Driving

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by ArmyKid4, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. ArmyKid4

    ArmyKid4 Member

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    I am attending USMA, class of 2016. I have not yet received my driver's license, nor have I had much practice driving, due to several inhibiting factors. Consequently, I have only my permit as of right now. My question is this: is there a way I can take driving lessons at West Point, provided that I still cannot get my license by R-Day?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    No. As a plebe, you would not be allowed to do that.
     
  3. lokichaos

    lokichaos Member

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    We wont be able to drive until junior year.
     
  4. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    While you aren't allowed to own a vehicle on campus until Spring Break Cow year (or Christmas Cow year if you supermax your APFT) you can still borrow and rent vehicles before then.

    To answer the OP, there are no official classes you can take which I am aware of. I would get it now if possible or wait until Christmas Break.
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    The exception would be for specific club/sports events, plebes are allowed to drive the vans under the direction of a upperclass cadet's direction.

    Either way, you pretty much won't an opportunity to get your license plebe year while at USMA. You may be able to schedule it on a break if you can' get it done prior to R-day.
     
  6. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    A plebe who does not possess a valid driver's license will not be driving anywhere.
     
  7. another13mom

    another13mom Member

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    You could call a local driving school and drive around Highland Falls (within walking privileges) on a free Saturday or Sunday (you can go to the USMA.edu website, find the academic link, and on the left hand column, pull up the Buff Card link - if you review it, you can figure out which weekends will be "free"). Buy a package of 5 or 6 lessons, explain your scheduling issues and so long as you sign out w/ your TAC and stay w/in Highland Falls, you should be fine. Or call Sears Driving School now while you are home and get it done :)
     
  8. bakermiddle

    bakermiddle Member

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    I'm a Yearling here and I've yet to even receive my permit (family had no car, so I couldn't afford classes nor acquire a car).

    I've been on many long distance trip sections and plebes are expected to pick up some driving time, especially on the longer treks. However, not having a license does not hold you back.

    I would HIGHLY suggest, however, that you try and get your license during one of your breaks, as it should take only a day, given you already have your permit for a while.

    Not having a license puts you in a VERY small minority (maybe 0.000001% of all cadets), so do try and get it if you can.
     
  9. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Really? That is scary! You are breaking the law if you are driving without a valid driver's license much less minus a permit. I find it very alarming that an unlicensed, inexperienced kid can be behind the wheel of a van full of cadets. What would you do if you rolled up to a state trooper license checkpoint or were involved in a wreck? You will be in a good bit of trouble.

    Here are New York's rules: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/license.htm
     
  10. bakermiddle

    bakermiddle Member

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    I apologize for any confusion, but you ARE NOT allowed to drive the vans if you do not have a license.

    I meant that not having a license will not hold you back in general at West Point. It will definitely prevent you from ever getting behind the wheel.

    There is optional training to receive a Humvee license (as a rising cow/firstie) though, for which I'm pretty sure a normal license is required.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  11. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    Thanks for clearing that up. :thumb:
     
  12. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    No apology necessary, everyone understood which part you were addressing.

    Plebes with state licenses do drive the USMA vans on approved trip sections (Clubs, sports, classroom trips) quite a bit as there has to be a vehicle commander in the front passenger which is assigned by seniority, meaning upperclassman. And other upperclassmen normally want to sleep! :smile:

    So the actual driving duties usually get rotated around the lowest ranking cadets in the vehicle, normally plebes. (with license)

    There is a very specific policy on this, which starts with cadets must obey all state traffic laws, etc. Signed in blood by the OIC. Note this reg does not say they have to be licensed, but the USCC SOP does.

    Note that it applies to USMA vans driven off post on USMA trip sections. Same for even cadet leave in rented vans for upperclassmen, the TAC has to sign off on the drivers and vehicle commanders.

    The army (not USMA) has completely different regulations involving on-post driving and driving Army owned, leased or rented vehicles on Army business. USMA has to follow Army rules for the garrison aspect.

    If you do not have a state license you will be required to obtain an Army driving license (I believe it's called an OF-346). There are also other requirements depending on the vehicle, the most common being training on the basic tactical vehicle level like the HUMVEE.

    The Army license supersedes state licenses including even commercial driver's license requirements.

    So should you reach the point that you need to drive on Army business (note emphasis) as an upperclassman, lack of a state license normally would not be a barrier, you would just have to obtain the OF-346. Holder's of state licenses get to skip that step.

    But if the Army wants you to drive, you will follow the AR 600-5, etc, and you'll be driving with or without a state license. :smile: Essentially, they are exempt from state regulation around licensing as they issue their own federal level license. But you still have to follow state traffic regulations. But that won't be a problem, as the Army regulations are even stricter. And more voluminous.

    Net-net: don't sweat it if you cannot get your state license this year. But plan on doing what's required on breaks/leave to try to get it when you can.

    You will want to get your restricted license, and start any clocks ticking (12 month as restricted, etc) that your state requires.
     
  13. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    A cadet of any class can get their Humvee license through their TAC team or other official means. I received mine Plebe year through my club so I would be able to help with transportation.

    And I do remember needing to have a normal driver's license as part of the process. :thumb:
     

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