Twas the night before I-Day 2017

Hello All!

Tomorrow is the kick-off of BCT 2017.  If you are new to WebGuy, WELCOME!  Basic Cadet Training is actually just one of the summer training programs at USAFA.  Admittedly, it is the most covered and well known, but we here at WebGuy have been busy covering all the summer training programs since right after the Class of 2017 graduated.  The Class of 2020 is busy with Jump, Soaring, Remote Piloted Aircraft, Powered Flight, ESET, & Space programs.  The Classes of 2018 and 2019 are scattered at training sites all over the world, and many of them are soaring, jump & RPA instructors.  If you are a family of the Class of 2021, you will be meeting many of the members of 2019 and 2018 as training Cadre for Basic Cadet Training.  If you are family members of the cadre cadets or instructors , you will be searching for photos of your cadets right along with the Doolie parents. 

That being said, this blog entry is primarily about BCT.   Yesterday, I gave you a picture of what to expect tomorrow.  Many of you who travelled to Colorado and came in over the past couple of days have already visited Doolittle Hall where everything will start tomorrow.  It was great to give a few tours and chat with many of you today.  As the parent of a 2008 graduate, I remember all too well how you are feeling this evening and tomorrow, but for now it is all quiet here tonight as the sun sets.  I am actually sitting in Applebees on Academy Blvd with my laptop writing to you.

Tomorrow it all begins.  I caught this photo with my cell of the cadre practicing in preparation of teaching the basic cadets how to march.  Remember this is a leadership training program for them as well.

Tonight I also caught this photo of some Preppies on their last night in civvies for a while.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about expectations.  We try to keep things light and informative in this blog.  From time to time, I write to you as one parent to another however.  This is one of those times.  Our goal is to provide context to the many photos you will see over the next 6 weeks.  Many of you have no prior experience with the military.  We try to provide some education as to what you are seeing as well.  We also know this is a time of stress.  Since you can't see them off to college like civilian family members get to do, we try also to be your eyes and ears.  We know that you will search our photos for signs of how your basic cadet is doing.  Looking for that first smile.  Reading a meaning into each photo you see.   We have walked a mile in your shoes, so we know.  We did the same thing.  We take that responsibility seriously.  We also live under the military rules and regulations that allow us the unique access we enjoy to provide this coverage.  This access is NOT a right.  It is a privilege.  We need your cooperation to keep it.  So here are some facts.  In the beginning, basic training in the military is NOT much fun for the trainee.  They are thrust into a situation for which many are not prepared.  They get yelled at, they are asked to do things they don't understand at first, they are tired, hot, frustrated, and many are scared.  Don't expect to see many smiles in the first couple of weeks.  In fact the basics get in trouble if they smile for our cameras.  We get in trouble if we incourage them.   During BCT we are passive documenters of the action.  That does not mean they are being mistreated in any way.  The cadre WANT them to succeed and they are up before your basics and go to bed after them.  PLEASE, DO NOT call the academy if you see a photo that concerns you.  If something happens in training that you need to be informed about, you WILL receive a call.   Every call you make to the academy requires someone to take time away from training your basic.  When those calls are because of something you have seen in one of our photos, that causes the academy leadership to question our access.  So help us out.   Protect our access. 

Now, that being said here is what you can expect to see over the course of BCT.  We will cover every BCT squadron during the course of each week, but we will not necessarily cover every squadron every day.  The training schedule and security makes that impossible.  Please don't count the number of pictures for each squadron.  In the end it will all work out.  I promise. It always does.  Where we can, we place the squadron photos in galleries for each squadron to make your search easier.  Sometimes, we won't be able to separate out the photos when the squadrons are intermixed, like on in-processing day.   We will use the blog to let you know what we covered and who we covered each day.  Early in BCT, there may be days with little or no coverage.  This is because the basics will be taking tests or doing things where we aren't allow to go.  Those days will be few, but you can expect them.  Sundays will be a summary day.  We will use that day to post videos we have taken during the week, and give you a view of all that occurred during the previous week.  

We want you to have a life during BCT.  WebGuy stalking has been likened to an addiction, lol.  Past classes have told us how their entire lives revolved around looking at our photos during BCT.  Meals were missed, sleep was missed, work neglected.   This is all very flattering.  We love being popular, and with this website we have made it easy for you to do all that.  However, in the interest of everyone's health (including our photographers) we also want to find a good balance for everyone to be able to see their basic and still be able to have a life.   This year we have worked hard to design our coverage to provide that window for you to see how your basics are doing and what they are doing, while at the same time eliminating repetitive photos that add to the picture count, but don't add value beyond that.  (Yes we do understand that that photo of their ear as they march by is important).   We've learned a lot over the last thirteen years on how to cover BCT and we're putting it all into practice every year.   We hope you will like what we have done.

So that's it for this first blog.  Tomorrow is an early day.  The first photos taken of arrivals at the airport and also of  the Northwest Prep appointees meet and greet are up and will be available ailable in the Class of 2021 In-Processing gallery.    Check back tomorrow for all the action from I-Day.