Remembering Inprocessing: 'Twas the ride of their lives

Cadet 2nd Class Nathan Rings addresses a basic cadet during a bus ride from Doolittle Hall to the Cadet Area at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 25. Basic cadets are directed to sit with their eyes facing forward at all times while on the bus. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dave Ahlschwede)

Cadet 2nd Class Nathan Rings addresses a basic cadet during a bus ride from Doolittle Hall to the Cadet Area at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., June 25. Basic cadets are directed to sit with their eyes facing forward at all times while on the bus. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dave Ahlschwede)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- After the final tears and hugs were exchanged at Doolittle Hall, the Class of 2013 boarded the buses that carried them to the start of their Air Force careers. 

Once the newly appointed class boarded the buses their military lives began. Seeing others' nervous faces, the basics began their first step of bonding. As a future Academy class, they would have to learn to work as a team and act as a family. Sitting there surrounded by strangers in the same situation provided a jump start for the future cadets. 

Pulling away from Doolittle Hall, the next step began. Two cadre members introduced themselves, as well as some of the essentials of the basic cadets' new military lifestyle. 

Commands of, "Shoulders back and chin up!" were shouted up and down the bus, giving new basics their first taste of Basic Cadet Training. 

In commanding voices, the cadre ordered each basic to place his or her feet at a 45-degree angle, with hands cupped above the knees and eyes straight ahead. According to the cadre, there was nothing these basics needed to be looking at except the backs of the heads in front of them. 

Next, the basics were instructed the seven basic responses, phrases which would become the closest ally they had to each other in the upcoming year, while also serving as a memory for life. 

On top of the taste of their new lifestyle and the commands the basics learned came the shock and stress that would begin to prepare them for the everyday Academy life. The unexpected yelling and introduction of new material were both vital in the preparation for
the demanding summer of Basic Cadet Training.