5 years later

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by vampsoul, May 21, 2014.

  1. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    All,

    5 years ago I stumbled across this forum as a college junior beginning to consider the service academies. In less than a week I will graduate USMA and commission into the Air Defense Artillery. It has been a long, challenging, and rewarding adventure. If anyone has any questions regarding my experiences at the academy, I would be glad to return the favors that so many users here gave to me.

    I have only one piece of advice to any applicants, incoming New Cadets, or current cadets: there is no standard. To explain, there are no imaginary thresholds that measure your ability to be a good cadet or a good officer. There is a minimum for everything: that minimum may be your best or worst. The key is that you keep trying to improve. Don't measure yourself by others' successes and failures. If you are trying your best, your peers will respect you, plain and simple. The only "bad" cadet is one who tries to "sham" out of his/her responsibilities to themselves and others. There is no staying under the radar. The tell you going into CBT to lay low. Bull****. Try your best, motivate everyone around you to be their best, and you'll do well. Never try and purposefully under-perform or change who you are.

    At your service,
    Vampsoul
     
  2. AcademyFriend1

    AcademyFriend1 Member

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    Congratulations! You made a lot of great posts over the years. As I recall, you helped set up the dinner before R-day, also. So glad to hear you made it.
     
  3. Kelsi

    Kelsi Class of 2019

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    Congratulations! I hope that I can join the Long Gray Line! :)
     
  4. Currahee17

    Currahee17 New Member

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    Congratulations Vampsoul! Well done and well said. I'm giving your words to my CO 2018 the night before Beast. Thank you for paying it forward and may you have a purposeful and fulfilling career!
     
  5. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    Thanks for the Beast advise, Vampsoul and Congratulations! :yay:

    Any other cadets have Beast advise?

    I'm sure the Cadet Candidates would love to hear from current cadets about Beast and any words of wisdom they may have.
     
  6. jackiejyp7

    jackiejyp7 Jackie

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    Thank you for this advice! I will be joining the Class of 2018, and this is very encouraging. I wish you the best of luck!


    Jackie, USMA USAFA USMMA Candidate for Class of 2018
    Principally Nominated to USMA & USAFA
    Appointed to USMA and USAFA
    USMA Class of 2018
     
  7. grad11

    grad11 Member

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    I agree 100%. Don't listen to those that tell you to lay low. Always do you best. Don't stay in your comfort zone. Get out and push yourself. You will learn so much more that way. Your reputation at West Point and in the military is important, so why not build a reputation for excelling and exceeding standards instead of one of "getting by?" If you do find yourself doing well, don't use that as an excuse to relax and get lazy. Always work to better yourself. Four years may seem like a long time, but the day you step in front of your platoon or are in any other role, you will feel like that time flew by. Upon graduation you will be given an amazing responsibility, so take every advantage to be the most prepared possible. I can promise you it is well worth it when you get to the other side!
     
  8. TheKnight

    TheKnight Class of 2014

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    I think the best advice I can give after having just graduated would be this:

    In addition to doing your best, trying your hardest, and giving your all, never ever forget your peers and your subordinates. West Point is made easier by the bonds you build and the force multipliers you'll receive by the relationships you sustain. No one can do everything, no one knows everything, but when you take a group as diverse as a West Point class and put their combined experiences and skills together, you find that what you have created is an unstoppable force.

    The key component to interfacing with that force is humility and compassion. Being humble about your strengths, honest and receptive to feedback about your weaknesses, and capable of compassionately leading others in a positive direction are the keys to your success. Far too many people interact with their peers immaturely, ensuring that they are burning bridges with people who might otherwise be great friends and resources in times of despair. Don't be that person. Instead be the person your classmates, both in classes ahead of you and in classes below, remember as the person who helped them even when you were busy. Be the person who isn't afraid to ask someone else for help, and then thank them by returning the favor later. Be the person who doesn't spend all of his/her time focused solely on yourself, but who cunningly balances your personal needs with the needs of your battle buddies to your left and right.

    At the end of the day, as I heard in a speech by LTG(R) Campbell my plebe year four years ago, you have to care about people. You have to genuinely care about others and express that concern by dealing humbly with them. If you do that, then even if you are terrible at academics, physically out of shape, or militarily inexperienced, you will find success. Because in building that kind of bond with your peers you will find that your weaknesses are borne by the strengths of those whose weaknesses you bore.
     

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