I-day Schedule

x5j_mykel

Member
We arrived at 6:00 for our current Firstie, got a place on the wall and spotted him right off...one last glimpse!
Last year, we arrived shortly after 0700 and the wall was already full. How early you can get there will depend on whether or not you have to use the visitor gate, which if I recall correctly, does not allow visitors to enter until 0700. If you have a DoD ID, you can get in earlier.[/Q
 
We are debating whether to leave Colorado Springs the afternoon of the 29th or stay for the parade on the 30th. We have friends in Boulder watching DS's little sisters while we drop DS off. Staying for the parade would mean one extra night away from them. Just want to know if it is a "must see". Any advice is appreciated.
 
Just a recommendation if you're on a tight budget: let your DS go to USAFA on her own using the bed and breakfast program and go out for A-day instead. My parents couldn't come to either, but I was glad to be on my own and done with my good byes and family tears a day prior (to get my head straight and focused). As for A day, I was pretty sad I didn't have any family there for the small window of time we could spend together (something like 2 hours)
I'm glad you said this because I've been trying to decide if I've made the right decision in telling my DS that I can't go with him to I-day, but I'll be for A-day. He's my only child, and I've raised him by myself, so it's an understatement to say that I'm going to be a blubbering mess when he leaves. I know he'll be nervous about beginning this new chapter in his life, so I figured it would be best for him to be alone and not have to deal with my emotions in addition to his own. Thank you for sharing your experience.
 

Blackbird

Parent
5-Year Member
We are debating whether to leave Colorado Springs the afternoon of the 29th or stay for the parade on the 30th. We have friends in Boulder watching DS's little sisters while we drop DS off. Staying for the parade would mean one extra night away from them. Just want to know if it is a "must see". Any advice is appreciated.
All I can tell you is that we hung around on I-Day at the chapel wall after dropping of DS and enjoyed watching the Basics and listening to the Cadre. The Colorado Parent's Club will host a nice free lunch which provides a good opportunity to meet other parents and families going through the same process that you are. We spent the night, got up early, and watched the Basics practice for the Commissioning Ceremony and then enjoyed the ceremony. Get there early and pick a place at the wall that is diagonal from where your Basics squad will be. This will allow you to see him from an angle if he is not in the first row. Bring binoculars and sunglasses. Some families brought signs, but we did not. The squads will line up north to south with the Aggressors on the north.

For our family, staying the extra night was definitely worth it. And we have a 2016er which went through Basic while part of The Springs and Base was on fire and most everything west of I-25 was closed off to the public. The sky with all the smoke and fire and the mountains in the background looked like Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings, a truly surreal and smokey experience.

 
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Blackbird

Parent
5-Year Member
I'm glad you said this because I've been trying to decide if I've made the right decision in telling my DS that I can't go with him to I-day, but I'll be for A-day. He's my only child, and I've raised him by myself, so it's an understatement to say that I'm going to be a blubbering mess when he leaves. I know he'll be nervous about beginning this new chapter in his life, so I figured it would be best for him to be alone and not have to deal with my emotions in addition to his own. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Do what is best for your family. There is no one "right" decision. I did not go to A-Day, but DW did and she loved it. In fact she would tell you that A-Day and Graduation, which are books ends to the Cadet experience are the highlights to entire USAFA parent experience. Remember to bring extra lunches on A-Day for all the squadmates of your DS who do not have family coming, but will be hungry for any non-AF food. DW brought lots of Subway.
 
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BarbieK

Banned
We went to the Academy the day before I Day and found out what squad my DS was in. The next morning he was antsy to get going and actually ended up reporting about an hour earlier than scheduled. Once you are on the campus and parked it goes really fast. Your DS/DD will go through a short line to sign in and place their backpack/things. You can then accompany them to a short orientation speech (less than 10 minutes if I recall correctly). At the end of the orientation they literally give you a couple of minutes for good-byes and usher the Cadets into the Doolittle and upstairs for inprocessing. This takes about 15 minutes and then can watch as they come down at attention and stand by the door awaiting the Cadre who takes them on a short stroll until they get their backpacks and get in line to get on the bus. This is the last opportunity for an up close view of your child as they enter BCT.

We went back inside and visited several booths that provided some great information on pay, bank accounts, etc. After about 30 minutes we left and headed back to the hotel. The next morning we at USAFA early scoping a spot on the wall with what seemed like a thousand other parents. The parade was quick and you will be surprised by the progress of one night of work. You will be done by mid-morning.
After we drop him off at Doolittle Hall Will we get to see him or talk to him again. In other words on I day is the last time we physically get to see and talk to our DS on the steps in front of Doolittle Hall?
 

Capri120

Parent
We went to the Academy the day before I Day and found out what squad my DS was in. The next morning he was antsy to get going and actually ended up reporting about an hour earlier than scheduled. Once you are on the campus and parked it goes really fast. Your DS/DD will go through a short line to sign in and place their backpack/things. You can then accompany them to a short orientation speech (less than 10 minutes if I recall correctly). At the end of the orientation they literally give you a couple of minutes for good-byes and usher the Cadets into the Doolittle and upstairs for inprocessing. This takes about 15 minutes and then can watch as they come down at attention and stand by the door awaiting the Cadre who takes them on a short stroll until they get their backpacks and get in line to get on the bus. This is the last opportunity for an up close view of your child as they enter BCT.

We went back inside and visited several booths that provided some great information on pay, bank accounts, etc. After about 30 minutes we left and headed back to the hotel. The next morning we at USAFA early scoping a spot on the wall with what seemed like a thousand other parents. The parade was quick and you will be surprised by the progress of one night of work. You will be done by mid-morning.
After we drop him off at Doolittle Hall Will we get to see him or talk to him again. In other words on I day is the last time we physically get to see and talk to our DS on the steps in front of Doolittle Hall?
In short yes. You will not get to speak with him again. You can see him walk across the bridge and pick up his bag before getting on the bus. But, he will be focused on not attracting the Cadre's attention and may or may not acknowledge your last attempts to say goodbye.
 

Capri120

Parent
We are debating whether to leave Colorado Springs the afternoon of the 29th or stay for the parade on the 30th. We have friends in Boulder watching DS's little sisters while we drop DS off. Staying for the parade would mean one extra night away from them. Just want to know if it is a "must see". Any advice is appreciated.
All I can tell you is that we hung around on I-Day at the chapel wall after dropping of DS and enjoyed watching the Basics and listening to the Cadre. The Colorado Parent's Club will host a nice free lunch which provides a good opportunity to meet other parents and families going through the same process that you are. We spent the night, got up early, and watched the Basics practice for the Commissioning Ceremony and then enjoyed the ceremony. Get there early and pick a place at the wall that is diagonal from where your Basics squad will be. This will allow you to see him from an angle if he is not in the first row. Bring binoculars and sunglasses. Some families brought signs, but we did not. The squads will line up north to south with the Aggressors on the north.

For our family, staying the extra night was definitely worth it. And we have a 2016er which went through Basic while part of The Springs and Base was on fire and most everything west of I-25 was closed off to the public. The sky with all the smoke and fire and the mountains in the background looked like Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings, a truly surreal and smokey experience.

Awesome picture. You would be on my DD's A list with Lord of the Rings.
 

RedDragon

5-Year Member
We got tothe wall around 7.00 am. After ceremony we hung out a while talking to other families. We wandered around the gift shop for a few hours when we decided head over to the zoo again to watch the animals lug their gear back and fourth across th TZoo. We ere about to leave when we spotted a number on beast squadrons preparing to PT It looked as if they were going to run the terrazzo for a time. Out came A,B,C squadrons and proceeded,to run against thier squadmates. This was quite taxing for many of the squads...you had the real runners out front and the big limeman bringing up the rear. After these groups came perhaps f,g but not D where our son was. All of a sudden we spotted him getting ready and he saw us and gave a big wave. As they ran past the chapel he jumped in the Air and yelled "hi mom" as Loud as he could...made my wife's day❤ Lap two and we can see he is in the top,10 of his group he starts running side wase to face us and wave for a long stretch. After he finished the Cadre asked which cadet communicated with M&D and he admitted it was him. He had to do a few more push-ups and flutterkicks.....but he said it was worth it...it was for us a great memory that we recorded
 

jag3

Member
I'll offer my differing opinion. If you have to choose between Iday and Aday go to Iday and then the swearing in the next morning. As stated previously GET THERE EARLY. Take binoculars! This of course, is assuming that your kid wants you to do, as some prefer to go alone. It's a huge step to take fresh out of high school and even though we are not helicopter parents we wanted to go and support him.

If finances are an issue and you must choose between those 2 as well as Parents Weekend, then PW is an absolute must with the football game, etc. Watching them storm the stands is something to see the first time.

We attended Iday and honestly had zero plans to attend Aday due to cost and distance and it was during our actual family vacation. Our son was perfectly fine with that. I surprised my wife and sent her out the night before with a rental car, hotel, and a flight back the next early afternoon to our vacation. She was gone less than 24 hrs and went across the country and back. She enjoyed it and it meant a lot to her, more than it did to our kid I'm sure. I think she got to spend maybe 2 hours with him afterwords. In reality that isn't worth it unless you are very close to USAFA. I think it cost me upwards of 400 something for that and it really wasn't worth it to me but it made her happy.
 
My first post here: I would like to thank you all for the information you've put on here. For a rookie like I am it has been very useful. Thanks Again
 
For those who say to get there super early on the wall to watch the parade...that's only assuming you have a DoD ID card, right? Someone said earlier that if you are civilians like we are, you can't go earlier than 7 am.
 
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