United States Air Force Academy

Go to home page

Personal mail links basic cadets to outside world

Letters By Maureen Welch/July 18, 2017

You’ve got to love “snail mail,” especially if you happen to be a basic cadet at the Air Force Academy.

You could say it’s their lifeline to the outside world during their six weeks of Basic Cadet Training because computers, cellphones and social media are strictly off limits.

Other than a family emergency, letters are the only way these trainees can contact or hear from their family and friends.

“The mail room is something the basics look forward to because it’s their opportunity to be at ease and relaxed,” said Cadet 1st Class Kai Billings, Demons “E” flight cadre. “They get to see how much their friends and family love them by sending them mail.”

Billings said personal letters helps the basic cadets see the light at the end of training tunnel.

“Words of encouragement from loved ones enable basics to push through and make it during training,” he said.

Basic cadets read their mail in formation while the cadet cadre collects any unauthorized items: pictures, food, candy, tokens, care packages, magazines and newspapers, among other items. The cadre returns these items when the trainees complete BCT.

According to an Academy postal worker, mail is eagerly anticipated. In many cases, the piles of letters from friends and family are equaled by mail from complete strangers.

Cadets keep their post box for their four years at the Academy. Mail to a basic cadet should be addressed:

— Basic Cadet First and Last Name

— P.O. Box number, U.S. Air Force Academy

— Colorado, 80841

Mail with an incorrect or general address may be delayed or never received, the postal worker said.