<p>I'm new here and I was wondering if anybody knows where or how I could get the book Contrails that everyone has to memorize from as a fourth degree? I read somewhere that it would help to have a head start in the knowledge that they drill into you.</p>


<p>It's not worth it! Contrails changes a little every year. </p>

<p>Part of the reason we memorize stuff from contrails is to improve how fast you can memorize things. (It works too.)</p>

<p>If you want a head start though, three things to know would be
1. Air Force ranks from E-1 through O-10 and what they look like
2. Part (or all) of the Air Force Song
3. (if you really want to stand out) Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield's quote.</p>

<p>DO NOT spend too much time on this, if you do look at it. You will have time to learn it during Basic and the Ac. year. Also, it is usually a bad idea to stand out too much during BCT. Knowing ranks would be the only thing I could actually recommend knowing. The other two are just a little helpful to be familiar with.</p>

<p>Conclusion: You will learn it here, so enjoy civilain life while you can.</p>

<p>I would actually say don't waste your time with any of it. If you get here knowing that stuff, you're going to get singled out bigtime for knowing it. If you don't know it, you'll be just another Basic in the crowd along with the rest of your classmates (or TEAMMATES-you should see the connection here). Believe me, its not a good thing to be singled out in Basic, even if for good things like knowing knowledge (mainly because NOTHING you ever do is good). ALl that you're likely too see from learning that stuff is a training session caused by you knowing the stuff and everybody else not, and they will be focusing on you. If you get in, just get your fill of whatever it is you enjoy most before coming here, don't waste it memorizing stuff that you will be given time (even if a little) to memorize in BCT.</p>

<p>Thanks. I had gotten that tip from the Air Force Academy Candidate Book by William L. Smallwood that I bought when I visited the Academy. Other than the Contrails tip, it's been a great book and offered lots of advice on the whole process and explaining Basic and the first year.</p>

<p>Everyone's advice here has been repeated every year. A huge advantage of waiting is that it can help you academically. Learning knowledge quickly and often increases your ability to retain information which, in turn, improves your academic abilities too. Ya definately don't want to hinder that. ;)</p>


<p>I read the same book before I came and read the same advice. Now that I am here, I can tell you that his advice about Contrails is the only thing that is wrong.</p>

<p>DO NOT try to memorize stuff before you come here. As people have said before, standing out is a bad idea...and furthermore, you will likely get on your classmate's bad side, not just the cadre. People don't like it when they get shown up. Bottom line is that noone else will know it, so don't learn it. </p>

<p>I'm sure you've heard that ignorance is bliss...its a bad philosophy, but it works when it comes to boot camp. :P</p>

<p>Just a thought man. Good luck to you. ;)</p>

<p>The most played card here is not the "Ace" its the "Dumb Basic" card. Remember that!</p>

<p>There is the "Dumb Four Degree" card too, but it is a little bit harder to play after the first week.</p>

<p>Anyone who has tried to study from old Contrails, Beware. They change a bit every year!</p>

<p>All the advice the cadets have shared is right! My son (4 degree) says he just want to remain a "Stealth" cadet. Don't show how much you know, at the same time, stay under the radar (of trouble). </p>

<p>If you really want to prepare for BCT, practice on NOT SMILING or LAUGHING. My son got in trouble because he could not keep a straight face. From what I can gather, much of basic is mind over matter.</p>

<p>Some Basics in my flight took a lot of grief over breaking bearing. Knowing the thousand yard stare is very valuable (i.e. looking at a person, but not focusing your eyes on anything). Knowing how to stop smiling in 0.01 seconds helps too. :)</p>

<p>BCT is a good time to stay under the radar. If you aren't doing well, bad things happen. If you do much better than eveyone else, the cadre expect you to help everyone else.</p>

<p>The Academic year is a little different. You should try to do well then...just don't do it at the expense of your classmates.</p>

<p>If theres anything you can do to minimize grief (and I'd recommend it as the ony thing), it's practice sitting at attention staring straight down with your head facing straight, as well as standing at attention for long periods of time. I dunot know about everyone else, but I was in agony for the first week or so because my back and leg muscles were not used to the "correct position of attention" (as C2C Cecil would say). Also, after every meal, I couldn't see straight and I'd be nauseus for like an hour after just from sitting and straining my eyes to look down atthe eagle. So if you can get there and not have to worry about the "pain" of daily life in BCT, practice those things.</p>

<p>OR try a different approach. Ie, look at your your glass of water. Even though your sitting on the front third of the chair, find where the chair's curve is most comfotable. Those two helped me a lot.</p>

<p>For standing at attention....let me just say this, the entire bottom of my feet were numb half-way through basic. I STILL don't have feeling in the inner half of both my big toes. It took months to get feeling back. A hint on this, make sure you have comfortable boots and good insoles.</p>

<p>A word on boots:
Buy them early. Wear them to school for at least a month. Then, go jogging in them 2-3days a week for about 5 miles.
This will break them in and get you used to them. Also, jogging is good for you!</p>

<p>I recommend Belleville boots. These are the ones I have, and are about as comfortable as the Vans I used to wear (even with the factory insoles).</p>

<p>In basic, you don't have to look directly at the eagle, just never look above the glass.
I have always stood up fairly straight, and had no problems. So, I guess, just get used to standing up straight.</p>

<p>The whole foot thing certainly bears some discussion. One of our hometown boys was sent home from BCT. Evidently his boots were too small. His toes got infected and he tried to tough it out. Finally they had to remove his toenails to treat the infection. That meant a medical turnback because he couldn't train with his feet in that condition. There are more lessons in this than I can list. Number one, get the right size boots and break them in well before BCT. Make absolutely sure you can train in them. Number two, you are the best judge of the condition of your feet. Get help quick if something isn't right with them. A milligram of prevention is worth a metric ton of cure. Once you receive your appointment, you will receive instructions on how to get your boots before BCT. The best way is by attending orientation in April.</p>

<p>Don't stress out about the stuff you'll have to do during Basic. You have to realize that no matter how good you are...the cadre will always find something wrong, it's just part of being a Basic. Don't worry about that stuff now, just enjoy your senior year. It's six weeks, it's not gonna be fun, but just about everyone gets through it, so don't stress over it.</p>

<p>Do get your boots early though and break them in and do come here in great shape. Being physically fit will help you far more than knowing any knowledge during Basic.</p>