19 March 2006


Recognition was tough.
But it was worth it.

They made the biggest blunder in all our training.
They accidentally sent us the OPORD (Operation Order).
So I memorized.
The schedules,
The procedures,
Then I got an E-Mail saying to delete it.
Ok, I already know everything.

They did take our watches and the power supplies for our computers.
But we beat the system.
I arranged for me parents to call the Charge of Quarters desk just down the hall 30 min before reveille.
Turns out someone picked up both times.
I slept through it too.
Fortunately I’m accustomed to getting up early.
So I got up on my own.

We kicked off the event with a Flag ceremony.
After that we marched to dinner.
And then went watch the Basketball game.

That was kind of a bummer.
I was looking forward to going and watching the game,
But it was an away game.
So they set up projectors in the basketball arena,
And we watched it on TV.

Then they herded us all into one section of the gym,
And gave us the initial briefing.
Then they ran us back to our squadron areas and beat us.
Really beat us.
That was the worst beating I’ve been through.

Then we went to bed.
Yeah right.
We spent the night getting ready for next day.
Shining boots,
Ironing uniforms,
And cleaning the room.

They woke us up at 0530.
Basic Style.
I woke up five minutes before they woke us up.
So I was dressed and ready to go.

Then they beat us.
Not as bad as the night before.
But still bad.
Then we ran to breakfast.

After breakfast we went to the “Chutes and Ladders” course.
Just like the board game,
But they beat you at every square.
You get to ladders by answering knowledge questions.

After that we had a “Combat Nap”.
I stayed up cleaning and getting uniforms ready.

Then they beat us some more and we ran to lunch.
After lunch we went to the “Assault Course”.
The worst course that they have here.
We survived.

After that was the “Leadership Reaction Course”.
That was fun.
Not as physical.
They broke us up into teams and gave us a task to complete.
With a time limit.
The idea was to see how we react under pressure.

Then our squadron upperclassmen beat us some more.
Then we ran to dinner.
After dinner, we went to hear a guest speaker.
He was really good.

Then we had “Theme Rooms”.
I won’t explain what that was.
I don’t want to ruin that for anyone else who might go through here later.
If you want to know about it,
Ask me when I get home.

Then we went to sleep again.
Again, Yeah right.
Cleaned, Ironed, and Shined again.

Got woken up again Basic style again.
Once again,
Was up a few minutes early.
So I was ready to go.
Got beat again.
Ran to Breakfast.

Then we “Academy Tour Course”.
That consisted of getting beat while learning about the history of USAFA.
Good stuff.

Then we did SAMI prep.
But every five minutes they took us in the hall to beat us.
So we didn’t get much time to clean.

Turns out it wasn’t a SAMI.
It was a SLAMI.
They tore our room apart.
My roommate got it worse than I did.
Every thing of his was on the floor.
The only things of mine was my mattress and a few clothes.
So just for the heck of it,
After they left,
(Since I knew from the OPORD they would clean it up for us)
I ran to my closet and threw everything that was left out.
All to the middle of the floor.
That felt so good.
Wonderful Stress relief.

After that we ran to lunch.
Then we had the “Run to the Rock”.
The Firsties ran us to A huge rock a few miles away.
Once there, we had to find our squadron “Charge”.
It’s a big railroad tie with ropes.
We carried that back to the Terrazo.
We took of our camo tops to reveal out class shirt we made.
None of the upperclassmen knew about it.
It had a picture of the Prop and Wings,
And said “Earned, not Issued”.
Kind of a slap in the face to ’07 and ’08.

After we got back,
We went to our rooms to change into Service Dress.
Our rooms had been cleaned up by the two and three degrees.

Then we had the Prop and Wings Ceremony.
I won’t talk about this one so as not to ruin it for anyone else.
Again, if you won’t be going to USAFA,
Feel free to ask me about it.

After that we went to dinner.
Dinner was ok.
We had Hamsters
I thought they’d serve something a little nicer since it was a semi formal dinner to celebrate the culmination of a major training event.

Over all…
It was one of the best experiences of my life.
I’m surprised at how far I made it.


Palm boy said...

Earned not issued.
Thats a pretty good slap. :D

Carey said...

Hamsters? LOL Poor little hamsters...

Jason, seeing as I have no plans to joint the USAF, please tell me everything. (We did have a USAF recruiter at my school on Monday. I refrained from laughing out loud, but of course I thought of you and all the fun you have up there.)

Carey said...

BTW, like your idea of 'stress relief'... I should try it, but Mom would freak.

TheEarthCanBeMoved said...

Never trust a recruter.
If they do tell the truth,
It's not the whole truth.
Ask someone whos already in.
That's what I did.

Carey said...

And you went anyway.

Carey said...

BTW, do they seriously beat you? As in whack-whack beating?

TheEarthCanBeMoved said...

I did my homework first.
I met and interviewed several grads to verify everything.

Grasshopper said...

Congrats on completing recognition!!

Funny that they sent you the OPORD beforehand. Sounds like yours went down similarly to ours. Reading this brought back some memories.

As I mentioned before, the feeling after the Prop and Wings Ceremony ranks right up there as one of the top moments of my time at the Academy, even in life thus far. I like the "Earned, Not Issued." It's good and proper to be proud of your accomplishments. Remember, though, that Recognition is only the beginning of your career, not the end. Some folks go a bit crazy, and it's good to enjoy the privileges you've earned (even though those same "privileges" are what nearly everyone else in America takes for granted). Next year, take what you have learned this year and apply in training YOUR four degrees. Their progress will be reflection on your leadership skills. Good luck, and I look forward to reading about those adventures. :-)

~JS, "Silver" Class of 2001