i have to say there are two things that need to stop and i think this is the best place to put the ideas out there. first, parents... please take an enormous step back and quit getting involved in your kids issues. you ARE NOT helping them at all by going to bat for them. i've seen the level of parental involvement in matters that don't concern them in the least spike dramatically over the last few years, and as a result, our academy is falling apart. our regiment has no group unity and we've basically become soft-handed sissies as a whole. this is rather upsetting to me and many other mids. parents are a vital part of the support structure, but leave that between you and your mid. they're not little kids anymore and they need to learn to handle their own issues. another issue, is when you (or your kid) comes as a recruit, dress nicely, and get a sharp haircut. the last dozen or so recruits i've seen come in look like total bums (with the exception of one kid that showed up today). this does not make a good first impression. i've seen a lot of really shaggy haired, unshaven, saggy jean-wearing kids that are not impressing people with their style. if you come as a recruit, you don't have to go all sorts of formal, but slacks, a button up, and maybe a tie would do you some favors. thanks for listening and please know that i'm not aiming this at any one person, just some trends that i'm seeing that are starting to make a lot of us rather nervous about the future of our academy.