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  • Writer's pictureLTC Brechin, USAF, Ret.

Cadet Life: Hard work and some fun!

Cadet life is hard work, but it also includes some fun! Cadets find different ways to entertain themselves at the US Air Force Academy, the US Military Academy, the US Naval Academy, or one of the two smaller schools: the US Coast Guard Academy and the US Merchant Marine Academy. In all cases, academics and military training are challenging, but cadets are rewarded in many ways, including receiving a salary, room, board, great camaraderie and the satisfaction of service to this extraordinary country. What's more, cadets will have some fun!

The photo to the left was taken recently as I watched the Air Force footbal game on television. There cadets decided to have 'some fun' at the game setting up a rack (i.e., a bed) with their class-color blue wool blanket in the standard (and inspection worthy) configuration. Why not get some shuteye during halftime!

Military cadets and midshipmen are known for practical jokes and midnight 'projects' to decorate local statues, walls, lawns, rocks, trees, doors and about any other object that you can name. The spirit of the cadet wing at the US Air Force Academy is legendary, and the same can be said for the other service academies.

Each of the academies also feature an extensive set of clubs and activities. Skiing, mountain climbing, camping, cycling, gliders, parachuting and so many other activities are fundamental to cadet (and midshipmen) life. Hard work, study and military training are integral ingredients of cadet habitude, but a rich set of extracurricular activities makes academy life more entertaining.

No matter the source of entertainment, cadets have lots of choices between extracurricular activities and clubs along with small, devious midnight projects for some laughs! There are literally thousands of 'spirit missions' -- both successful and failed -- shared often with other graduates from all classes (including the Class of '82, Best in Blue!). They are a source of pride and lots of laughs, and these 'projects' (and other extracurricular activities) allow cadets to have some FUN.

[If you are a high school junior (or sophomore or freshman), let's talk. I help students prepare for the admissions process for the US Service Academies (i.e., the US Air Force Academy, the US Naval Academy, the US Military Academy, the US Coast Guard Academy and the US Merchant Marine Academy). Last year all three of my high school seniors were awarded military scholarships and Academy appointments. You can do the same! - Academician.us]

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