By Ann Patton
Academy Spirit staff
It was all ready, set, go for the arrival of the Class of 2013 Thursday.
Preparations for the new cadets’ arrival began weeks, sometimes months, before.
Cadet cadre were on the front line for in-processing, and they were plenty ready.
Cadet 2nd Class Nehemiah Bostick served as safety and medical NCO. This is his first Basic Cadet Training to be involved with.
Training for cadre began in May when participating cadets received “re-training” for what goes into the BCT experiences.
So what did the cadre expect from all the new faces on the Terrazzo?
“Nothing,” he said. “They come in here not knowing anything, and that’s why we’re here to teach them.
Cadet cadre for BCT are recognizable by their blue berets.
Maj. Jason Favero, who oversaw the blood pre-screening, said three months of preparation went into in-processing day. Plans called for accumulating supplies like gloves and tubes and seeking out the 100 technicians who volunteered for the day.
“We want to make it as streamlined as possible,” he said and pointed out the day represents a unique Air Force mission.
“No where else do we do this at this level,” he said.
Seamstresses in the tailor shop in Sijan Hall were ready to sink needle and thread into the thousands of nametags as appointees stood by.
“We’re in pretty good shape,” said Ken Rivera, shop supervisor. “We had a good portion of the work done already, including the Preparatory School.”
Nametags are embossed on ribbons in-house, and the process began months ago.
Mr. Rivera anticipates fewer color mismatches this year over years past. As in the past, however, the Academy receives dispensation for a wider range of uniform sizes than the regular Air Force with the addition of very small female sizes and very large male sizes.
Seamstresses put in 12 – 14-hour days during in-processing days, plus Saturday morning if need be.
Connie Graff has been coifing incoming cadets on in-processing day for 22 years. She always looks forward to it.
“I enjoy the cadets,” she said. “They come in scared, and in four years they change so much.”
Many graduates have kept in touch with Academy barbers over the years.
The 28 combined total barbers and beauticians, also, put in 13 – 14 hour days to ensure proper military “do’s” for the incoming class. Female cadet cadre show new female cadets with long hair quick and acceptable ways to perform up-do’s to conform to female uniform/hair standards.
One thing the new cadets need not worry about is food. There will be plenty of it, three times a day, and it will be nutritious.
“They must have three mandatory meals a day until classes start,” said Frank Barfield, director of cadet food service in Mitchell Hall.
Until the end of BCT, appointees will dine sit-down family style. After BCT, they may serve themselves buffet style, Mitchell Hall’s second serving method.
Dining decorum training began Thursday at noon.
“It starts the minute they come inside the building,” Mr. Barfield said.
On the menu for the new cadets’ first meal: cold turkey sandwiches.