By John Van Winkle
Academy Public Affairs
Approximately 1,274 basic cadet trainees arrived, said goodbye to their loved ones, started their inprocessing and entered Basic Cadet Training Thursday.
“Our goal is 100 percent accountability, get everybody through and everybody rolling so they can continue with basic cadet training,” said Cadet 1st Class Thomas Buenger, cadet commander of Basic Cadet Training. The cadet cadre intends to instill pride in attending the best service academy in the nation and creating Airmen out of high school graduates.
The Academy received more than 11,000 applications for the Class of 2014, up 1,730 from 2009. Minority applications rose to 4,064, nearly 1,105 more than last year. Of the 1,274 appointees, the newest class includes 291 women, 22.8 percent of the class, and 350 minorities, making up 27.4 percent of the class. Of the minorities, 7.9 percent are black, 8.9 percent Hispanic, 1 percent Native American and 9.8 percent Pacific Islander.
Today marks the first full day of Basic Cadet Training, which began with reville at 4:30 a.m., followed by physical fitness activities.
The Class of 2014 will form up at 8:15 a.m. on the Terrazzo today, for a mass swearing-in ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Afterward, they will continue basic training activities with their squadrons. The first half of basic cadet training – better known as “first beast” – will be conducted in the Cadet Area. It includes physical fitness activities, inspections, Honor Code and core values lessons, language and advanced placement testing, the opportunity to be up well before sunrise, and their recommended daily allowance of marching.
First Beast helps the flights and BCT squadrons learn to work together as a team and unit. They’ll test that teamwork during Field Day July 10. BCT squadrons will hold a variety of athletic competitions during Field Day. They will have one break – Doolie Day Out – that afternoon.
On July 11 at 6:30 a.m., the basics will form up for the traditional march out to Jacks Valley, and step off at 6:45 a.m. The transition to Jacks Valley marks the start of 2nd BCT, which is more affectionately known as “Second Beast.” Once in Jacks Valley, the basics will set up their squadron areas and begin two weeks of field training and living in a tent city. Included in these two weeks will be running the assault course, confidence course, self-aid and buddy care, weapons drills, leadership reaction course, honor lessons, and still more drill and marching.
The Class of 2014 leaves Jacks Valley July 24, and will march back starting to the cadet area starting at 1 p.m. that day. BCT concludes July 31, after which the Class of 2014 will transition to their freshman year squadrons. The next major date for the basics will be Aug. 6, when they attend the Acceptance Parade, swear the Honor Oath and to abide by the Academy’s Honor Code of “We will not lie, cheat, steal, nor tolerate any among us who does,” and pin on their first rank of Cadet 4th Class.
Then it’s off to classes, as all cadets will begin the Academy’s fall semester Aug. 7.