How does a Cadet's rank compare to actual Soldiers?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by 160thWannabe, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. 160thWannabe

    160thWannabe Member

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    I've been thinking about the interaction between the Cadets and actual servicemen and women, and it led to that question. I remember reading a book (I think it was Absolutely American) in which a Cadet goes to some sort of training where the Soldiers treat him like an officer and he feels like he doesn't deserve it (because he isn't an officer yet). The book didn't clarify how the interaction between Cadet and Soldier is supposed to work, so, how is it supposed to work? Who says "sir" to who?

    Again, thanks.
     
  2. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe cadets are supposed to be treated as junior officers even though they are not quite there yet. I know when they go to airborne school their helmet designation is unique to cadets but I believe they stay in the enlisted barracks. It's kind of a grey area (like west point!).
     
  3. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    I have no idea what the official rule is (or if there is even one) but this is what I have encountered:

    Many junior enlisted soldiers have never interacted with cadets and simply mimic what the NCO's do. At West Point, the NCO's will mostly treat you like a student. You generally have no interactions with junior enlisted except when they do things like drive the transportation during Summer training and they tend to keep to themselves.

    Outside of West Point is where it varies more. In training environments like Airborne, some will treat you like one of them while others may join in on making fun of you (like the Airborne instructors enjoy doing). In nontraining environments, there seems to be more respect (probably due to the lack of badgering airborne/air assault instructors setting the norms).

    I have been called "Sir" and saluted (a humbling experience) but I have also been told to do the rocket. To summarize all this; you will be treated with varying levels of respect depending on the situation and location.
     
  4. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I know I shouldn't do this as one of my biggest complaints againts applicants is a lack of own researching. When I applied to West Point, I used a typewriter and there was no Internet. Still, things that are natural to myself or experienced forum members might be unnatural to applicants.

    The pertinent section from the Army Command Policy is

    Translation - cadet "ranks" higher than a NCO.

    I would say a section in the book "Starship Troopers" about where a cadet falls in a military chain of command is pretty accurate. "Starship Troopers" is a FICTION written by a Navy grad.
     
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Table 1-1 on page 9 lays it out graphically, as well.
     
  7. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    To MemberLG,

    I mean no disrespect when I say that this is how 160thWannabe researched his own question and found his answer. I am confounded by some of the members here on the board who post complaints about some of the younger members posting questions.

    I agree, at one point you (we :wink: )went to the library, got down a large book and read through to find the answers. The book may or may not have been outdated -as books at the library often are and it may or may not have been accurate. That process could have taken hours or even days. You could have also gotten out your typewriter-typed a letter (using copious amounts of correction tape) to post a letter to get an answer-only to wait weeks to find out a possible answer from one single source. I am not sure, in my humble opinion that was the most efficient use of your time and resources.

    At one point my grandmother used to boil our laundry over the stove. I sure appreciate my maytag.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The complaint would be, there information is plainly available. Just lazily asking all of your questions sets up bad "research" behavior for the future. If you think getting on a social media website and asking a question is research, you're likely also citing Wikipedia for papers.

    This website is not a research source. This should be a cite to ask for perspective and advice, NOT for "tell me this tell me that, so I don't have to look it up myself".

    Cadet/midshipmen ranks are listed in every services personnel manual.

    Get to a unit and just carpet bomb your coworkers with questions you could look up yourself? That will annoy people quickly (trust me, I did it as a butter bar, and I've had it done to me). The answer you will likely get is "Look it up in the manual."

    As a cadet.... we called questions that wasted time "bore-***".
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    And now that I've said that.... after your extensive research asking a question on a website without attribution.....


    my advice.....


    While cadets and midshipmen technically are higher ranked than your enlisted members.... DO NOT pull rank, or even hint at it. As a 3/c cadet I made the mistake of bring up rank on a ship I was a guest on for 5 weeks. I didn't pull rank, just mentioned the Geneva Convention rating on the back and basically referenced the personnel manual section talking about cadet rank. HORRIBLE idea. The simple fact is, you will know next to nothing as a cadet.
     
  10. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    To Line in the sand,

    This website is indeed a research source.

    Is it all encompassing? No.

    Is is accurate? Not necessarily.

    Is is a great starting point? Yes.

    Does is allow for personal anecdotes and opinions allowing for a more robust answer? Absolutely (yours case-in-point). Which in MHO is the purpose of this website.

    Saying that someone who posts here would cite wikkipedia is a stretch. I know my children can NOT cite wikipedia for school research projects. However, does Wikipedia give you a starting point? Yes. in fact if you Wikipedia this particular question it lists ~10 different references including books,articles and services personnel manuals on the subject of military rank.

    I am not trying to start a controversy-just giving a different perspective. (BTW-I also stop and ask for directions)
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Your starting point should not be waking up and telling someone you don't know "tell me everything I need to know because I don't want to take the time to search for the information myself."

    I certainly never told my math teacher, "let's cut to the chase, how about you just tell me the answer so I don't have to do the work and find the answer myself."

    "Give me the answer" is not a starting point. It's just lazy.

    The greatest value SAF has is as a sounding board and a place to exchange ideas and experiences. It is not a place for kids to have others to look up answers for them.

    And yes, I too start with Wikipedia! :wink:
     
  12. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    To your original question, on vacation last week with cadet son, we struck up a conversation with a retired master sergeant we were seated next to in a restaurant. While she smiled and called him "sir", her parting words were, "Now drop and give me twenty!"

    There was respect going both ways -- but he felt that she had earned it.
     
  13. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I just noticed a point of differentiation between a freshman West Point cadet and an freshman Army ROTC cadet:

    Per the chart referenced above http://www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r600_20.pdf , PDF page 9, document page 3, bottom, a West Point Cadet (whether a plebe or a firstie) is at the same level of command as a "Senior Advanced Reserve Officers Training Corps cadet". I checked US code Title 10, Chapter 103, and it does seem to confirm that the word Advanced in this context means Cadets enrolled in ROTC Advanced Course (MSIII and MSIV years), as opposed to Basic Course (MSI and MSII years). I suppose an Army ROTC cadet in Basic Course, whether contracted or not, would be referred to as a Senior Basic Reserve Officers Training Corps cadet, and not yet part of the chain of command.

    Anybody agree with my take on that? I suspect this to be an oversight, and that the intent is for a CONTRACTED cadet in ROTC, whether in Basic or Advanced Course, to be the equivalent of a cadet of any year at West Point.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  14. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    Nitpicking about what the actual regulation says, whatever the regulations may say a cadet's rank is about how cadet rank compares to actual soldiers, in practice when we interact with NCO's, they are typically senior NCO's in a training environment. They are there to teach us as they are the ones with the experience and have earned the respect shown to them.

    Yes, when we graduate we will outrank them (we will be taking over a different job then they are there for), but at the same time, that doesn't mean that good junior officers don't take the time to learn from their senior NCO's when they are out in front of their platoon. Rank as a cadet shouldn't be something you worry about. WP isn't the "real Army" quite yet. I'm taking the time to learn from the people around me and going from there
     
  15. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If you read my post again, I did actually answer the question in more detail than Luigi59. Good or bad, with my experience and age, I could proably answer 95% of questions asked by any candidate, but I would be more happy if I can encourage them to find their own answers.

    "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."
     
  16. 160thWannabe

    160thWannabe Member

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    Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for the wealth of responses to my question.

    There has been some confrontations among the replies about how there has been a lack of proper research prior to asking this question. I would like to point out that my intent was not to initiate conflict over such a trivial question. I would also like to bring attention to the fact that this question was, in fact, investigated prior to my post. I admit to using Google to look for the answers to most of my questions, and I thank Luigi59 for posting the official Army Command Policy which showcases the answer to my question. I would like to bring up, however, the fact that I would never have had the idea to look under the Deputy Chief of Staff's website, and then under his Command Programs section for an answer to my original question. Yes, some of the older and more experience posters have had their resources limited in their time before the internet, but I just want to say that sometimes the overwhelming number of resources can make it difficult to find the answer to the question. For example, if I were to Google "West Point Ranks Compared to Active Military Personnel," I obviously wouldn't have found the answer to my question. Instead, I would have buried under a number of links which range from "West Point FMWR: Five Star Inn" to "Why Our Best Officers Are Leaving." Now, obviously, the answer was out there as Luigi59 has pointed out. I still have much to learn regarding the internet and specifically the Army's resources, but my main point is that I actually did look for the answer (not just with Google but under Army resources like the Army Field Manuals) to my question and I am humbled and humiliated by those who say that I have not taken the precautions to formulate the answers to my own questions. Yes, I did use Google and maybe I didn't put enough effort into finding the answers to my questions, but I only use the SAF forums as a last resort because I know there are other posts out there which deserve much more attention than my meeble posts. I have learned a valuable lesson today.

    Again, thanks to everyone for putting in all of the input. It's appreciated.
     
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Don't worry 160thwannabie, the "conflict" is something that has been discussed before. It's not "how dare this kid!" kind of conversation, but was more about a trend in general.

    I used to ask questions to my ops boss. His response was always "check in the manual."

    Which manual? WHO KNOWS!?!?! Were the answers in "the manual", I doubt it, at least for some of the questions. :wink:
     
  18. Idzak

    Idzak Member

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    To 160th Wannabe: :thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  19. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I really don't think anyone expects a high school kid to have an intimate knowledge of Army regulations regarding rank structure (especially as regards something as esoteric as how a WP cadet fits into it). You Googled your question, didn't find a reasonable answer, so thought "why not ask it on SAF?" Your action was a perfectly logical thing to do, as this site contains members who might, at least potentially, be well-versed in the subject on which you sought clarification. The accuracy of information on here needs to be taken with consideration of the source, but there is usually more good stuff on this site than garbage (although there sometimes is garbage).

    All that said, I tend to think that the forum members, for the most part, have good intentions. To the OP, I hope that you will continue to use the site.
     
  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Exactly. Keep using the forums. Certainly don't avoid posting because you believe it will take away from "more deserving" post.

    I think your response was appropriate and the work you put into it prior to asking the question was also appropriate.
     

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