-What is biggest thing to be physically prepared for and to train before getting to BCT?

-Should I work on studying anything that we will be required to memorize at BCT to help give me extra time during the day?

I'm sure I will come up with more later, but here are my starters. Thank you!
This is my experience:

Don't show up with hair in standards it takes away from the fun and I guarantee you will be in the haircut line regardless.

Bring your own boots, the issues one's are heavy and uncomfortable. I got Nike SFB Gen IIs, they're popular here, comfortable and last long.

The A-Course is the worst of the physical training, but you can't really prepare for it besides running, pushups, etc.

Don't do any knowledge prep either you don't want to be the only guy who knows everything, getting knowledge stuff wrong and learning together is part of the BCT experience.
 

Rader20

USAFA C/O '27 Appointee
Joined
Jan 13, 2023
Messages
33
This is my experience:

Don't show up with hair in standards it takes away from the fun and I guarantee you will be in the haircut line regardless.

Bring your own boots, the issues one's are heavy and uncomfortable. I got Nike SFB Gen IIs, they're popular here, comfortable and last long.

The A-Course is the worst of the physical training, but you can't really prepare for it besides running, pushups, etc.

Don't do any knowledge prep either you don't want to be the only guy who knows everything, getting knowledge stuff wrong and learning together is part of the BCT experience.
Awesome thank you!!
 

SA2026hopeful

USAFA c/o '26
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
176
Hey! I just got my appointment on friday last week!
I have lots of questions about BCT and I-day. If anyone could answer these that would be great!!

-When you were going through I-Day, did most people's hair already meet the requirements when they arrived (buzzed hair)?

-Did you bring your own boots to BCT? If so, what kind did you bring and how did they hold up?

-What is biggest thing to be physically prepared for and to train before getting to BCT?

-Should I work on studying anything that we will be required to memorize at BCT to help give me extra time during the day?

I'm sure I will come up with more later, but here are my starters. Thank you!
Congrats on your appointment!

1.) I know a few people showed up with their hair in regs, but I'd say 95% of people show up with a full head of hair and get shaved on the second day of basic.
2.) I brought my own pair of Rockies, but other popular brands are Nike and Oakley. I had broken them in a few weeks before basic, but the first two weeks will be a boot break in phase, so you don't need to wear them much beforehand unless you want to. You will be issued a pair of boots, but these are heavy, clunky, and uncomfortable. I still have not worn mine, but many people used them for the A-course because they will get beat up.
3.)The first two weeks of basic cadre aren't allowed to use physical corrections, but you will do squadron PT. I would suggest focusing on the the aspects of the PFT (push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, etc.) because that is the biggest factor of your PEA. You will most likely lose weight during basic because you aren't going to be eating as much and will be pretty active.
4.) You will be given your contrails on the first day of BCT. This has all the required knowledge you will need during doolie year. You don't need to know anything when you first arrive and are not expected to. You could come knowing the airman creed and first verse of the air force song, but knowledge will be learned as a flight, so you will only be as good as the weakest member.

The biggest thing about basic is working as a team and showing effort. It will be difficult, but if you demonstrate these two things you will pass basic with no problem. Lean on your teammates and you will all make it through together.

Best of Luck!
 

SA2026hopeful

USAFA c/o '26
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
176
Do you know if you can bring OTC antihistamines when reporting for BCT?
I'm not sure I did not have any meds to bring on I-day, but if you reach out to your ALO or admissions, they will be able to find you an answer.
 

Rader20

USAFA C/O '27 Appointee
Joined
Jan 13, 2023
Messages
33
Congrats on your appointment!

1.) I know a few people showed up with their hair in regs, but I'd say 95% of people show up with a full head of hair and get shaved on the second day of basic.
2.) I brought my own pair of Rockies, but other popular brands are Nike and Oakley. I had broken them in a few weeks before basic, but the first two weeks will be a boot break in phase, so you don't need to wear them much beforehand unless you want to. You will be issued a pair of boots, but these are heavy, clunky, and uncomfortable. I still have not worn mine, but many people used them for the A-course because they will get beat up.
3.)The first two weeks of basic cadre aren't allowed to use physical corrections, but you will do squadron PT. I would suggest focusing on the the aspects of the PFT (push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, etc.) because that is the biggest factor of your PEA. You will most likely lose weight during basic because you aren't going to be eating as much and will be pretty active.
4.) You will be given your contrails on the first day of BCT. This has all the required knowledge you will need during doolie year. You don't need to know anything when you first arrive and are not expected to. You could come knowing the airman creed and first verse of the air force song, but knowledge will be learned as a flight, so you will only be as good as the weakest member.

The biggest thing about basic is working as a team and showing effort. It will be difficult, but if you demonstrate these two things you will pass basic with no problem. Lean on your teammates and you will all make it through together.

Best of Luck!
Thank you so much for this, have your tried on the Nikes compared to the Rockies?

If so which do you think it the better option?
 

HKane

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2022
Messages
37
Do the boots have to be waterproof? The handbook says to get a waterproof pair (Gortex) but the Nikes and Oakleys that everyone likes aren’t waterproof. So not sure what will be best for my daughter.
 

jack42405

USAFA 2025
Joined
Aug 9, 2020
Messages
16
Do the boots have to be waterproof? The handbook says to get a waterproof pair (Gortex) but the Nikes and Oakleys that everyone likes aren’t waterproof. So not sure what will be best for my daughter.
I say don't worry about waterproofing. There aren't that many times where boots get wet (and the times you do, she'll know and can wear the crappy issued boots). I personally recommend getting whatever will be the most comfortable (and won't give blisters) because she'll be standing and marching in her boots most of the day for 6 weeks. Personally, I liked my Garmonts, a little heavier than the Nikes but comfy and didn't get any blisters when almost everyone else in my flight did.
 

Gravity0329

Prior Service LEAD Class 27' USAFA Appointee
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
53
Do you know if you can bring OTC antihistamines when reporting for BCT?
They are allowed. The following image is from page 23 of the C/O 2027 appointee booklet and includes the allowed medications on arrival. The medication must be in it's original prescribed bottle and will probably be replaced when you get there. It must also either be Loratadine or Fexofenadine as drowsy antihistamines are not permitted. Screenshot 2023-03-13 at 18.34.18.png
 

rtmac

New Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2023
Messages
4
They are allowed. The following image is from page 23 of the C/O 2027 appointee booklet and includes the allowed medications on arrival. The medication must be in it's original prescribed bottle and will probably be replaced when you get there. It must also either be Loratadine or Fexofenadine as drowsy antihistamines are not permitted. View attachment 13671
thanks!
 

PyroSweets

C/O 2026
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
31
Hey! I just got my appointment on friday last week!
I have lots of questions about BCT and I-day. If anyone could answer these that would be great!!

-When you were going through I-Day, did most people's hair already meet the requirements when they arrived (buzzed hair)?

-Did you bring your own boots to BCT? If so, what kind did you bring and how did they hold up?

-What is biggest thing to be physically prepared for and to train before getting to BCT?

-Should I work on studying anything that we will be required to memorize at BCT to help give me extra time during the day?

I'm sure I will come up with more later, but here are my starters. Thank you!
First off, congrats!!! It's a tough selection and I'm sure you're very excited. I'm also a doolie right now, and wanted to provide another perspective. Not to discredit the OP, but I know that last year I wanted as much info as I could get from these forums.

- Not much to add here. Arrive with long hair and get it buzzed, you only have one I-Day and you want to experience all of it.

- BRING YOU OWN BOOTS. There's a reason they call the issued boots "the bricks", and I think I've worn them only twice, both for parts of Jack's Valley that were damaging to the footwear. I highly recommend the Garmont T8 NFS 670 boots, I've worn them for nearly everything at the academy (lots of wear and tear on the boots) and they are holding up marvelously. I've also found that other doolies in my squadron have recently been switching to these as well. However, the Nike boots are also a good choice, and Oakley is also known for its durability. Make sure you research what sounds right for you, since boots can be very expensive and you only have so much time before you have to start breaking them in.

- Follow the prep workout they give you exactly as it's written. It's designed to tailor your body for BCT and it will not fail you if you follow it. I followed it with about 80% effort, and wished I had given the full 100% to be more prepared for the physical challenges.

- I really, really, really want to recommend you study ahead of time, but this will give you an unfair advantage over your flight mates. There's plenty to learn in the packet, but knowing lots of things ahead of time only attracts negative attention. You'll grow with everyone else when you get your contrails and will do well :)

- Free time isn't something you should be concerning yourself with during BCT. There's PLENTY to do and you'll stay busy no matter what you do to prepare. Just arrive with a great attitude and you'll do well.

Something I wish I knew before I-Day is that packing light helps. That's the biggest tip of advice I can give you. Have everything in order for when you need to procure it, specifically paperwork, and pack minimally. I recommend a manilla envelope with each file labelled with sticky notes, but everyone has their own system. It can get hot, so I also advise you wear your running shoes and pack your boots (as I did). The boots can be a bit heavier to wear and don't breathe very well, and can also irritate your shins if you aren't wearing long enough socks.

BEST OF LUCK! It's an incredible privilege to attend this academy, and you deserve the opportunity! If you have ANY other questions, please reach out to myself or the other doolies who have replied to this thread. We are great resources for your preparation (since BCT is the closest in memory for any of the classes) and you can never be too prepared. I'm excited for you to flourish!
 

Rader20

USAFA C/O '27 Appointee
Joined
Jan 13, 2023
Messages
33
First off, congrats!!! It's a tough selection and I'm sure you're very excited. I'm also a doolie right now, and wanted to provide another perspective. Not to discredit the OP, but I know that last year I wanted as much info as I could get from these forums.

- Not much to add here. Arrive with long hair and get it buzzed, you only have one I-Day and you want to experience all of it.

- BRING YOU OWN BOOTS. There's a reason they call the issued boots "the bricks", and I think I've worn them only twice, both for parts of Jack's Valley that were damaging to the footwear. I highly recommend the Garmont T8 NFS 670 boots, I've worn them for nearly everything at the academy (lots of wear and tear on the boots) and they are holding up marvelously. I've also found that other doolies in my squadron have recently been switching to these as well. However, the Nike boots are also a good choice, and Oakley is also known for its durability. Make sure you research what sounds right for you, since boots can be very expensive and you only have so much time before you have to start breaking them in.

- Follow the prep workout they give you exactly as it's written. It's designed to tailor your body for BCT and it will not fail you if you follow it. I followed it with about 80% effort, and wished I had given the full 100% to be more prepared for the physical challenges.

- I really, really, really want to recommend you study ahead of time, but this will give you an unfair advantage over your flight mates. There's plenty to learn in the packet, but knowing lots of things ahead of time only attracts negative attention. You'll grow with everyone else when you get your contrails and will do well :)

- Free time isn't something you should be concerning yourself with during BCT. There's PLENTY to do and you'll stay busy no matter what you do to prepare. Just arrive with a great attitude and you'll do well.

Something I wish I knew before I-Day is that packing light helps. That's the biggest tip of advice I can give you. Have everything in order for when you need to procure it, specifically paperwork, and pack minimally. I recommend a manilla envelope with each file labelled with sticky notes, but everyone has their own system. It can get hot, so I also advise you wear your running shoes and pack your boots (as I did). The boots can be a bit heavier to wear and don't breathe very well, and can also irritate your shins if you aren't wearing long enough socks.

BEST OF LUCK! It's an incredible privilege to attend this academy, and you deserve the opportunity! If you have ANY other questions, please reach out to myself or the other doolies who have replied to this thread. We are great resources for your preparation (since BCT is the closest in memory for any of the classes) and you can never be too prepared. I'm excited for you to flourish!
awesome thank you thank you!! Also another question I have is with your weight. When I weighed in for the academy, I weighed about 168 and the max for my height is 169. Since then I weigh now about 171, but still in great shape. When you make it during I-day, do the check your medical weight to see if you still meet the requirements?
 

Tigers2023

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2023
Messages
27
awesome thank you thank you!! Also another question I have is with your weight. When I weighed in for the academy, I weighed about 168 and the max for my height is 169. Since then I weigh now about 171, but still in great shape. When you make it during I-day, do the check your medical weight to see if you still meet the requirements?
There is a saying in the Air Force, “if the min wasn’t good enough, it wouldn’t be the min”. After many years in the Air Force, I’ll give you a better one. “Don’t draw any unnecessary attention to yourself”. Why start with a target on your back? Absolutely lose the weight.
 

Bigrod

Member
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
431
awesome thank you thank you!! Also another question I have is with your weight. When I weighed in for the academy, I weighed about 168 and the max for my height is 169. Since then I weigh now about 171, but still in great shape. When you make it during I-day, do the check your medical weight to see if you still meet the requirements?
Don’t give them a possible reason to send you packing. Go in at least down to #165 also after that I’m sure you will be down around 155 towards the end of BCT then try to stay right at #160 your entire doolie year.
 

SA2026hopeful

USAFA c/o '26
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
176
Thank you so much for this, have your tried on the Nikes compared to the Rockies?

If so which do you think it the better option?
I haven't tried the Nikes, but I know people like them. My Rockies are heavier, but they are also more durable, so there are pros and cons of each.
 

SA2026hopeful

USAFA c/o '26
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
176
Do the boots have to be waterproof? The handbook says to get a waterproof pair (Gortex) but the Nikes and Oakleys that everyone likes aren’t waterproof. So not sure what will be best for my daughter.
You won't need to worry about getting waterproof boots. The only water she will encounter is in Jack's Valley and she will most likely be wearing her issued boots.
 
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