By Ray Bowden | U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — “You’re OK? You’re good, right?” a basic cadet asked a classmate as he breathed hard, clutching a chain-link fence for support.
Moments earlier, the pair sprinted over the finish line of a long distance run, one of several challenges July 12 during Field Day. The annual event at the Air Force Academy marks the halfway point of Basic Cadet Training.
“Competing together builds cohesion,” said Cadet 2nd Class Krisanna Reynolds. “The basic cadets get to talk to each other and get to know one another, which doesn’t always happen a lot in BCT.”
Reynolds is a flight commander for Cadet Squadron 20. She said her “job” during Field Day was to cheer on basic cadets.
“I’m just here to motivate,” she said with a smile before moving on to chat with another group of basic cadets.
Eight BCT squadrons tried to best each other in the run, tug-of-war, steeple chase, and other relays. Cadet 2nd Class Matthew Herbig is one of the cadets who worked with staff from the school’s Athletic Department to plan and organize the event.
Overall, it was hard not to notice the fun the basic cadets were having, possibly for the first time since beginning the very rigorous basic training. Cadets from nearly two dozen training squadrons were seen cheering on their classmates and giving each other high-fives.
Herbig said while the competitive aspects of Field Day are fun, the event’s real purpose is to encourage the basic cadets to work together and push past their mental and physical limits.
“Field Day is designed to inspire them to give more than they think they can,” he said, referring to the more-than 1,170 young men and women who reported to the Academy June 17 to begin BCT.
Field Day ended just before 1 p.m. with the “Executioners” — basic cadets assigned to Cadet Squadrons 21-25 — beating out the rest of rest of their BCT classmates.
CT ends Aug. 3.