I-Day Minus 2
It's Tuesday evening as a write this blog. It's warm here and will be on Thursday. The temperature is supposed to be in the low 80's. As they say in the Navy, "All preparations are being made for getting underway". The footprints are painted and ready. The cadre have arrived and will be ready to greet your appointees soon.
The first appointees are already here. Our 12 international appointees have arrived and are going through their pre-BCT orientation. Imagine what their families must be feeling. They have sent their sons and daughter off to a foreign country with a different language to speak and a different culture to learn. They look like they are ready though.
Other early arrival families are already visiting Doolittle Hall and buying their gear in our expanded store. In Admissions, the folks there are busy stuffing bags with the materials your appointees will receive as the begin in-processing. The most important item will be the lanyard with the colored ID. You will spend many hours looking for those ID tags.
As we get ready here at the Academy, I have been monitoring the Class of 2023 Facebook page posts. As I-Day approaches, I can see that reality is sinking in for both parents and appointees. Last minute tasks that have been put off are finally being attended to. Stress levels are higher. Some of your kids are distancing themselves. While some seem just fine, others may be sullen and testy. Some are spending these last few days and hours with boy or girlfriends instead of family. Feelings are a bit raw. Some of your kids who were so confident and ready a couple of weeks ago, are now not so much. Some of you are already riding the emotional roller coaster. Just know that this is all quite normal and natural. Charging into the unknown is scary. No one is really prepared, but they can do this. The literally thousands of young people who have preceeded them have proved that. We have a saying in our family. "Feelings are not right or wrong, they just are". This is the time that we give one another the gift of getting themselves emotionally ready for this in their own way.
Many of you are feeling like the people in the photos below from past I-Days...
What I hope you can focus on instead, is that in a few short weeks you and your cadets will look (and feel) like the people in the photos below.
I watched a briefing today from the BCT Chief of Staff and the Cadet BCT Group Commander given to international appointees. The overriding message was how honored and how much the staff wants your son or daughter to succeed. But they want them to earn it. Their goal is for every one of of the 1168 members of the Class of 2023 who enter on Thursday to throw their hats in the air on that day in May of 2023. That's their mission.
So, now let's talk about arriving here on Thursday. I've seen a lot of questions about that. Remember to enter through the North Gate. The offramp to I-25 is conveniently named Northgate Blvd. Depending on where you are staying in town, plan on traffic and a line to enter the base. Plan to arrive at the field house parking lot a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes prior to the assigned reporting time. There will be signs to direct you. Better to be a bit earlier than later. Appointees should eat a good breakfast. It's a long day. Snacks, juice, and lunch will be provided during the day once they are going through the in-processing stations. One of the first things issued them after the footprints are their hat and a camelback (water), so don't worry about that.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will be at Colorado Springs Airport with my camera. If your appointee is arriving by themselves I will make every effort to catch their photo. If you are all arriving together then be sure and say hello and I'll take your photo as well. Those photos will all be up in the In-Processing gallery under the Class of 2023 page above. Just click on the "Classes" tab above.
Ok! That's it for tonight! Hope to see you at the Ice Cream Social if you are in town. If not, I will have another blog entry and photos from the Pre-I Day activities and a preview of what you will see on Thursday.
Bye for now!