Need advice regarding CBT / Beast

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by NYC Dad, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. NYC Dad

    NYC Dad Member

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    My 2015 NC will be doing CBT soon enough.
    I would like some SPECIFIC advice from current Plebes or others
    regarding any helpful items and/or necesities he should bring
    For example:
    --Broken-in Boots and shoes...OK, exactly what type, high and low?,
    and where can I get them.
    --A good sturdy watch (or two)...OK, I got him a tough Swiss Army model
    --A decent Leatherman multitool or variant...any "Best of" suggestions?
    What else can you all add?
    Thanks
     
  2. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    You and your NC will get a "Boot Letter". This allows you to go on a military base and buy boots and low quarters. The letter will specify what kind.

    It seems like the cadets here asked for blister bandages, insoles, and other footcare things during Beast.
     
  3. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I would start with this thread from last year:

    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=11132&highlight=beast

    I would take some of these lists you see with a grain of salt. My cadet took very little and got along great. He said pretty much everything he needed was provided. He didn't want a lot of things to keep up with and it worked out fine. He did take compression shorts and two pairs of boots and low quarters but very little else. I would also advise broken-in, top-of-the-line running shoes that have been properly sized and fitted for your feet by running shoe experts---this can head off the pain and agony of shin splints. My cadet wore out his running shoes by the end of Beast and we had to take a replacement pair on A-Day.

    He took a Leatherman and bought a cheap Timex Ironman watch that he is still wearing.

    Again, don't call attention to yourself by dragging along a huge pile of stuff. If they don't think you need it, it will be put in a bag and stored until A-Day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  4. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    Hi, I am a plebe at WP

    -Boots and running shoes that are broken-in help a lot. I have Altama boots but have heard Belleville get high remarks from nearly everyone I talked to, if company was what you meant by "type." They are all made based on the same design the US government issues the companies and I think its more important to just get the boots that are most comfortable. You can get them at PXs on military bases if there are any near you. I don't know if there's anywhere else you can get them, other than online, which I discourage.

    -Digital, robust watch that can take a beating. You shouldn't spend more than $30-$40 on a watch

    -A Leatherman with 10+ tools is very handy but not necessary

    -Babywipes are handy too, since you might go a day or two without washing

    -Foot powder helps with blisters by keeping them dry and helps them smell better.

    -Moleskin saved my life. They prevent blisters. I wouldn't have been able to finish half the things I did in boots without them.

    -Bandaids and anti-bacterial cream are handy as well. The last thing you want is an infected cut. Things like this and moleskin are provided by the medics and should be by the chain of command, but I found it very, very useful to have them on me and apply them immediately without having to ask someone or get up and find someone with them.

    -A flashlight will save your life when you need to find something in the dark or make your way safely to a secluded area to take a leak. There were some days when we slept out in the open and having to fumble for something you need in pitch-black darkness is pretty bad.

    -Warm blankets, water resistant if possible. I remember shivering in the dark when we slept out in the open, falling asleep, and then waking up with all my clothes and gear soaked because it rained overnight. It can get very miserable.

    -Extra socks and underwear. My SL took us to the C-store because some of our guys had used up all their socks and had to go buy extras.

    -A way to get conditionined to extreme heat? We had many, many new cadets simply drop out because they could not acclimatize to the 100+ degrees temp we had for many days or became a heat casualty because of the extreme heat we had last summer. I was one myself and its not fun.

    -A sense of humor. West Point is not the real Army and most of the cadet leadership are only two, three years older than new cadets. They're college kids, not drill sergeants. It wasn't until near the end that I noticed a lot of the things they do is sometimes simply because they're bored. They are also sometimes much softer than the hardass image they try to convey (and sometimes fail to) outside of CBT. If you do screw-up and get yelled at, fine. You screwed up and you're paying the price and honest mistakes should be taken seriously. But there will also be many times that there really isn't a a point to yelling other than to scare new cadets. By keeping this in mind and understanding that most of the cadre are college kids confined to 3 weeks of screaming at people, waking up at 4 am, and doing PT. They want to have fun too and they often get it with the new cadets. It makes it far easier to tolerate and sometimes can even get amusing for you. We often noticed mistakes and failure on their part too - it is as much a learning experience for them as it is for new cadets. So don't take everything too seriously!

    -Blueberries! Eat a lot of them before your son comes to summer training. Apparently, there are medical studies that show that they help with being able to memorize the crap that your son will have to memorize. This may or may not be true (I think it helped...I think blueberry bushes grew in my stomach because so many blueberry seeds matured in there. And I was fantastic with memorizing), but it could help and blueberries taste great anyway.

    -And most of all...a positive, sharp attitude and physical fitness! Having a good attitude will help you stick it out till the end and it just sucks being the one person always slowing the squad down. A good attitude makes everything much more bearable and even enjoyable.


    There will be a package of some kind that will be mailed to you with a helpful packing list if you haven't received it already. Good luck to you and your son!


    -CS
     
  5. Lee2015

    Lee2015 USMA & USNA Mom

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    When will this "Boot Letter" be sent to new appointees?
     
  6. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    I don't know. I'm guessing anytime from now until March or so.
     
  7. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    I took very little, and the only thing I asked for over the summer in addition was blister band-aids. My list would be:

    broken in boots and running shoes
    underwear and high white socks (you will sweat a lot and want more than you're issued)
    moleskin
    toothbrush
    pocket knife (doesn't have to be elaborate)
    water-resistant/proof watch
    razor

    He will be given foot powder, insect repellent, sun screen, body wash and all the other essentials.
     
  8. SeaMars

    SeaMars Member

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    ..and most of all

    Cadet son echoes this. Boots and low quarters were worn a couple of weeks before R-Day; what he brought, from the official packing list, fit in two gallon ziplock bags; all the other "stuff" could be sent or bought. But single best pieces of advice: Run! up hills! And figure out why you're going through it, to develop the attitude.

    Best of luck to all.
     
  9. CPT_Claw

    CPT_Claw Member

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    Boot letter

    If I am not mistaken, the Boot Letter will also be available on your Portal.
     

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