USAFA Glossary

USAFA Glossary

  • 100s night: When firsties have 100 days until graduation, there is a dining-in when they learn where their first bases will be after graduation, followed by much revelry off base. While the firsties are gone, Doolies trash their rooms in creative ways.
  • A-Course, Assault Course: The Assault Course (sometimes called the “A-Course” is a physically challenging course completed by cadets during Basic Cadet Training, and often again during Recognition. It involves learning close quarters combat, then going through a course that requires the negotiation of obstacles with a rifle and bayonet.
  • ABU: Airman Battle Uniform, utility uniforms are worn by cadets during field training
  • Academic probation, or “Ac Pro”, is a status on which a cadet is put for failing to maintain an adequate grade point average, having two D’s, or for having a failing grade in one or more courses. Cadets can be put on Ac Pro at midterms or at the end of a semester.
  • Acceptance: Basic Cadets, after completion of Basic Cadet Training (BCT), are accepted into the cadet wing and receive their shoulder boards with “clouds.”
  • ACQ: Academic Call to Quarters, the time period Sunday through Thursday, usually from 1900 until Taps at 2230, when the lower three classes are required to be in their rooms or in the library, completing homework assignments or studying. Cadets who are permitted to take day passes during the week must return to the academic study area prior to the ACQ bugle call. Firsties do not have ACQ, and are permitted to sign out until Taps.
  • AFT: Aerobic Fitness Test, a 1.5 mile run used to gauge cadets’ aerobic fitness, administered each semester
  • Air Force Song (3rd Verse): When a graduate dies in the line of duty or a well known Air Force member dies and it is announced at lunch, the entire Cadet Wing quietly sings the third verse of the Air Force Song, “Here’s a toast, to the host…” Additionally, after football games, the drum and bugle corps plays the third verse of the Air Force song, the football team removes their helmets and faces the Cadet Wing or Air Force contingent and everyone quietly sings the third verse. If USAFA is playing another service Academy, both service academies sing the appropriate song for each Academy.

    “Here’s a toast to the host of those who love the vastness of the sky,
    To a friend we send the message of his brother men who fly,
    We drink to those who gave their all of old,
    Then down we roar to score the rainbow’s pot of gold.
    A toast to the host of men we boast,
    The US Air Force.”

  • AFSC: Air Force Specialty Code, the job the cadet will do after graduation. Cadets list their choices during 2-dig year, and find out what they’ve been assigned in special squadron-only events in the spring semester.
  • Alcove: In the cadet dorms, the hallway is recessed where the room doors are. This space is referred to as an alcove. Each alcove has four doors–two on each side of the hallway. Vandenberg Hall is five alcoves wide (north to south) and Sijan Hall is six alcoves wide. For purposes of cleanliness and inspections, the alcove is considered an extension of the cadet’s room, and it is the responsibility of the cadets to keep their alcoves clean.
  • Amnesty: Given by visiting dignitaries after beating Army and Navy, graduation, etc. to cadets with outstanding punishments. The amnesty usually does not apply to cadets with serious problems.
  • AMT: Academy Military Trainer. Active duty NCOs assigned to cadet squadrons, each squadron has two AMTs: one Master Sergeant and one Technical Sergeant.
  • AOC: Air Officer Commanding. A specially selected officer who is put in charge of a cadet squadron or a cadet group. In the case of a Cadet Squadron, the AOC is generally a major. In the case of a Cadet Group, the AOC is usually a Lieutenant Colonel.
  • AOG: Association of Graduates, the official alumni organization of the Academy. Its headquarters is in Doolittle Hall on the Academy reservation.
  • ARC: An Academic Review Committee is convened when a cadet has failed the goals of his academic probation or continues to show deficient academic performance after placement on Ac Pro. There are two types of ARC: the “soft-look” and the “hard-look.” Generally, the first time a cadet meets an ARC it will be a soft-look, and he will not be in immediate danger of disenrollment. However, if he continues to display sub-average performance, he will meet a hard-look ARC, which has the capability to recommend a cadet for disenrollment.
  • At Rest: Fourth Classmen are usually put “at rest” after the Falcons beat Army or Navy, a nice break in the past for Doolies who are required to “fall in” when on the terrazzo.
  • BCGs: BCGs is slang for Basic Cadet Glasses, Basic Cadet Goggles, Basic Combat Glasses, or more commonly Birth Control Goggles. They are ugly, brown, tough, issued prescription spectacles that vision-impaired basic and fourth class cadets are required to wear during BCT, Recognition, and many training sessions in lieu of their own, less durable spectacles.
  • Basic Cadet: A Basic Cadet is a new cadet who has entered Basic Cadet Training, but has not been accepted into the Cadet Wing. Basic Cadets are often referred to by uperclassmen simply as “Basics”.
  • Beast: Basic Cadet Training (BCT).
  • Beatdown, Beating: a high-intensity training session where fourth class cadets are expected to recite knowledge and/or to perform physical training.
  • Blue Weekend: a free weekend, where official duties end on Friday afternoon and cadets have no military responsibilities until ACQ on Sunday. If not on probation or restriction, cadets in good standing are free to take passes and leave the base and local area.
  • BOR (Base of Ramp): Cadets are told to meet at the “BOR” which is base of ramp (Bring Me Men Ramp).
  • Box Nasty: a boxed lunch prepared by Mitchell Hall. They are distributed to airmanship cadets, cadets on bed rest, and cadets travelling for sports competitions. The standard box nasty contains a ham and cheese sandwich or a tuna kit, chips, an apple or orange, and a bottle of water or juice.
  • Bugs and Bunnies: Combat Survival Training (CST)
  • C-Shop, C-Store: the cadet store in Vandenberg Hall.
  • Cadet Squadron 41: the name given to the administrative unit to which cadets who are out-processing from the Academy are assigned, and to the area in the dorms where these out-processing cadets live.
  • Cadet X: When serious disciplinary actions are taken against a cadet, or when there is an ambiguous near-violation of the Honor Code or a serious regulation, a written summary of events, sometimes referred to as a “Cadet X letter”, is often released as a training tool for cadets.Such a summary might start, “On the night of 1 JUN, Cadet X left the Academy grounds, even though he did not have any passes.” The letter will go on to explain what happened, then offer an analysis of why the actions do or do not constitute an honor or regulatory violation. To protect the identities of those involved, the names are removed and replaced with letters, such as Cadet X, Cadet Y, Cadet Z, etc. The term “Cadet X” is generally used for the culpable (or most potentially culpable) individual involved, and is understood to represent any cadet involved in a serious offense.
  • Cadre: upperclass cadets in leadership or training roles in certain cadet programs. The most common usage is to refer to those upperclassmen who are working Basic Cadet Training, but the term has been used for SERE as well. BCT cadre are sometimes subdivided to distinguish “Squadron Cadre”, who are assigned to Basic Cadet Training squadrons, and “Course Cadre”, who are assigned to specific courses or training functions
  • Cage one’s eyes: When at attention, basic cadets and fourth class cadets are expected to cage their eyes. This means they are to focus their eyes straight ahead. Not doing so is called “gazing”.
  • Calling minutes: Unrecognized 4-digs start their mornings standing in the hallway counting down minutes at the tops of their lungs, so that the upperclassmen can get to class on time.
  • Canoe U: The United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland
  • CATM: Combat Arms Training and Maintenance, pronounced “cat-em”, conducts the weapons training for all cadets. Most notably, they conduct the weapons training portion of second beast. CATM is staffed by both enlisted members and upperclass cadet cadre.
  • CCQ: Cadet in Charge of Quarters. A duty for third class cadets. It primarily involves sitting at the CQ desk, answering the phone, and occasionally picking up distro.
  • Checkpoints: 4th class knowledge. Fourth class cadets have to memorize “Checkpoints” each day, and must be able to recite them if asked, including: Name and rank of the Officer of the Day, Name and rank of the Senior Officer of the Day, Uniform of the Day, Number of days until each class graduates, Number of days until Air Force next beats Army, Number of days until Air Force next beats Navy, Number of days until the next Air Force Day, Meals for the day (main course, drink and dessert), etc.
  • Civvies: civilian clothes
  • Class Crest: Designed and voted on by each class and then put on the Class Ring and on the class wall by the Chapel. The senior class’s crest is displayed in the center of the wall. During graduation parade, the class’s crest will be taken down and moved over to be with the other graduated class crests, and the rising firstie class’s crest will be put in its place. The wing will be marched by it on their way back from the parade (going out of their way) so that they can see who is in charge now!
  • Comm: The Commandant of Cadets, who oversees the military training at the Academy
  • Commandant’s List: An honors list for cadets who are in the top third of their class with their Military Performance Appraisal (MPA), and they are authorized to wear the Commandant’s Pin on their uniforms.
  • Commander in Chief’s Trophy: Awarded by the President of the United States to the Service Academy with the best inter-service record.
  • Confinements: Punishment, an hour and 50 minutes sitting at your desk in your room, wearing service dress, with the door open –no sleeping, music, etc. They have been condensed into mass confinements in a room in Fairchild Hall, which apparently is seriously more inconvenient.
  • Contrails: a pocket-size book that contains the knowledge all fourth class cadets are expected to learn during their first year, including quotations, aircraft, Air Force history and information about the operational Air Force and the Academy. Contrails has been prepared by a cadet staff since 1956. The cover of Contrails is typically the class color of the class it was issued to. Originally, basic cadets received their Contrails on Inprocessing Day, but in more recent years, they have been issued a Contrails “extract” (sometimes referred to as “Wingtips”) for BCT and been issued their full Contrails at Acceptance.
  • Correction: the polite and proper term for upper class cadet’s personal attention to a basic cadet or fourth class cadet’s infraction of a cadet regulation, custom, or courtesy. For example, an upper class cadet will correct a doolie’s posture by ordering the doolie to get his or her shoulders back and down.
  • CQ (Cadet in Charge of Quarters): A cadet (usually a third classman) who mans the CQ desk and squadron phones.
  • CS: Cadet Squadron
  • CST: Combat Survival Training, also known as Bugs and Bunnies.
  • D&B: The Cadet Drum and Bugle Corps
  • Dead Week: the time, usually about a week long, between the end of the academic year and June Week. Its name comes from the fact that there is little for cadets to do during this transitional period, either academically or militarily.
  • Degree: sometimes used to mean “class”, as in “two degree” for “second class cadet.” The term is often shortened to “dig”, as in “two dig” or “three dig”. Firsties, for whatever reason, are never verbally called “one degrees”.
  • Deployed Ops: During their last cadet summer, rising firsties can go to a deployed base overseas to learn how the “Real Air Force” does things in a warfighting situation. It’s a fairly safe, secure place, but it’s the second line, supporting the warfighters and those in combat areas. Cadets are not supposed to be exposed to much danger.
  • DI: Dormitory Inspection is a taps inspection done by the Squadron Duty Officer to account for all cadets in the squadron who are supposed to be there by taps.
  • Dining in: These are usually held by squadrons downstairs in Mitchell Hall in the formal dining room. This introduces cadets to the traditions of the dining in: Grog Bowl, uniform discrepancies, wear of the mess dress, etc.
  • Distro: Picking up and delivering distro (short for “distribution”) is a duty of those cadets working CCQ duty. Basically it involved the transfer of official mail between various offices–mainly, the squadron CQ, group CQ, and Command Post.
  • Doolie: the original and “official” colloquialism for a fourth class cadet. It comes from the Greek word duolos, meaning slave. In recent years it has fallen out of favor among cadets, who prefer to use the term smack. The term “Doolie” is generally used only in official Academy literature, and by Academy parents’ clubs. Within the Cadet Wing, it only occasionally lives on in a combining form, such as in “Doolie swap”, “Doolie knowledge” or “Doolie Day Out”. Fourth classman are required to walk at attention on the right side of halls in the dormitories and walk at attention or run on the white marble strips on the terrazzo.
  • Doolie Knowledge: Fourth class cadets are required to memorize information about Air Force and Academy history, aircraft, quotes, and other bits of information, contained in Contrails.
  • EI, Extra Instruction: Faculty members are generally ready and willing to provide EI to cadets who need help or want to learn more about a subject matter.
  • Falcon Goggles: a result of extended isolation at the Academy, which causes the victim to “lower his standards” of who he considers attractive. Falcon goggles are often the predecessor to Falcon Love.
  • Falcon Love: the term used to describe romantic relations between cadets, also known as “cadating”.
  • FCA: Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • First Beast: BCT 1, the first half of BCT when cadets learn to basic military skills and undergo physical conditioning.
  • Firsties: A first class cadet is one who is in his or her fourth and final year at the Academy (i.e. a senior). First class cadets are also called “firsties” and serve as the cadet officers in the cadet command structure. Unlike the other three classes, firsties are never referred to as “1 degree”, “1 dig” or “1 smoke”.
  • First Salute: Like the other services, new 2Lts, immediately after graduation, must present a silver dollar to the person who first salutes them. Many an NCO in service dress uniform has been known to “clean up” at graduation. A nice touch is to give a silver dollar with your year of birth or graduation year.
  • First snow, first shirt: On the day of the first snow of the winter, the Doolies are supposed to grab their first sergeants and drag them through the snow until they are just shy of hypothermic.
  • Five Degree: or “Five Smoke” is a term sometimes used to refer to a person who has recieved an appointment to the Academy but who has not started yet (i.e., an “appointee”). Five smokes often come to the Academy for one of several orientation programs in the Spring, where they spend about a day and a half with current cadets in the dorms. A popular tactic during these orientation sessions is to try to get a five smoke involved in training the fourth class cadets during a training session. If the five smoke is bold enough to be harsh towards a fourthclassman, the 4ºs will remember the five smoke’s name and seek him out for special attention the following year.
  • Fly overs or fly bys: Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve aircraft fly over noon meal formations, on special occasions, football games (wherever they are held), parades, or memorial services. Many grads like to participate in these “fly bys” and folklore has aircraft breaking the sound barrier/windows, flying below the top of the Chapel/Stadium lights, etc.
  • Football push-ups: After the Falcons score, four dig cadets rush to the end zone and do pushups for the amount of the total Falcon score. It’s not all the smacks, because there isn’t room for them all, so each squadron will usually assign a few or ask for volunteers.
  • Form O-96: This form is used by cadets at their table in Mitchell Hall to report on the quality of food and service. The real intent is to use the Form O-96 as a training aide to teach fourth classman how to fill out an Air Force form (black pen, within the space given); how to make corrections on a form (single line through and initials); how to properly make comments, including negative ones, on an official form; and how to follow procedures in a short period of time under pressure. USAFA folklore explains that the normal blocks to check if the meal and service were fine: fast-neat-average, friendly-good-good. These words were allegedly used in Vietnam as a challenge and response during a successful rescue attempt in which the downed pilot was a USAFA graduate, but did not remember the challenge/response for the day. Cadets and graduates on commercial flights have been known to write on a napkin “fast-neat-average” then ask a flight attendant to give it to the cockpit crew for the proper response.
  • Form 10: A Form 10 is a disciplinary form given to a cadet with their name, squadron, and transgression.
  • Fraternization: an inappropriate relationship between a fourth class cadet and an upperclass cadet. At USAFA, frat may be as simple as an upperclassman being too friendly with a smack by, say, inappropriately providing the smack with special benefits, getting the smack out of training, or socializing with the smack in an unprofessional manner.
  • Fuzzy: A fuzzy subject or major is one that generally does not involve mathematics, science or engnineering. Fuzzy subjects generally come from the Humanities or Social Science Divisions of DF. The opposite of fuzzy is “tech” (or sometimes, “techy”.)
  • Gazing: looking elsewhere than straight ahead while at the position of attention.
  • GE: Global Engagement is a summer military training program held in Jack’s Valley between the fourth and third class years where cadets learn aspects of deployed base operations, including base services, engineering, and air base defense. The area of Jack’s Valley just south of CATM becomes “Al Usafa Air Base” for this simulated deployment. During the first few days cadets stay in the dorms and go out to Jack’s Valley by bus for the day. They get up early one morning, and go through a mock deployment line. They are then taken to Jack’s Valley where they set up a tent city where they stay for 6 days complete with deployable kitchen, bathrooms, and lighting for the tents. Each day they practice the skills in each of the three deployed base operations categories outlined above. Time with Services consists of cooking and mortuary affairs. During the CE portion Cadets learn how to build a rough airfield, sweep for UXO, and use MOPP Gear and are teargassed. With SF they learn basic base defense, patrolling, and convoy procedures. Real Air Force personel serve as instructors and provide a glimpse into the enlisted culture of each career field. For this reason, many refer to the program as “enlisted appreciation camp.” The program culminates with “Exercise Day,” in which the mock deployed base is under attack. Cadets use the things they learned thoughout the week to defend the base, sweep for UXO, and collect casualties.
  • Gos, go rounds: Each academic semester is divided into four go rounds, and some classes, most notably PE classes, last only one or two gos. The summer is divided into three gos of about three weeks each.
  • GR: Graded Reviews are what cadets and faculty call those things that the rest of the world knows as exams.
  • Greetings: Fourth classmen are required to greet all upper classman and officers with a “Good morning/afternoon/evening Sir/Ma’am” and then a “beat Army/Navy/CSU or proud Thunderbirds”, etc. Some greetings change weekly; other squadrons keep the same greetings like CS-33, “Raaaaaaaatz”. Greetings are affected by football games, especially the day before an Army or Navy game.
  • Hamsters: the chicken cordon bleu served at Mitchell Hall, so called because the stuffed chicken cutlet resembles a greasy, battered and fried hamster.
  • Hat toss at graduation: When hearing “Ladies and Gentleman you are now dismissed” for the last time, now new second lieutenants throw their white service caps in the air. Kids in the stands run out to the field to retrieve the hats—some cadets put a little money in their hats for the youngsters.
  • Hill: “The Hill” is slang for the Cadet Area, specifically, the Terrazzo, dorms, and Fairchild Hall. Also used to refer to the Academy in general. “Taking the Hill” is a tradition that takes place on the last day of classes before graduation. when the graduating class breaks noon meal formation and runs to the top of the hill located in the southeast section of the grass center of the terrazzo.
  • Hit: a punishment
  • Honor Code – From the very beginning, the Cadet Wing has had an Honor Code derived from West Point and Annapolis: “We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.”
  • Hudson High: The United States Military Academy at West Point
  • Intramurals: Cadet squadrons participate in a plethora of team sports against each other throughout the year.
  • IRI: The Open Ranks Inspection (sometimes known as In Ranks Inspection (IRI)) is a formally conducted personal appearance inspection. Cadets form up by squadron and flight, usually on the Terrazzo, and are graded on the sharpness of their uniforms and grooming. The inspection is usually conducted under arms, in which case the cadets’ rifles are subject to inspection as well.
  • Jack’s Hack: A terrible cough most cadets get after being in Jack’s Valley for BCT.
  • June Week: the week prior to Graduation, named because the week usually falls partially or entirely during the month of June. The week is still called “June Week” even if none of the week falls in June. A graduate who gets married very shortly after graduation (especially if done in the Cadet Chapel) is said to have a “June Week Wedding.”
  • LMD: Last Military Duty is used to denote the time at which a cadet’s military responsibilities for the day (or week) are completed, and he is free to take a day or night pass (if eligible) or sign out on leave.
  • LRC: The Leadership Reaction Course is a course where teams of basic cadets tackle particularly tricky obstacles that require planning and teamwork to negotiate. This course is run during Basic Cadet Training, but is more relaxed than the Obstacle Course or the Assault Course.
  • M-Days and T-Days refer to the set-up of the academic schedule, where a cadet has two different daily class schedules, an “M-Day schedule” and a “T-Day schedule” on alternating days. Although the “M” and “T” most certainly stem from “Monday” and “Tuesday”, they are not tied to those days; a Monday may actually be a T-Day, and a Tuesday may be an M-Day.
  • Magic Money is money that is automatically deducted from a cadet’s pay every month and placed into a “held pay” account. This money is available through the Falcon card/Proxy card to purchase items such as replacement uniforms and pay for issued equipment. Instead of teaching cadets how to manage their own money, to this extent the cadets have their money managed for them. Like “magic”.
  • MPA: A cadet’s military performance average, like a grade point average is a score between 0.00 and 4.00 that is supposed to reflect that cadet’s military performance over the previous semester.
  • MRC: Cadets who fall below a 2.0 MPA may meet a Military Review Committee (MRC). The MRC may place a cadet on aptitude probation, initiate corrective action or make recommendations to the cadet’s chain of command.
  • OPA: The overall performance average (OPA) is used to determine Graduation order of merit. Generally it is only calculated at graduation, and not each semester. 50% GPA, 35% MPA, and 15% PEA, though this is not consistent year to year.
  • Open Ranks Inspection (ORI, sometimes known as In Ranks Inspection (IRI)): is a formally conducted personal appearance inspection. Cadets form up by squadron and flight, usually on the Terrazzo, and are graded on the sharpness of their uniforms and grooming. The inspection is usually conducted under arms, in which case the cadets’ rifles are subject to inspection as well.
  • Operation Air Force/Third LT – During the summer, some cadets go to an operational Air Force Base and spend time with real units to get a taste of the “real” Air Force. Destinations can include: flying units with rides in aircraft, time on the flightline with maintenance, security police, laboratories, The Pentagon, overseas bases, etc.
  • Parades: Cadets march in squadrons from the terrazzo down the battle ramp to the parade field where they “pass in review” before various dignitaries. The Acceptance Parade is important to fourth classmen since they are accepted into the Wing at the end of Basic Cadet Training and receive their shoulder boards. A Recognition Parade is held between late March and late May at the end of the fourth class year at USAFA, when the class is recognized by the Cadet Wing. The Graduation parade is the last parade for Firsties before they graduate and change of command to second classmen is accomplished. Other parades are marched for various reasons from mere practice, to special visitors, or Memorial Day. For some reason the sprinklers are turned on the night before ensuring white parade pants are ruined or need a thorough cleaning.
  • Parents’ Weekend: A month after BCT, usually Labor Day weekend, basics get to spend a weekend with their parents. Parents can be introduced to the squadron, see the cadet’s classes and dorm room, and go to a football game. The 4-dig cadet can leave campus after the game and stay with the parents for a couple of days, though they must wear their uniforms. After Parent’s Weekend cadets play Christmas music out their windows, especially, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” when mommies and daddies are bringing their little doolies back from their first free weekend off as cadets. This is right before a long five-month stretch until Christmas break. It’s a way to haze the Doolies’ moms, they cry, the Doolies are depressed, and the Dads smile with approval.
  • PEA: The physical education average is a score from 0.00 to 4.00 that rates a cadet’s physical achievement. It is computed by using the cadet’s scores from the Physical Fitness Test, Aerobic Fitness Test and grades in physical education classes. A cadet with a PEA of 3.00 or above is put on the Athletic Director’s List. A cadet with a PEA of below 2.00 is put on athletic probation.
  • Permanent Party: those personnel assigned to USAFA, as opposed to cadets, who are not “permanent.”
  • PFT (Physical Fitness Test): Required by all cadets each year at least once, twice if a cadet does not get a high enough score in the fall.
  • PQ (Pilot Qualification): cadets are physically qualified to attend flight school they are PQ. This is a cherished and guarded condition since most cadets want to fly. To lose one’s PQ can be devastating. Cadets are warned when they roughhouse that “It’s all fun and games until someone loses their PQ.”
  • Preppie: cadet slang for a cadet who attended the Prep School.
  • Prior: cadets who served in the military before coming to the Academy
  • Prog (Progress Report): is a mid-semester academic progress assessment and grade report, associated with midterm exams.
  • Prop and wings: Worn on all recognized cadets’ flight caps. As Doolies, fourth classmen are not recognized as cadets by the upper class. Cadets with a relative who served in the Army Air Corps or retired from the Air Force have gold wings on their prop and wings.
  • Proxy Card: an access card of sorts, similar to a line badge, that must be worn at all times while in the Cadet Area. Cadets use their proxy cards to gain access to their Magic Money. The proxy card contains a microchip which is encoded to unlock doors and parking lot gates, but also allows the PTB to track a cadet’s every move. This feature can be and has been used against cadets. If a cadet uses his proxy card to open a door or enter a parking lot after Taps, an e-mail is sent to his AOC and MTL notifying them of his “offense” (being out of his room after Taps).
  • PTB: cadet slang for the powers that be
  • Recondo (Reconditioning): a program for cadets who have failed the Physical Fitness Test. On non-Intramural days, cadets in the reconditioning program do extra physical training to prepare to retake the PFT until they are able to pass.
  • Ring dance: At the end of the second class year there is a dinner/dance/ball where second classmen receive their class rings. Cadets are not supposed to touch their rings before they are christened in champagne. This requires a cadet’s date to take the ring out of its box and places it into a glass of champagne. Cadets then drink the glass to get to their ring. As a cadet, one should wear the ring with the class crest inward, towards your heart, showing that USAFA is your priority. Once you graduate turn the ring around and put the AF crest closer to your heart and show everyone you are a USAFA graduate.
  • Run to the Rock: Doolies run to the rock (Cathedral Rock in Jack’s Valley) to get their class rock at the end of Recognition.
  • SAMI: Saturday Morning Inspection, all members of the Cadet Wing stand in their rooms at parade rest while squadron, group, and wing staffs inspect rooms for an hour. The night before a SAMI, at least half of the cadets in the wing sleep on their floors.
  • SDO: Squadron Duty Officer. A job held by all firsties at some point. They have to be in the area during their duty, and are on call for any problems the squadron might have. They perform DI nightly to make sure that everyone who is supposed to be in the dorm at taps is present.
  • Second Beast: The majority of the second half of Basic Cadet Training is held in Jack’s Valley. Basic Cadets march to and from Jack’s Valley; while there, they erect tents, where they live during Second Beast. During this portion of BCT, basics complete the Obstacle Course, the Leadership Reaction Course, the Assault Course, the Confidence Course, and compete in the Big Bad Basic competition.
  • Silver Weekend is a weekend during which there is scheduled training, usually including some type of training Friday afternoon and night, and training Saturday morning until the early afternoon. Many Silver Weekends include a parade or SAMI, and a few times a year there will be a Triple Threat.
  • SMACK: “Soldier Minus Ability, Coordination, and Knowledge, an “endearing” name for fourth classmen.
  • Spirit missions: Showing one’s class or squadron spirit by doing pranks or making humorous videos. Spirit missions must be authorized by the commandant now.
  • Squadron: the main functional unit at the Academy. It consists of about 110 cadets, including cadets from all four classes. Cadets eat, live and compete in Intramurals with their squadron. There are 40 squadrons in the wing.
  • Stract: A very military acting cadet.
  • Supt: Superintendent of the Academy (sometimes abbreviated “Supt” or “Supe”–both pronounced “soop”) is the senior officer at the Academy, who oversees all facets of Academy operations.
  • Swearing in: As a cadet, this is done during one of the first days of inprocessing during BCT. The Basic Cadet is then in the Regular Air Force, and is subject to the UCMJ. The morning of or evening before graduation, each first class cadet has a special officer, active or retired, friend or family, swear them in as officers in a squadron-only ceremony. Then, girlfriend, fiancées, mothers, and/or sisters pin on the butter bars. Usually done in mess dress at an interesting location at USAFA.
  • Tech: A tech subject or major (sometimes “techy”) is one that involves mathematics, science or engnineering. Tech subjects generally come from the Basic Science or Engineering Divisions of DF. The opposite of tech is “fuzzy”.
  • Training session: a high-intensity function where fourth class cadets are expected to recite knowledge and/or to perform physical training
  • Transition Week: the week between Summer Programs and the academic year. Like Dead Week, there are not many scheduled activities, but cadets normally take the time to move into their academic year squadrons, buy their books, and trade stories from the summer. During this time, fourth class cadets also begin transitioning from Basic Cadet Training squadrons into their new squadrons.
  • Triple Threat: A combination of a Saturday Morning Inspection (SAMI), Open Ranks Inspection (ORI) and parade all on the same morning.
  • Two Percent Club: the exclusive “club” of cadets who never get dumped by their high school sweetheart.
  • UC: Unarmed Combat, a two-semester self-defence class everyone takes.
  • USAFA: pronounced “yoo-SAH-fah”, is the standard abbreviation for United States Air Force Academy.
  • War Memorial: A wall bearing a list of all USAFA Graduates that have died in combat.
  • Water Haze: Water Survival is a physical education class taken by all cadets that teaches cadets various techniques for survival in a water situation, or in the event of a water crash. The highlight of the course centers around the 10-meter diving platform in the cadet gym: Each cadet must jump off feet first, wearing BDUs and sneakers. Once in the water, the cadet must kick off his shoes and swim underwater (approximately 25m) until he clears the bulkhead. Upon breaking the surface on the other side, the cadet must then clear imaginary burning fuel from the water, then remove his pants, inflate them, and use them as a flotation device.
  • Zoo (or originally, “The Blue Zoo”): slang for the Academy. It most likely stems from the fact that the Academy is one of Colorado’s largest tourist attractions, and it is common for tourists to line the Chapel Wall during Noon Meal Formation (or at any other time of the day) to watch cadets go about their business, much like visitors to a zoo.
  • Zoomie: an Academy graduate or cadet.

Many definitions/descriptions were taken from the following websites:
Class of ’82 Website
USAFA Folklore Wiki