In-Processing Week Has Arrived!
Hello 2021 Families,
In-Processing Week is finally here! We are in the final stages of the countdown to I-Day. The Admissions Office is busy putting together the bags containing the in-processing packets which will be handed out on I-Day. One of the most important items in those bags are the colored ID cards that the Basics will wear during BCT. The cards are color coded to identify which BCT squadron they were in. Here's an example of Barbarians.
I know many of you are wondering what I-day will be like. I'll try to walk you through the morning, step by step.
Inprocessing begins about 0700. Most Appointees and familes arrive at Doolittle Hall, the Association of Graduates Headquarters, according to their BCT Squadron. WebGuy will have photographers deployed at Doolittle Hall and later at the various in-processing stations in the cadet area. Be sure and stop for a family photo opp when you arrive in the morning.
After dropping off their luggage, appointees and families wait in line on the sidewalk to the south of the building. With the staggered reporting times, the wait isn't too long now. Make sure you wear sunblock. You will need it. There will be water available. Families are are allowed to stay with their appointees at this point.
Once the appointees reach the front of the line, groups of 50 - 75 step under a canopy in front of the building to receive their first "welcome", from one of the senior leaders of the Academy. This stop only takes a few minutes. This is where you will say your goodbyes. Word of advice... Don't wait till then to say what you need to say. After that, appointees and parents go inside Doolittle Hall and in-processing begins.
Once inside, the appointees go through the elevator to wrap around and head up the stairwell to the second floor. Parents move into the large Assembly Room on the first floor, where the Academy has set up numerous information tables for the appointees and parents to answer any last minute questions. Also, the AOG usually provides some cookies, coffee, etc., for people to nibble on. Be sure to stop by the WebGuy Table and say hello. We have Kleenex available.
At the top of the stairs, the appointees sign-in, get their in-processing packets and get started. The time the appointee spends upstairs is relatively brief since most of their info was submitted via their online admissions portal.
The appointees step over to another station to get the combination to their Post Office Box. After that, they move over to wait for a briefing.
After they finish the briefing, they head across the 2nd floor and come down the stairwell at the other side of the room. Most families will wait around inside for the appointees to come down the south stairwell.
After they come down the stairs, they head out the south door, are "Scanned in" to the system. This allows the Academy to know where the appointees are in the Inprocessing Line.
Next, the appointees (notice I don't say Basic Cadets yet), exit the rear of Doolittle Hall, walk down the stairs adjacent to the patio, and meet up on the Heritage Trail. Once on the trail, they first stop at a replica of the War Memorial, funded by the Class of 1970. This Memorial contains the names of all USAF Academy graduates who have given their lives in battle.
After the War Memorial, the appointees walk to the Challenge Bridge that was funded by the first Academy Class, the Class of 1959. A member of the 1959 Class will meet and talk with the Basics, and have one of the Basics read the following Challenge:
"To Each Entering Cadet:
"The path to which you aspire has been consecrated by the blood of heroes and paved with the selfless service of countless men and women like you.
If you would be worthy of this heritage:
Make integrity the bedrock of your life.
Let your actions be guided by an unshakable sense of duty, self-discipline and personal responsibility.
Become a lifelong student of history, war, humanity and leadership.
Be prepared to sacrifice everything to defend the principles upon which our nation was founded.
Cross this bridge with the determination to live a life that will make all who went before proud of you."
After this, the appointees cross over the bridge, continue on the trail, and get on the buses waiting at the top of the trail.
Once on the bus, the Parents wave goodbye one last time. (Note: This year there will be a special place set aside for families to get the photo of your appointee getting on the bus.)
And thus, it begins......
I will have more photos and info between now and Thursday, so you can see how we are getting ready and also talk about how we are covering BCT this year.
PS! A note to families already or soon to be in Colorado Springs... If you are coming by Doolittle on Tuesday or Wednesday to check things out, you are welcome to tour the grounds, see the Challenge Bridge up close and shop in our store on Tuesday or our even bigger merchandise tent on Wednesday. Up until noon on Tuesday you are also welcome to come inside Doolittle Hall to see the set-up for I-Day. After that time tomorrow (Tuesday), the I-Day areas inside Doolittle Hall will be closed to the public. Admissions will be getting ready for you on Thursday.
See you soon!