Questions Thread

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Chockstock, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hello

    I feel that I have been somewhat spamming the forums with threads dedicated to only one question. From now on, I'll be posting any and all questions that I have for the wonderful and beautiful forums people about West Point on this thread, even if it means bringing it up from several pages back. And if anyone else has questions that can be answered quickly, you're more than welcome to post it on here:smile:

    So I'll start off with a few

    1. I remember hearing at SLS that cadets at West Point get paid a monthly stipend. How much is it and what do cadets normally spend it on? And just out of curiosity, why?

    2. (Question continued off of my other thread asking about the branches) If your class rank is composed of your GPA, physicalness, and military score, how exactly are the physical and military tests graded?

    3. Compared to regular, civilian colleges, does anyone know how long the breaks are at West Point (how many days allotted for summer, winter break etc)?

    Thanks again!
     
  2. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll do my best to answer some and let others chime in:

    1. I don't know the amount but whatever it is, you certainly don't see all of it. Most of it goes towards paying off your uniforms, computer, books, and various other things. When I was there back in the dark ages (84-88 :wink: ), I want to say that we got about $30 a month in actual "pay" plebe year - which you used to buy toiletries, and any essentials from the C-store. By firstie year, it had built to a couple hundred dollars a month, but people by then did more travel and were in general a lot less dependent on mom and dad for any money. Be interesting to see what people say the values are today!

    2. Again, keeping in mind that this is dated, you do have both PE and Military Science/Leadership classes, so these classes would be part of your grades. Additionally, PE would consist of the APRT (whatever the currently acronym for it is - PT test with run, pushups, situps) and the Indoor Obstacle Course. Your military ratings would include the TAC's ranking/evaluation of you, as well as your ratings (at least back when we did it) of your summer performances, etc.

    3. Calendar for next year's dates.

    http://www.westpoint.edu/DComm/wppc.asp

    You'll see that Thanksgiving and Christmas (and Spring Break) are probably comparable to what you had in HS. Christmas/winter break will be shorter than most normal colleges, where students may finish up around the same time but not start the next semester until late January. Summer leave I would say averaged 3 weeks, but many/most cadets tend to do other training, classes, opportunities during them, especially as you advance in years. I think my first summer I had one long weekend to come home. But the summer after plebe year, I definitely came home the whole 3 weeks. Of course if you fail a class, you'll be making that up too.
     
  3. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    0
    APFT- Army Physical Fitness test
    You do it twice a year, but there is a diagnostic one during beast that a lot of people usually fail
     
  4. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    1) Yes, you will be paid $200 a month (every 30th of each month) Plebe year. The pay rises every year eventually reaching $500 a month Firstie year. You will also have access limited access to your cadet account starting Cow year and will be able to withraw some money from that. Your cadet account contains money you are legally paid but will never see because it is removed from your pay (that's why you only get $200 out of the roughly $900 a month you really do get "paid"). This money goes towards issued items and all other "free" expenses.

    Cadets spend it on many things. Some order out every weekend, some buy cool electronic gadgets, movies, and stuff. Some, like me, save it all and spend it while when home on leave.

    2) The "real" GPA (forgot its real acronym) consists of those 3 sections. I forgot the exact percentages but Academics makes up the larger portion made up of all your grades. Physical is made up of APFT scores (one a semester), gym classes, and sports. Military is made up of the grade your chain of command gives you twice a semester and how well you perform in military training over the summer.

    3) We get less break time from normal colleges. Thanksgiving (5 Days), Christmas (15 Days), Spring Break (9 Days), and Summer (15-30 Days average depending on what you signed up for). You also have some 3 day weekends you can take pass on. Only 1 pass per semester Plebe year but you can earn more. As you go up in years you have more base passes to use.
     
  5. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    731
    Likes Received:
    8
    Speaking of what cadets spend it on, how do they spend it? Are cadets allowed to leave campus on weekends? I know NYC is pretty close to West Point, so do cadets travel there?

    Wow, thats unfortunate :frown: I'm from Michigan, and I doubt I would have the money to travel back home during the shorter breaks if I did attend WP. If you are unable to go back home to family, do you just spend the break at West Point?
     
  6. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,886
    Likes Received:
    231
    You can spend money on post at the cadet store or the PX. You can try to spend it in Highland Falls, but there is not much there! You cannot go to NYC unless on a pass until your second year (yearling). Many cadets have "authorization to leave post." You want this!! You get it from being involved in some activity that requires you to go someplace. Those with "authos" find places to spend money.

    The cadets I know from MI go home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break. Most 3 day weekends (if you have a pass) are spent with buddies who live near USMA. Your first off weekend (Labor Day) will likely be in NYC...many cadets do that because it's close and easy to navigate via the train.
     
  7. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plebes only get one pass a semester to leave although you can earn more. OOP's (off post privileges) is like a pass except you must stay within a close range of West Point (NYC is withint this range) but you won't get those until Yearling year or a special occasion (Plebes got them near Veterans Day this year to celebrate our will to serve).

    They spend it at Highland Falls, PX, Commissary, various cadet stores, ordering out, and ordering off the internet. If you do not leave while on leave periods you are welcome to stay here and a minority of cadets always do (most because they have to walk hours). Remember it is possible to take a bus home on larger periods cutting down your cost allowing you to have enough money for flight tickets on shorter periods (where taking a bus would take a large majority of the leave time). It all comes down to money management, if you save and spend smart you can go home every free period. Also keep in mind, during some free periods you will want to stay rather than go due to the work load (some 3 day weekends).
     
  8. proudmama

    proudmama Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    host families?

    I have friends who live near the USNA and they have "adopted" young people who can't go home for a holiday or who are able to leave for short periods... The kids come to their home, eat dinner, watch TV stay the night etc... I always assumed that this was the case for USMA as well... is it?
     
  9. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, there is a sponsor program and sponsors often offer their homes to their cadets during breaks.
     
  10. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    1
    Okay, I will put one of my questions out there. For any female cadets, parents of female cadets, or male cadet who feel they have observed enough female cadets to answer the question: Should I cut my hair for BEAST or keep it in a bun?

    Pros/Cons of Cutting it: Don't have to worry about making sure your hair is secure, dries quicker- on the other hand, it would be in your face a lot during physical activity.

    Pros/Cons of Putting It Up: Not in your face and out of the way- on the other hand, you have to make sure it is always secured properly and can take a long time to dry after those very short showers.

    Opinions?
     
  11. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I'll just say that back in the old Corps :wink: we didn't have a choice! I can't imagine having dealt with it during Beast, but it's not like it will be cold out most of the time, and in a lot of ways long hair is a lot easier to deal with than short hair.

    I agree that if you get it cut short, you want it out of your face. And realize if you're at all near the boundary (above collar still?) that if it's short you take a chance on someone telling you it's too long and go get it cut. If it's long, you put it up, but if it's short it may end up shorter than you want!

    If you do get it cut, I recommend doing it a least a couple weeks before R day so you have a chance to get used to it and used to yourself looking how you do so it's not such a shock then. You have enough to be dealing with then without hating your hair too (and your stylist at home is sure to do a much better job than the butchers, I mean barbers, on R day!). :thumb:

    Good luck!
     
  12. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah I have heard complaints about the barbers at the academy coming from guys getting buzz cuts, so i don't think that speaks well about their skills performing more complex styles.
     
  13. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recommend getting it cut shorts. It doesn't have to be really short but the shorter it is the less of a hassle it will be.
     
  14. Antoinette

    Antoinette Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey, AF, you are a guy, right?! There is a great old thread over at CC, and maybe here, on the short hair/long hair conundrum for females at West Point. Try the search feature.....this topic comes up every year.

    You can also ask current cadets here:
    http://portal.dean.usma.edu/admissions/blog/default.aspx

    and here:
    http://www.westpointcadets.org/
     
  15. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I am a guy :biggrin: Why do you ask?

    Heard a lot of girls complain about their hair getting in the way during Beast. :wink:
     
  16. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you ever get to go to the PX during Beast?
     
  17. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    2
    It is up to you, your hair type and what you are comfortable with.

    My daughter chose to cut her hair. She had long, fine hair and was very used to putting it up for sports and school since she was at a military school for a year.
    If you choose to cut it - get the *right* cut - one that will not fall in your face and be above your collar in the back. Also, remember during Beast it will grow so cut it short enough to get you through.
    My daughter got a "pixie" type hair cut.
    I asked her after Beast if she was glad she cut it and she said emphatically "YES!". She was especially glad when they spent 5 days in the field without showers/shampoos.
    She grew out her hair and that was a pain - so be prepared for that if you choose to grow it back out.
     
  18. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    You get to go to the Cadet Store a couple of times for hygiene products. No PX.
     
  19. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thats rough for the smokers and the dippers among the new cadets...
     
  20. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    A lot of them decided not to quit before coming so the cold turkey got to them. Tobacco isn't allowed for New Cadets even when they go to the Cadet Store.
     

Share This Page