Heritage Blog - Tell us about your I Day and BCT

On days of no coverage for BCT, we will take a look back at the heritage of the Long Blue Line. Today's post we asked some graduates to share their I Day and other BCT recollections. As you can see, some things stay the same and some things change!

Lt Col (ret.) Jackie Garcia ’85:

My Dad in his white Dodge Ram drove us from El Paso, TX, to USAFA, where we went right to the base of the then Bring Me Men ramp. I was the last of four to leave the nest and boy was I ready to get started! My Dad put the car in park, and with a quick "Good bye" I bolted out of the car, excited to start a journey.  ( In hindsight, I wish I would have gotten a few words of wisdom and a picture with my Dad). Lots of lines and being issued size small in everything.  As one of the classes if the 80's ladies, I remember the cadets in processing us, efficiently at that, and the tags with all our info.  The ladies got the same awful haircuts accentuated by the stylish ball caps, lol.  I was impressed with my classmates, from all over the country.  Those days are still clear, 42 years later.

P.S. I still have my in-processing day tag somewhere!

Mark Michalek ’99

As a falcon foundation scholarship winner, I had a fairly good understanding of what to expect for I day and BCT. You can prep all you want but it’s one of those things that you have to experience firsthand to truly understand. You have to go in knowing it’s going to be one of the worst days of your life. That day is a gut check, but is only the start.

I remember losing my sense of time in BCT. Each day was the same. The process truly breaks you down, challenges you in a physical, emotional, and mental way that nothing else can. All of a sudden there comes a point when you recognize you’re doing this and you can make it to the end. The relationships you form during BCT are forever. 24 years later I am in regular contact with classmates and remember their hometowns like it was yesterday. There’s something about going through the suck together as a team that forms a lifelong bond. Over time you start to understand the gravity of the journey you are going through. The same journey of those before you and those to follow. You begin to appreciate the legacy of the Long Blue Line and it motivates you to finish, both for personal growth and to not let your classmates down. Enjoy the process and the experience….the sense of pride, confidence, and accomplishment you gain will stay with you forever.


Liz Diss ’06

My in-processing experience was jarring and exhilarating. It was a terrifying challenge that started a journey of equality for me. My hair cut to that of a “Backstreet Boy” and my reality of who I was...broken. BCT broke me down. It dazed me and put me in a reality I couldn't escape from.  I owe my confidence today some of the awfulness that turned to triumph. I was made to feel less than, which morphed into me feeling the confidence I have today. I wouldn't have changed the experience with my brothers and sisters.