Parents can encourage cadets to put forth their best efforts in all areas and, particularly, to abide by the cadet wing regulations, take responsibility for their actions and be accountable to themselves and their supervisors. Parental support has been found to be a strong motivator toward good performance. Conversely, parents who condone violations will undermine the Academy’s efforts and leave their son or daughter open to punishment and possible disenrollment. For example, statistics show that of the cadets found guilty of violating the regulation that only first- and second-class cadets may own, maintain and operate a personal motor vehicle, most were given a car or received some financial assistance toward one from their parents. USAFA’s intense curriculum challenges cadets in many ways. Support from home can be very helpful and motivating to cadets.
No, your parents should refrain from calling you directly during the difficult BCT adjustment period. You will be instructed to write home soon after BCT starts and give your parents the name and home and duty phone numbers of your Air Officer Commanding (AOC) who directly supervises your squadron. The first opportunity you will have to phone home will be during Doolie Day Out, which is approximately halfway through BCT. Cadets and parents are strongly encouraged to communicate through cards and letters. If an AOC cannot be directly reached in the event of an emergency, call the Command Post at (719) 333-2910/2911.
During Parents’ Weekend (which begins the Friday before Labor Day weekend), cadet parents and guests may attend an information fair and a parade, as well as briefings led by the Superintendent to update the parents on the current status of the USAF Academy. Parents and guests are invited to attend classes with their cadets throughout the day, and fourth-class cadet parents may join their cadet for lunch at Mitchell Hall. There are also airmanship, dormitory, athletic and academic area open houses scheduled during the weekend. Guests are welcome to join their cadets at buffet meals in Mitchell Hall throughout the weekend; tickets may be purchased at the door. Typically, there is a home football game scheduled on Saturday afternoon that all cadets must attend. Tickets are available for purchase for friends and family of the cadet. Cadets are usually released to spend time with their parents off base following the football game and must report back to the base on Monday evening.
Most parents are curious about their cadet’s grades and academic progress at the end of each semester. The policy regarding the release of student grades to parents is dictated by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This law specifies that educational records of the students may not be released without (1) the written consent of the student that specifies those educational records to be released and to whom, or (2) judicial order or subpoena of the student’s educational records. In the latter situation, the student must be notified of the institution’s compliance with the order or subpoena.
Based upon this policy, the United States Air Force Academy provides grade reports directly to the cadet. We understand and appreciate the concern and interest of parents; however, parents must receive this information directly from the cadet.
There are presently 93 parents’ clubs in the United States, with every state having representation. There clubs are, basically, support groups. The parents support each other and they support their cadets and Academy. For more information on Parents’ Clubs, go to http://www.usafa.af.mil/information/parents/clubs.asp.
Basic cadets are not allowed to receive care packages during BCT. However, upon completion of training, they are allowed to receive care packages from their parent and family at any time. The cadet area houses a fully functioning US Post Office that allows cadets to receive mail and packages in a timely manner. Generally, newly accepted cadets are eager to receive care packages that include their favorite snacks, food, pictures of family and friends, cards and other letters of encouragement.
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