11 July: "Just don't look into their eyes."
From one basic to another, on the first day in Jack's Valley, during tent setup. Cadre were walking around, basics were filling sandbags, trying to stay under the radar.
13 July: "Sir, are your eyes natural, or are you wearing contacts?"
This question - from a male basic - came out of nowhere. I cracked up because one of my buddies used the same line to hit on a girl in the Dominican Republic. As one of my friends pointed out, my eyes do match my beret.
15 July: "Sir, your dad's really nice."
One of our female basics called me "ma'am". Since there wasn't time to make her do push-ups for it, I had her call my dad and explain why she called me a girl. Dad said something like, "You're smart enough to get into the Air Force Academy but you can't figure out that my son's a man?" As I thought about it, I realized I could have handled the situation better. Dad texted me and asked to talk to the girl again. He did the next day, and really made her feel like he cared about her, asked for her address and her parents' phone number to let them know she was doing okay. Couple days later, she gets a letter from him.
My dad's a great man. But I still gotta figure out how to get this girl to stay focused and keep it locked up...
16 July: "There goes the coolest cadre ever."
See explanation here.
17 July: "Sir, we're gonna get our @ss3s kicked."
The basics got to go to a rodeo this year. Before they left, B-flight commander let them know that there was two hours of free time on the schedule when they got back, and that they shouldn't gorge themselves. "You know what's gonna happen during those two hours?" They knew what would happen.
19 July: "Sir, where are we going? Isn't it bedtime?"
This came as we were forming up the flight to march out of tent city. The sun was going down, and the basics didn't see it coming. I answered, "No, we're going to do some PT." The basic gave a smirk. "Why are you smiling? Does PT make you happy?" "Yes, sir!"
20 July: "Sir, you came out of nowhere and I couldn't control it."
I noticed a basic smirking, so I looked at him, and he couldn't keep it locked up at all. Guess I'm funny lookin'.
20 July #2: "Sir, I love your attitude."
Our basics come up with little chants to say when we start marching. I didn't like one of them, and I told them so. The flight stopped, and I heard one of the girls say, "Cadet Seibt doesn't like our new chant. Well, I don't like Cadet Seibt's attitude." She was joking, and I knew it, but I dropped her for push-ups anyway. "Sir, I was only kidding!" She knew I wasn't being mean with the push-ups, but we got to 25 and she said, "Sir, I love your attitude." I answered, "Are you coming on to me?" "No, sir!" We knocked out five more push-ups and got up.