Dad and his daughter

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jam3700, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. jam3700

    jam3700 New Member

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    Not sure if this is the right place to post but looking for input. My daughter just received her appointment to West Point, I know people would give anything for this appointment.She knowns what West Point is all about, has a bother who graduated about 10 years ago,I know she can handle it but as a father I have concerns mostly what Ive heard and read on the internet about what females at West Point have to put up with. As I told my wife If She were a He , He would be going to West Point, yes I know this not P.C But she is my daughter. Any input would be helpful. Thanks
     
  2. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    What exactly have you heard females have to put up with? And did you hear it from anyone who has attended the Academy in the last 5-10 years?
     
  3. NJDAD

    NJDAD Member

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    jam,

    Join the WP Dad's page on facebook. There are several dads who have daughters in all classes and graduates. I think they will be glad to share direct feedback with you.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Try last 20 years, because they weren't dealing with anything over the top when I was a cadet (although not at West Point), and that goes back 11 years.

    I spent 2 days at Yale visiting a friend, and I have to say, I would fear for my daughter more there than at an academy.
     
  5. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Awwww

    I have a young teenage daughter too, who has never heard the word "no" leave my lips. And I would protect her to my death! Our little princesses mean so much to there daddies and there is a difference between daughters and sons.

    However, how will she ever learn how to make her own mistakes in wide open spaces? Her character will be forged through adversity. I know it is more painful on us, the dads than anything else. But can you imagine the resentment that could build between the both of you if you didn't allow her to chase her dreams. If this is truly were she wants to go, then kiss her tell her how important she is to you, and write often damn it!

    Push Hard, Press Forward

    PS Neither you or I can keep her from becoming a women.
     
  6. KateMac

    KateMac Member

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    Jam: I sent you a PM, but on the forum let me say that I had many of the same fears back in 2007 when my daughter made this decision. I reached out to other parents of daughters who were quite helpful.

    DD had the typical WP experience, much good coupled with some not-so-good along the way. However, the male/female issues were few and far between and many of her closest friends now are the fine young men (and women) she knew while at WP.

    Was everything perfect? Not so much. But I imagine that there might be issues at other places as well but, at least in my experience, the men she became friends with are respectful of her not only as a young woman, but as an Army officer as well.
     
  7. burnerafter16

    burnerafter16 Member

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    We're not sure as well because of more than one option. DS's choices are:
    USCGA,USAFA,Yale w type 2 AFROTC. Undecided but would appreciate every input to weight the pros and cons before signing on the dotted line and let the other options go.
    Could you please explain this "fear" that you mention.
    Thanks.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Honestly, I wouldn't fear for my daughter at CGA. That said, my classmate was the first CGA cadet, ever, to be Court Martialed, and it was for rape. He wasn't found guilty of rape, but he was found guilty of extortion and sodomy.

    Now, here's what we've all got to understand. People entering into the 18 or 19th years of their lives have some hormone issues going on. People date. Some people hook up (however you'd like to define it). Some people break up. For CGA specifically, it's a small group to chose from, so while you're dating people know, and once you break up, there's no escape.

    That said, even with the hormones and the rumors and the heartbreak, in general, relationships are as respectful as you might expect in early 20 year olds.

    The "fear" I am referring to, specifically having to do with Yale, came about during a weekend I spent with my friend. One person who was a friend of a friend bet he could hook up with a girl, who wasn't especially attractive, but I guess, was a wild party girl.

    The next day the same guy said "pay up" and people asked why, and then it dawned on them what had happened. Now, I wasn't there for the first half, the bet, but I was there for him announcing what he had done (kiss and told) and I didn't find it especially tasteful. I guess I expected more from Yale.

    Now, you're going to have idiots wherever you go. CGA has idiots too. But CGA is also small, and you are close with your classmates. I can't imagine a classmate being that cavalier if he/she did something with someone else.

    My one experience should not condemn Yale. There are some great people at Yale. But the crap we're talking about can happen anywhere. I just think it happens less at CGA. I have no experience to back up my opinion of USAFA (besides being a cadet through the USAFA fallout in 2003).

    Hope that makes sense.
     
  9. burnerafter16

    burnerafter16 Member

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    Every anecdote and wise advice helps.
    Thanks
     
  10. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    I'll throw my cents in ...

    I have a DD who is at State U. State U is in an urban city with urban problems all around. As a freshman she did things that gave us fits -- studying late at the library then walking to her dorm across campus; walking alone to the grocery store off campus and away from campus security; going to parties at off campus houses. No matter how much we have warned her, she still won't listen and sees us as over-protective, helicopter parents.

    At the academies, at least there is the honor code. Further they cadets are the brightest, and most physically worn out students of any in the United States. I only wish she was on one of the academy campuses!

    I do understand the concern. But I've met female cadets from three different academies and none have expressed they felt picked on or threatened as women. I wish the same could be true of State U.
     
  11. chapman11

    chapman11 Member

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    DD received CGA appointment, AROTC, NROTC and AFROTC scholarships and West Point appointment. She worked with her admissions officer at West Point and spent the night there and came away knowing West Point was the right place for her. She also did summer sessions at USNA and CGA and did not have any negative aspects with being a female. We visited all the academies and she really felt at home at West Point and she / I believe that she will thrive there. Good luck......
     
  12. jam3700

    jam3700 New Member

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    I come to the conclusion that because West Point is a high profile public institution it is more looked at than a private institution were things are only reported as they see fit. So West Point has its problems just like any other school. Thanks
     
  13. mjm

    mjm Member

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    Depends on what kind of daughter you have raised......if you have raised a strong confident young woman who has learned to stand up for herself and do things for herself than "yes" you should feel comfortable sending her to WP.

    If ; however, you have raised a "princess" than "no" you should not feel comfortable sending her to WP.
     
  14. USNA2017Mom

    USNA2017Mom Member

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    I read the above posts with interest since I, too, have a daughter attending Sate U and have had the same feelings. We had her take self defense classes, read the "Gift of Fear", and read every internet and newspaper article dealing with this issue. The poor thing is probably scarred for life and will request that we pay for her therapy in years to come. :eek:

    Recently at State U, there were a rash of attempted and actual rapes around sorority row. All the rapists were different men and did not even attend the university. I am sure that there are many more isolated incidents that we don't know about--drunken party hookups, date rape, etc. We know about these incidents because it was in the news and State U was texting safety info to students on nights of the rapes. As parents, the truth is the world is a scary and dangerous place for our daughters and sons.

    That being said, my DH graduated from and eventually taught at USAFA. I can say without a doubt that the female cadets that I met there were much more confident, self-aware, and physically fit than any of my daughter's friends at State U.

    Are there issues at a service academy? Yes. Are there issues at any other University? Heck, Yes! Would I feel better about my daughter's safety if she had accepted her appointment to USAFA instead of State U? Hell, Yes!!!
     
  15. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    We have a couple of female WP cadets who post here occasionally, so hopefully they will chime in as they probably are the best to address your fears.

    I am a parent of a male cadet so take that into consideration with my comments, but my understanding is that when there is an undesirable incident, alcohol is usually involved.

    A former RC, with daughters, shared this story with some FFRs.
    He met with a dad who had the same concerns. The dad closed the door and asked, dad to dad - would you, MAJ RC, be comfortable with your daughters going WP.
    Without hesitation, MAJ RC said yes.
     
  16. koneacre

    koneacre New Member

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    I am so thankful for this thread - my DD will be applying for class of 2018 and everytime something is in the news about one of the academies with regard to this issue I get a text or email asking if I'm sure I want her going there. But like others have said things happen at all schools, and maybe aren't so publicized in the national media. I'm hoping some current female cadets will jump in - would love to hear their experiences.
     
  17. another13mom

    another13mom Member

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    My DD attended SLS last summer. One evening they pulled all the young women attending aside and openly discussed what it was like to be a female cadet. My daughter's take away was to do your job, not complain or take the easy way out, and like anywhere else, not to be stupid with alcohol. She was very comfortable with the discussion and the advice, which she thought applied to any school anywhere in the country. Her older brother is a cadet - while his qualms had more to do with the fact that he's fairly cynical about the academy and happily anticipating graduation in a few months, he had NO worries about her being a woman. In fact, he thinks the women far outrank the majority of men in terms of their percentage of the class and are very successful.
     
  18. stella

    stella Member

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    Address it, Rather than Point to Worse Options

    Same reaction here. People comment on the lack of safety our DD will face at a SA...and in the military in general.

    I DO think it is imporant to talk about the issue. To say "It is worse at other universities" (which I imagine is absolutely true) does NOT address the question and concern. The answers is not 'they will be safer here than at another school'. More, the answer I think has to be what do the cadets themselves and the academy need to do more or differently to increase safety, IF it is a concern.

    There was an incident at a private local school in our town. The parents responded by saying 'Well, worse and more stuff like that happens at another well know private school!". The principal of the school in question asked parents to stop doing that. He said "Our goal is not to point out that we are the lesser of two evils...our goal is to point out what we are doing to lesson and hopefully eliminate the evil here". Good point.

    S
     
  19. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

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    As a current female cadet here, let's see if I can help.

    I come from an enlisted background, both parents 25+ careerists in the military.

    In the 1980's when my mom enlisted and went military police, she faced many challenges and discrimination as a women. Gradually over the years, shes noted to me that the dynamic has changed drastically.



    That's for the army as a whole. As for West Point, I want you to rest assured that your daughter will be okay here.

    I will not lie, there are still undercurrents and stereotypes that women in the army and women at west point face that we have to deal with everyday. These are manageable.

    Some of those are:
    Women do not have the same standards as men, therefore they are incompetent

    Women are too emotional for high stress environments

    Women at the academy or in the army are viewed as "boyish"

    And very very few believe that women do not belong here.

    For every person who thinks one of those things, there are 50 that counter it.

    Being a female here is different, and sometimes difficult. There is a small percentage of us, and upperclass male counterparts have a hardtime understanding our issues.

    But it is also a great thing as well. As a female class, we are tightly united, and the guys here are our brothers.

    Although I view west point as very safe, it is very important to realize that things like sexual harassment and assault happen everywhere, self awareness and safety will mitigate a lot of risk.

    If you or your daughter have any questions on what it is like at the academy as a female please pm me.

    A positive is that It seems we are starting to stray away from the differences between "male and female" experiences at the academy. Upper leadership works hard to keep us on the same playing field. the response usually when someone asks the difference is "the same as the guys... just with hair issues." :biggrin:

    I hope this helps!
     
  20. mvt93

    mvt93 Member

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    ^^ Seconded. Since I've been here, the question has always been: Can you perform to the best of your abilities? If the answer is yes, most of your fellow male cadets will respect you, simple as that.

    As for the sexual assault/harassment concerns: As a female, I've never felt anything but safe and respected here. West Point is one of the safest post-secondary institutions your daughter can attend. I'm not going to say there are no incidences that occur- there are, but I can assure you, it is not tolerated. At all.
    If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me as well.
     

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