CWST - Combat Water Survival Training

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by newmusic11, May 13, 2012.

  1. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    Is it basically mandatory to know how to swim before attending a military college/academy? Or if you aren't good at it, will they work with you - to help you become more proficient in swimming and to pass CWST; or will they just dump you in the water and make you look a fool? lol
     
  2. jwalsh1

    jwalsh1 Member

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    They'll teach you! There are two classes, one that teaches you how to swim first, and then you take the CWST. This is at least how it was explained to me. Just try to be at least comfortable in water that is deeper than you are tall before coming. That should help a bit.
     
  3. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    Yeah, I am comfortable in water below my nose lol.... so if I attend The Citadel or Norwich University (AFROTC) - they have these courses to help you learn and become prepared?
     
  4. jwalsh1

    jwalsh1 Member

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    I would not begin to know how to answer that question... xD
     
  5. mellowgator

    mellowgator Member

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    you should get yourself to the ymca. why is it you've never learned to swim before now? have you not tried or is there something else going on with you like fear of the water? if you have a fear of the water you should go ahead and face it now instead of when the pressure is on.
     
  6. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    I live right near a ymca now, i grew up in the city - so didn't have much of a chance to get near water. I've tried, but I freak out too much. Need someone to help train me. I have been in some deep deep lakes, but only with a vest on lol.
     
  7. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    At USAFA you take 2 mandatory swim classes during sophomore year. The first is Swimming, or Basic Swimming. Placement depends on your declared level of swimming ability. Basic swimming is 16 lessons long and pretty much starts from square 1. If you don't pass, you retake it until you can. Regular swimming is only 8 lessons long and assumes you are a decent swimmer. They made an announcement this year that one junior finally passed swimming, having taken basic swimming 2 times and regular swimming once, haha. Most cadets (even nonswimmers) are fine after taking it once.

    The second class you take is Water Survival (nicknamed "Water Haze" by all cadets). This is also broken into Basic and Regular (your swimming instructor decides which course you take). In this class you swim in ABU's, jump off the 10 meter tower, etc. Both are just 8 lessons long, but Basic is easier because you swim in just a swim suit and ABU top instead of ABU blouse and trousers (amazing how much they weigh you down).

    Neither are fun, but they're worthwhile. Most cadets hate water haze because it's pretty physically exhausting and lots of people hate to jump off a 30 foot tall tower into the deep-end, swim under submerged bulkheads, swim nonstop for 40 minutes, swim underwater for 25 meters, etc.

    While you CAN come here as a non-swimmer, I recommend learning to be comfortable in the water just to make your life easier. :thumb:
     
  8. jwalsh1

    jwalsh1 Member

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    One thing that the instructors won't tell you is that the 30 foot jump is NOT mandatory for at least the first swimming class. It is one of the events that you can get points towards your final test for, but overall, if you have enough points, you don't have to jump. We had someone give us swimming lessons here at the prep school, and she told us that when she taught it, she had a few people pass the class without ever even climbing to the platform.
     
  9. falcongirl

    falcongirl USAFA grad

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    Good point, jwalsh. IF you have enough points, you don't HAVE to jump off the 10 meter. In Water Haze, there is a scenario where you leap off the 10m platform, stay underwater and swim under a submerged bulkhead about 15 feet away, then surface and inflate your shirt. If you refuse to jump off the 10m, you can jump off the 7.5m or 5m platform instead. However, you take a hefty points hit. If you are not so great at the other events, you will probably fail if you can't complete the full scenario. Even if you do pass, your grade will not be good. Since gym classes count for 50% of your PEA (physical education average) PLUS count for your GPA, a C or D in gym will likely put you on athletic probation or drop your GPA.
     
  10. mustang10

    mustang10 Member

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    Swimming

    There was a 25m underwater (no breathing) swim too. You have a year to learn to swim and you'll have plenty of new friends to help. I knew a kid that scored perfect on the PFT, but couldn't swim. He read a book on how to swim to pass the AFSOC entry test. He did just fine. It's ironic that the cadets who don't like swimming ask for the basic swimming class bc they think its gonna be easier. Then, they spend twice as long in the swim classes as the cadets who just pushed through the regular class. Aim to validate, and you'll have free time. Don't ask for basic swimming unless you might accidentally drown yourself trying to swim.

    FYI
    IF you do pilot training at NAS whiting field you'll have to swim a mile in flight suits without pushing off the wall. It's part of the Navy's API program which all pilot candidates at whiting have to pass.
     
  11. newmusic11

    newmusic11 Member

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    Yeah, I'm trying to learn how to swim. No lies here, if I was dumped in the deep end we may need the cadre to jump in and help haha.
     
  12. scraper

    scraper Member

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    No trying...... You are learning.... You are better today than yesterday....keep moving forward ;)
     
  13. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    It's in your best interest to be decent at swimming. You don't need to be a champion swimmer, but you should be able to tread water for a long time and be decent at basic strokes.
     

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