Candidates. I will begin this speech by stating the obvious. It is dark tonight. You are in the woods.

You are blindfolded, and as far as your eyes can see, you are alone in the darkness of the woods, and the only one here is me. When I walked away this morning, very early this morning from Sanchez, I was genuinely saddened and disappointed that when I met you guys next to the parking lot, and that as I held the door open to you, each and every one of you had upon your face…a look of defeat and utter failure. Don’t do that ever again. You are going to be officers in the United States Air Force, unlike me! I will not stand and believe that the group of people my brothers and I have lost sleep over are a group of candidates so easily defeated- a group of invaders so easily repelled by a wall. When I tell you to remove your blindfolds, you are signifying the acceptance and weight…and blessing…and pride to be a member of the one and only Invader class. You each have strengths and weaknesses- I have strengths and weaknesses, but it is those strengths and weaknesses that make us human! It is the recognition of those strengths and weaknesses that make us grow, and it is from that growth that we become stronger! So do not worry now, if you think you’re at the bottom of your class. As I told Seward, while I was in ROTC, I started at the bottom. I worked my way to the top third of my flight over three semesters and I grew up! Let me tell you an interesting fact about the expectations that I, personally, have for you all. A flash flood, can consist of two parts: a pre-flood, and a main flood. The pre-flood is the thin surface of water that comes before the flood. It can be of very little substance, and indeed, no body may ever think anything of it. The main flood is the roaring surge of water, capable of knocking down trees, knocking down cars…and especially capable of knocking down walls! When judged apart, it is obvious to the bystander which one is more fierce…but here’s the kicker. In reality, the pre-flood forms a low-friction layer of water, upon which the main flood can flow freely upon and assimilate, causing up to five times more damage. That is SYNERGY. This is what I expect of you as a class. I want you small army of candidates, you wave of humans…I want you Invaders to surge forward and knock over any obstacles you encounter together. The current Arnold Air Society John H Payne squadron is about to open its flood gates, and I am expecting you all to help knock stuff down. Last aside before I instruct you all to go forth and remove your blindfolds. If any of you remember my signature requirement, my third favorite animal was a wolf. The wolf, although loyal, never upstages a lion in majesty. It never soars higher than an eagle. It never has the resilience of a bear…but when it wants to be heard, especially on a night with a Full Moon such as this…it will be heard, and it will howl a long, solemn, and proud testament to what it has been brought up to believe and for those who choose to follow him. This is my howl.

Invaders . “When you bite off more than you can chew…chew it.The trail you will follow will be directly behind candidate [Insert name here] and will be marked out by flags. This trail was started by the Archangel class…and symbolizes the shit that you’ve been through this semester. then remove your blindfolds and begin Woodsies. I want you to walk away from this clearing with one last piece of wisdom from Courage Wolf. At the end of the trail is where you’ll find the organization that you’ve fought so hard to join.” I want you all to take one large step forward and sing the first verse of the Air Force song. ~Good Evening.

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