Plebe Summer Attrition

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by 2018midmom, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. 2018midmom

    2018midmom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    68
  2. cajost

    cajost Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2013
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    0
    You beat me to this!

    I just read this.

    The admission process is a pain in the @ss for a reason.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,501
    Likes Received:
    451
    There is also much more information available to today's candidates than in my day.

    Not only is there NASS but there are also Internet forums such as this one, Facebook, websites such as usna.edu, videos on YouTube, MOC "information days," high school "military nights," etc. -- all of which provide a wealth of information for those making even minimal effort.

    Thus, most students are in a much better position to make a truly informed decision about whether USNA is right for them and also have a much better understanding about what USNA in general and PS in particular are like before they arrive. IMO, this is a good thing.
     
  4. 2018midmom

    2018midmom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    68
    I agree it is a good thing. I wonder if this changes the admissions calculus on numbers of offers to extend when coupled with higher yield. Last year's admission cycle perplexed quite a few so it will be interesting to see the 2019 numbers.
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,501
    Likes Received:
    451
    The lower attrition across all four years is definitely playing a role in determining the size of incoming classes. In my day, attrition was around 23%; now, it's closer to 11%. Thus, USNA needs to take in fewer plebes to graduate the numbers it wants four years later.

    That in turn, increases the competition for admission; although it also increases the likelihood that, once admitted, a mid will graduate.
     
  6. suddensam

    suddensam USNA BGO

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    17
    I'm not sure that it's attributable to information alone. I understand (and no, I do not have details) that certain physical aspects were again relaxed this year. For example, the detailers had to abide by new maximums for different PT exercises (e.g., push ups) and had to allow for specific and expanded rest periods between physical activities.

    Again, I don't have the details, and I am sure that every class claims that theirs was the last to face adversity and difficulty, but I suspect that there is more than information access that is affecting the attrition rate. I don't think that there were quantum advances in information since the Class of 2015, but I wonder if there were noticeable differences in attrition rates between the classes of 2015-2017 and 2018. Anyone have that data?
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,501
    Likes Received:
    451
    In my day, people weren't quitting b/c they couldn't do enough push-ups. Almost no one was sent home during PS for "lack of performance." Rather, they quit b/c they didn't want to be there.

    Also, unless things have changed, most people who leave involuntarily do so due to academics.

    As for PS, much of the physical aspect is tailored to weather. The hotter and more humid it is, especially early in the summer, the more they ease up on the physical requirements.
     
  8. JShawshank

    JShawshank Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    55
    The academic dean showed us charts on total attrition and academic attrition over time at PPW last week. This was attrition from I-Day to Graduation. The academic attrition over the last four years was around 3-5% and total around 11 - 13%.

    His point was that separation for academic reasons is a pretty low probability in today's USNA.
     
  9. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    130
    Plus, isn't the size of the Brigade (or Corps) regulated by directive? Further, there is only so much room in Bancroft Hall. I would think they would have to extrapolate, statistically (using current attrition rates), how large an incoming class should be.
     
  10. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    130
    It's difficult to point to one, single thing to explain the lower attrition.

    Certainly, I think the incoming Plebes are better informed as to what to expect because of the wealth of information available that was not available in the past.

    Plus, I think a lot of attrition (especially Plebe year) has LONELINESS as a reason for leaving - even though many would not admit it or be aware of it. In the pre-internet, pre-cellphone days - attending a service academy was like falling into a communication abyss. You virtually lost all contact with family and friends. Flying was much more costly in those days. Long distance phone calls were expensive. Today - they stay much more connected and loneliness isn't as much of a factor.

    Finally, I think it is easier. The academy has focused much more on retention. They brag about their retention! In the past, they were somewhat proud of their attrition. Admission was phase I of the "weeding out" process. The four years at the Naval Academy was considered phase II of the "weeding out" process.

    The place co-ed has also made it a bit "kinder & gentler", as well.

    For the most part, I'd say it is better today than it was in the "old days". Not in all areas - but in most.
     
  11. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    130
    One additional thing - and it's probably not a huge deal - but, Bancroft Hall is now air-conditioned.

    Do not underestimate how being constantly hot, sweaty and thirsty (with no possible escape) can insidiously chisel away at your resolve. If you were inclined to be broken down, this could very well be the straw that broke the camel's back. There was no reprieve. Plebes didn't carry around canteens wherever they went like little Teddy Bears. There were no canteens. They weren't even issued! If you were thirsty - too bad! Even during PEP - tough luck!

    Plebe Summer, during morning meal, the first thing that went flying around the table was that metal pitcher of ice water. The Plebes had just finished PEP, showered, rushed to change uniforms and were standing in formation in T-Court prior to marching in for morning meal. Already they were, again, drenched in sweat.

    I had a Plebe Summer roommate from Colorado. He was not used to the heat and humidity of Maryland. He was in good shape but he must have sweated off 20 pounds in six weeks. He was miserable.
     
  12. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,501
    Likes Received:
    451
    ^^^

    Excellent points. We also didn't have canteens. I actually think it's better that plebes carry them -- no use in having people crash due to heat stroke.

    You are right that the constant heat, humidity and sweating was oppressive. Even at night, it sucked. The rooms never really cooled and plebes didn't rate fans. You just lay there in your rack with no covers and hoped that exhaustion would overtake you.
     
  13. cga82

    cga82 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    50
    I remember my brother(USNA'78) looking like he was in a POW camp during Plebe Parent weekend. You will survive!

    The attrition rate back at CGA was 50% in my day. We started with 320 and graduated 155 for all the same reasons mentioned above.
     
  14. Blessedmomwithagoodboy

    Blessedmomwithagoodboy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    My boy lost 9 Ibs the first few weeks he said. USNA does a better job than any personal trainer.:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  15. billyb

    billyb Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    31
    I come from the USMA side, but I see value on weeding out some kids during plebe summer. I graduated 20+ years ago so am a little "old school" but the first summer, in my opinion, was supposed to really suck so that the kids that couldn't take the constant pressure to perform and keep driving on left. I had a alot of very smart classmates that left during plebe summer due to the constant yelling, PT and food deprivation. The whole first year actually sucked. It didn't make those that left less of a person, but they realized that they didn't want to live under/couldn't take all the pressure. I can assure you, in my experience at least, that active duty has a lot more high stakes pressure than anything at USXA. I thought it was pretty good training and made me much more calm and clear in stressful situations later in my career.

    It would be interesting to see the performance of JOs coming out of the oppressive system from 20 years ago vs the performance of JOs from kinder/gentler system of today.
     
  16. 18mamag

    18mamag Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    4
    I find the attrition number for the class very interesting. I know of 6 plebes who left, all for different reasons. From talking to a friend whose child just finished plebe summer at Air Force (I know it is called something different) she said approximately 100 kids left. She said she was told kids were dropped due to not completing enough of the program, i.e. sick or injured. Navy seemed to have a kinder approach to those plebes. Maybe that is why attrition stayed so low.
     
  17. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    564
    Most of the kids that were medically turned back during the USAFA "Basic Cadet Training" aka Beast, were sent home due to broken bones, torn ligaments, etc. Those with sprains, strains, or illness were kept there wearing "blue belts" indicating injury or illness. My DD had a sprained ankle and bronchitis - she passed since she was able to "tough it out" through the assault and obstacle courses.

    Those that were medically turned-back are allowed to return next year.

    Proud Parent of DD USAFA c/o 2018
     
  18. 18mamag

    18mamag Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thank you for clarifying. I hope your DD heals quickly! It is great that they let them come back for the next year, as we all know how tough it is to secure the appointment!
     
  19. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes Received:
    564
    No problem!
    The "100" turned back is a little high. They started with 1226 and now have 1144. That's 82 that have left for various reasons. I know that 11 didn't show up and 5 didn't get off the bus. That leaves 66 that left during BCT. For some, it's because it wasn't a fit. For others, it was medical. Being sick isn't usually a turn-back.
     
  20. 2018midmom

    2018midmom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    68
    USNA seems to have a different policy as there were many VERY broken plebes who had broken bones and ligaments resulting in surgery during plebe summer and even this week before classes started.
     

Share This Page