Military student: when you're simultaneously handling academic and military schedules for four years, it helps to have determination.
Cadet First Class Kristina Belcourt's day ended at 1 a.m. For most college kids, this is normal. But what isn't is the sound of her alarm clock going off at 5:15 a.m., the same day. But Cadet Belcourt isn't the average college student. And she's not going to the average college.
Life at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., brings young students like 21-year-old Kristina into a unique world all its own. Not only must she face classes, homework and exams, but she also lives a military mindset mind·set or mind-set
1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.
2. An inclination or a habit. 24 hours a day.
"Cadet life gets to be very stressful at times, but I have always been able to handle it by allowing myself to have fun and stay positive by getting involved," said the Waxhaw, N.C., native.
And staying involved she does. In her four years at the academy, she's participated in the soaring, combat survival training and cadet summer research programs; worked as a cadet trainer and element clerk: participated in Operation Air Force at an active duty base in Florida; helped run basic cadet training during the summers; and stayed active in the cadet chorale chorale (kōrăl`, –räl`), any of the traditional hymns of the German Protestant Church. The form was developed after the Reformation to replace the plainsong of the earlier service and as a means of congregational participation in and the cadets advocating sexual integrity and education program. Plus, she continually volunteers as a mentor for local Girl Scouts Girl Scouts, recreational and service organization founded (1912) in Savannah, Ga., by Mrs. Juliette Gordon Low (1860–1927). It was originally modeled after the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, organizations created in Great Britain by Sir Robert Baden-Powell during . So how does she do it all?
"Determination is the biggest factor in handling four years of cadet life," she said. "If you are not absolutely determined to be here, to stay here and to excel, you will not. That's the one constant among all cadets."
A quick look at her room would make her mother proud. It's neat, clean and near perfect. But it's not awash Awash (ä`wäsh), river, E Ethiopia, rising near Addis Ababa and flowing c.500 mi (800 km) to a swampy lake near the Djibouti border. The Awash Valley is important agriculturally and has hydroelectric plants. of color not of the white race; - commonly meaning, esp. in the United States, of negro blood, pure or mixed.
See also: Color like you'd normally see in a college senior's room. No posters on the walls. No clothes strewn strew
tr.v. strewed, strewn or strewed, strew·ing, strews
1. To spread here and there; scatter: strewing flowers down the aisle.
2. about. Her bed is identical to her roommate's--even down to the blue-gray bedspread. This is the military aspect of her college life. And she has accepted it.
But there are some remnants of home around, helping to remind her where she came from. A small refrigerator sits at the back of the room covered with alphabet magnets. A few of the letters have come together to spell phrases like "Rise up then," "Always plan" and "To walk speak poetry but dream." Perhaps these phrases give this history major a bit of philosophy to chew on. Or maybe comfort is found in the photos of her three cats she keeps on her desk: Snowflake, Crazy Minnie and Mars. But what matters right now to this senior is where she's going.
After four years of building college credits to earn a degree and learning the Air Force way, Cadet Belcourt is now ready for her next phase--her Air Force specialty, or Air Force job. After the final culminating event --June graduation--she reported to Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, to begin technical training as an intelligence officer. And that sits just fine with her.
"I chose the Air Force because it seemed like the most exciting and enjoyable service. I've also wanted to serve my country, and I knew there were so many awesome opportunities in the Air Force," she said. "Intelligence was something I wanted to do."
So as this lifetime Girl Scout who received the top Girl Scout award --the Gold Award--now joins the active duty ranks, she brings with her that sense of determination and positive attitude. This has guided most of her life and served her well during four years of academy life. It'll certainly guide her through an Air Force career as well.
Student body facts
Assigned: 4,033 cadets made up the 2004 student cadet wing with 983 cadets a part of the graduating class of 2004.
Duties: Cadets perform a gamut See color gamut.
gamut - The gamut of a monitor is the set of colours it can display. There are some colours which can't be made up of a mixture of red, green and blue phosphor emissions and so can't be displayed by any monitor. of leadership and academic responsibilities ranging from positions within the cadet wing to extracurricular activities like athletics and music.
Civilian application: "I guess a civilian college student would be the closest," Cadet First Class Kristina Belcourt said. "But it's still so different it isn't really that comparable.
Cadet First Class Kristina Belcourt
Cadet 1st Element leader
Cadet Squadron 17, "Stalag 17," Air Force Academy, Colo.
Rickenbacker Class of 2004
Years in Air Force: Four cadet years
Hometown: Waxhaw, N.C.
Reason for joining: "It seemed like the most exciting and enjoyable service. I've also wanted to serve my country, and I knew there were so many awesome opportunities in the Air Force."
Original career plan: "I have no plans on retiring in the Air Force just yet. With no operational experience, I have no idea how much I am going to like it. But I definitely see myself as a professor, teaching either here [at the academy] or at another college."
Accomplishments: Soar program, combat survival training, Operation Air Force at Patrick Air Force Base Patrick Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base located between Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach, Florida, USA. Patrick Air Force Base is home to the 45th Space Wing and the Air Force Technical Applications Center. , Fla., flight specialist/or basic cadet training, academic and element noncommissioned officer, cadets advocating sexual integrity and education program volunteer, cadet summer research program in Washington, D.C., combat survival training evasion cadre (company) CADRE - The US software engineering vendor which merged with Bachman Information Systems to form Cayenne Software in July 1996. , academic officer, element leader and logistics officer for the cadet chorale.
Coming up: Graduated in June and began technical school training as an intelligence officer at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.
The best thing about the job: "The best thing about being a cadet is the number of great friends you make and the support group you develop."