Each June, In-processing Day (I-Day) begins with four-degree (freshman) being dropped off at the Holaday Athletic Centerwhere they begin immediately receiving instruction from upper classmen. They’ll also head up the Core Values Ramp for the first time. Appointees take the Oath of Office and become Basic Cadets. The day also includes haircuts, immunizations, and the issuance of uniforms and dorms. Take a look at how we welcomed the Class of 2026. The Commandant of Cadets conducts a ceremonial class Swearing In ceremony the following day, formally kicking off 6-weeks of Basic Cadet Training (BCT).
Basic Cadet Training
This six-week program guides the transformation of new cadets, also known as Basic Cadets, from being civilians to military academy cadets prepared to enter a four-year officer commissioning program. With a commitment to pushing physical, emotional and mental limits, Basic Cadets will develop into highly disciplined, physically fit fourth-class cadets (freshman), ready to be accepted into the Cadet Wing.
The end of Basic Cadet Training (BCT) is marked by the Acceptance Parade. During this event, cadets receive their fourth-class shoulder boards to recognize completing BCT and to signify their acceptance into the Cadet Wing. In a ceremony associated with the parade, new fourth-class cadets culminate the intensive BCT core values, honor, ethics and human relations training by taking the Academy Honor Code Oath and pledging to live by its principles. This parade is open to the public. Cadet families who attend are able to view the parade and the subsequent pin-on ceremonies. The Legacy Class is invited to view the parade and present Contrails to the outstanding basic from each of the 10 squadrons.
Every year Parents’ Weekend takes place over the Labor Day weekend. It offers an exciting opportunity for cadets to connect with their families for the first time following Basic Cadet Training (BCT). There are many activities designed to orient families and guests to their cadet’s new life in the military. These include a senior leader panel, aerial demonstrations, Cadet Wing parade, information fair, and football kickoff game.
Recognition is the formal three-day finale of the fourth-class (freshman) year when cadets are “recognized” as upper-class cadets and allowed to wear the Prop and Wings insignia on their flight caps. It is a ceremonial acknowledgment that the fourth-class has successfully met military training requirements and is prepared to continue the rigorous and rewarding Academy journey. Recognition consists of several activities including a leadership course, an assault course and “The Run to the Rock.” In addition to challenging the fourth-class cadets, recognition provides the three upper classes with an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. Individual squadron ceremonies and a wing-wide celebratory evening meal mark the end of Recognition.