Personal items?


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Sep 18, 2007
My name's Cole Ziegler, I'm a junior in high school, and I'm looking to apply for the Class of 2013.

My question is what personal items are allowed, and if they are, at what year in the school?

For instance, cell phones, laptops (for personal use anyway), ipods/music, cameras?

I searched but couldn't find anything.

K, thanks a lot!!
I am not a cadet, but I am relaying the information I have read on this forum and others.

Laptops are provided to you at the Academy before academics are started in Plebe year. I believe cell phones are also given back around the same time as laptops are given out, but with restricted access. Ipods are given back in March. All of these dates can change as per performance and discipline of the class.

I may be a bit mistaken, but this should give you a brief idea of when personal items are given back.
You are allowed 2 personal items in your room during your first year (4th degree year). These can be anything you want to bring from home, subject to some rules. Our son took a digital picture frame as one of his personal items. Some things like sports equipment are exempt from the total, but it depends on the squadron leader's interpretation. Our son was allowed his powerlifting equipment (squat suit, deadlift suit, bench press shirt, belt and knee wraps) to count as one item.
Laptops are provided by the Air Force, but you do pay for them. The cost of the computer and your uniforms is deducted from your cadet pay each month.
This year, cell phones were given back to the 4 degrees after Parent's Weekend (Labor Day), but only on weekends. Every year can be different, there are no guarantees. Also, some squadrons took the cell phones back, even on weekends because of infractions. You can be subject to this even if you personally did nothing wrong, but someone in your squadron did.
No iPods, or any music, are allowed until after Recognition, sometime in the Spring. Cameras are allowed right away, and do not count towards your personal item total.
Soylent was accurate his advice, except that iPods are not really 'given back' after Recognnition. That is when you can have your parents send them out to you. In other words, don't bring them with you to the Academy if they are not allowed.
Very good question, by the way.

The big ones are Ipods/movies/music are not allowed until after Recognition. Civilian clothes are not to be worn until then.

For most everything else, you can have it, subject to dorm policies (no firearms, swords, stoves, etc). Some things are restricted based on class year (TVs, mini-fridges, coffee makers, etc).

There was a little confusion in a post above. You can have as many authorized personal items as you can store, but you can only display a set number (i.e. as a freshman you cannot have 50 model planes sitting on your desk).
Thanks for the correction, Ramius. That's why we appreciate you cadets who take the time to come on here and answer questions. Information straight from the men and women who are there is always best.

P.S. USAFA, unlike USMA and USNA, does not call 4 digs plebes at all. ;)

Some items can be given as rewards for outstanding performance, fridges can be given sophomore year, or (laugh if you must) freshmen might get non-issued bedding (sheets).

Also keep in mind, this is a military school, if a person needs to have so many things and change how they space looks, maybe they need to reconsider where they are going. ;) Not saying this is you, but I find this very issue a problem with so many here!
My apoligies for my mistakes. Sometimes threads don't get a response for days on this forum and I just wanted to relay some things that I've picked up just in case no one came by.

Raimius- you mentioned that some items are allowed according to class year and you listed a coffee maker. When would you be allowed to have a coffee maker in your room? It's a lame question, but I enjoy having my own coffee.
Second class cadets are allowed to have coffee makers in their rooms.
Is there WiFi or internet at the academy? There must be if raimius can post on here.... but just need clarification.

Also! The camera thing is good to here. I love photography and just bought a Canon EOS 40D.... my question is- when would you even have time to take photos? Not too important, but- hey, may as well ask when I have the chance.
The academy is probably better wired than most any other college. We have the fastest internet connection available and also complete access to WiFi most anywhere on campus.

There is plenty of time to take pictures if you so desire. How you do it your first year is limiting due to the 4 degree lifestyle.
No WiFi in the dorms, only at the academic building. Most of the time, the dorms have good wired connections. There was a bit of a fiasco when we switched from a .mil to a .edu domain, but that is mostly solved now.

There are great photography opportunites here. The lighting is extremely varied, and the vistas are spectacular. Unfortunately, I have a very bad camera (and a new one is not high on my priorities).
I've pretty much gotten out of photography. It never was one of my bigger interests.