FALCON FAMILY NEWS
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Edited by Air Force Academy Parents’ Club Liaison
2304 Cadet Drive, Suite 351
USAF Academy CO 80840-5002
(719) 333-3828 Toll free: 877-268-3383 Fax: (719) 333-2252
Another academic year is in the books. I think the snow has finally departed, for a few months at least. The Academy groundskeepers and road pavers are fervently sprucing up the place so it will be at its best when you arrive in the coming days. And I’m back with a few tidbits of news you may find useful.
CLASS OF 2005
This will be my final opportunity to correspond with the parents of members of the Class of 2005. I’d like to take the opportunity to offer my most sincere congratulations. Your children have accomplished a great deal under particularly difficult circumstances. The range of major happenings in the past four years, both globally and at the Academy, is staggering. These men and women leave the Academy to a far different world than when they arrived at USAFA in 2001. The intense pride they feel, and the pride you feel in them, is entirely justified. Their graduation will change your relationship with the Academy, but you will always be part of the family.
June 1, graduation day for the Class of 2005, is rapidly approaching. The speculation I reported last month, that Vice President Cheney would be the guest speaker, has been confirmed. Please plan on tight security and long waiting times to get through the entry points. The stadium gates open at 7:00 a.m., three hours before the ceremonies begin. I’d suggest getting there as close to 7:00 as you can. Also, every person who attends graduation will need a ticket. Tickets for graduating seniors are distributed through the cadet squadrons, so parents should work closely with their cadets to ensure they obtain enough tickets. Extra vehicle passes are also being distributed through the Cadet Wing.
SAVE THE DATE
I am in the initial planning stages for the August 31 - September 1, 2005 Parents’ Club Presidents’ Conference. We hold this event every year, just before Parents’ Weekend. The proposed itinerary includes a reception hosted by the Superintendent at the Carlton House ( the Superintendent’s quarters) on Wednesday evening (August 31), and an all-day meeting on Thursday (September 1). As proposed, the meeting will include briefings by USAFA senior staff members, lunch with your cadets in Mitchell Hall (pending construction restrictions), and time to network and share information about your club and its programs. I’ll get more information and invitations out in the near future, but wanted to give you a heads-up as you make your Parents’ Weekend arrangements.
SCHEDULE DATES FOR 2005-2006
I’ve provided a host of key dates in the past couple of newsletters, and thought it would be useful to consolidate them all into one listing. Here it is:
June 1 (Wednesday): Class of 2005 Graduation
June 5 (Sunday) – June 25 (Saturday): First Summer Period
June 26 (Sunday) – July 16 (Saturday): Second Summer Period
June 30 (Thursday): Class of 2009 In-Processing
July 1 (Friday): Class of 2009 Swearing-In Ceremony
July 16 (Saturday): Field Day for Basic Cadets
July 17 (Sunday): Trip to Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo for Basic Cadets
July 17 (Sunday) – August 6 (Saturday): Third Summer Period
July 22 (Friday): March to Jacks Valley for Basic Cadets
August 4 (Thursday): Warrior Run, Return from Jacks Valley
August 6 (Saturday): Cadet Wing Returns (cadets must return by 7:00 p.m.)
August 7 (Sunday): Doolie Day Out
August 9 (Tuesday): Acceptance Parade
August 10 (Wednesday): First Day of Fall Semester
September 2 (Friday) – 5 (Monday): Parents’ Weekend (all cadets except Firsties must
return by 7:00 p.m. the 5th, while Firsties have until 10:30 p.m.)
October 10 (Monday): Columbus Day holiday. No classes.
November 22 (Tuesday) – 27 (Sunday): Thanksgiving (cadets may depart after last
military duty on November 22 and must return by 7:00 p.m. the 27th)
December 16 (Friday) – 21 (Wednesday): Final Exams
December 22 (Thursday) – January 4, 2006 (Wednesday): Winter Break (cadets may
depart after last final exam and must return by 7:00 p.m. the 4th)
January 6, 2006 (Friday): First day of Spring Semester
January 16 (Monday): Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. No classes.
February 20 (Monday): Presidents’ Day holiday. No classes.
March 24 (Friday) – April 2 (Sunday): Spring Break (cadets may depart after last
military duty on the 24th and must return by 7:00 p.m. the 2nd)
May 15 (Monday) – 19 (Friday): Final Exams
May 31 (Wednesday): Class of 2006 Graduation
PIKES PEAK RODEO/PHONE CALLS HOME
You’ve probably noticed a change in the Basic Cadet Training (BCT) schedule. The Doolie Day Out (DDO), typically held during the middle weekend of BCT, has swapped places with the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. The major concern reported to me so far by parents has been the potential impact of the phone call home. The Commander of BCT has released the following statement: “Parents and Guardians of the Class of 2009: This year basic cadets will not attend the traditional ‘Doolie Day Out’ until after BCT. In the past, this venue afforded basic cadets the opportunity to call home. Instead, basic cadets will relax on the afternoon of 17 July at the Pike’s Peak or Bust Rodeo, where few telephones are available. You can still expect a phone call from your basic cadet, although the call will occur in the evening between 17 and 21 July; most of the calls should occur Sunday or Monday. Cadets are allowed to own cellular phones after BCT. If your appointee brings a cell phone to in-processing, we will secure it for the duration of BCT, except for the single use described above. All basics will be given a single call, but availability and use of personal phones will help us complete the calls in a timely manner. Please consider this when sending your appointee to USAFA.” Further conversations indicate that most of the calls will in fact be made on Sunday, as they always have. In addition to basic cadets’ cell phones, cadre and staff phones will be used.
GIFT SHOP DISCOUNTS FOR CADET PARENTS
The manager of the Academy Gift Shops (at the Visitor Center and Field House) asked me to inform cadet parents that they offer a 10% discount on all merchandise to cadet parents. This discount is available year round.
CLUB GIFT GIVING
Some clubs provide financial support to the Academy and cadet clubs (Thanks!). I want to make sure everyone is aware that government officials are not allowed to solicit gifts. You can ask and then cadets/staffers can tell you what they need, but they/we can’t initiate the conversation.
Again, congratulations to the graduating parents. Equally hearty congrats to the parents of cadets who are nearing the successful completion of the current year and eagerly await the hats in the air so they can move up a “degree” and get that much closer to their own graduations. Until next month . . .