U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Scores of cadets are prepping for the summertime arrival of more than 1,000 basic trainees -- what will become the Class of 2023.
Rising juniors and seniors at the Air Force Academy will lead the intense two-part Basic Cadet Training program here under the guidance of approximately 100 officers and noncommissioned officers.
It will test the leadership skills they have developed here at the Academy, skills they will need in the operational Air Force.
Preparation has been underway since December. They've decided courage, compassion, and competence will guide their cadre.
They've met with a behavioral science specialist at the Academy to learn more about leadership and how to handle difficult situations. They'll team up with military training instructors from Joint Base San Antonio to practice their training and teaching skills.
They know the stakes are high.
They know BCT provides the foundation for military teamwork and service.
They know these six-weeks will show which trainees have the potential to be a successful officer and Airman.
Basic Cadet Training is successful because of cadets like Cadet 2nd Class Sarah Stinson, the BCT cadet commander, 2nd Class Daniel Rosenfeld and Cadet 2nd Class Karlee Xander, BCT cadet deputy commanders -- devoted cadet leaders with firsthand knowledge what BCT represents in the journey to join the Long Blue Line.
"They're great students, great athletes and great community servants, but they arrive at the Academy as individuals, and we have to teach them 'it's not just about me now,'" Rosenfeld said. "We have to teach them the Air Force mission relies on a team effort."
Xander said she feels the pressure to "get BCT right."
"There's not a lot of time," she said. "You have to maximize every day."
I'm confident this cadet leadership and cadre team will rise to the challenge, and I'm thrilled to see them build on the legacy of previous classes.