Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Air Force Academy Spirit

Jacks Valley dust settles; basics soon face academia storm

The Class of 2013 basic cadet trainees put their physical skills to the test Saturday during the Sweepstakes competition. They battled it out to earn the men’s and women’s titles of Big Bad Basic champions. Big Bad Basic signifies the end of Jacks Valley events prior to the march back. Photo by J Rachel Spencer

The Class of 2013 basic cadet trainees put their physical skills to the test Saturday during the Sweepstakes competition. They battled it out to earn the men’s and women’s titles of Big Bad Basic champions. Big Bad Basic signifies the end of Jacks Valley events prior to the march back. Photo by J Rachel Spencer

By Ken Carter

Editor

 

The Class of 2013 has returned to the Cadet Area after demonstrating a “consistently high level of motivation and energy,” that, according to the Basic Cadet Training commander.

“2013 did an excellent job throughout the challenges of Jacks Valley,” said Lt. Col. Ted Detwiler. “The class can certainly be proud of its performance.”

The trek back to the Hill isn’t the end, rather, just one of many more beginnings.

“While the basics may want it to be the end of BCT, the march out of Jacks Valley really only marked the end of the fifth week of training, we still had another solid week filled with evaluations,” Colonel Detwiler said.

Training in Jacks this year was not significantly different than last, Colonel Detwiler said. However, cadet leadership changes every year, which brings new leadership styles and techniques to the program. “The end result being that, although the training events themselves are the same, the delivery of the training is always unique.”

The one unanticipated challenge for the Class of 2013 was basic cadets who developed symptoms after being exposed to H1N1. Overall, the impact on the Academy mission was mitigated through effective crisis action planning and execution.

“Impact from H1N1 has been relatively minor from an overall standpoint,” the BCT commander said. “Although we had to reschedule some courses (Assault Course, Obstacle Course, Confidence Course, etc.) we were able to ensure all basic cadets were given the opportunity to complete each course at least once.”

With H1N1 related concerns looming, the traditional Doolie Day Out became Doolie Day In and a total USAFA team effort made for a near seamless change in plans to ensure the health and safety of all and an overall boosted morale.

“Within 36 hours, a team put together an outstanding plan,” Colonel Detwiler said. “The 10th Communications Squadron installed a bank of 150 phones in Arnold Hall Ballroom and phone cards were given to basics so they could call home free of charge. Mitchell Hall put together a BBQ offering burgers, brats, hotdogs, ice cream sundaes and hundreds of pizzas were brought in.”

The Arnold Hall staff arranged to show movies in the theater and basics had Arnold Hall to themselves for the day. Furthermore, they were given back their cell phones for the day and care packages were delivered from their sponsors and families.

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