To those who just finished Beast

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by USMA2016, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    Congrats class of 2015! It's good to hear that you survived Beast and I hope I can be in your shoes a year from now. I just wanted to ask you all a few questions while your CBT experiences are still fresh in mind, hopefully you won't mind answering them for all of us!:biggrin:

    1) R-day; what was the worst part about it for you?
    2) Did you feel like you prepared yourself well for beast? In retrospect, how would you recommend preparing for CBT's physical and mental strain?
    3) what were some of the things that you did that you never thought you would be able to accomplish?
    4) What was the coolest thing you did?
    5) this is more a personal issue but - rappelling kind of scares me. It's definitely an irrational fear since I'm okay with heights and jumping off of things, but what did you do as far as rappelling goes? Was it difficult? Do you too suffer from this strange fear?:biggrin:

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to help all of us WP hopefulls out by answering these questions! Congrats, and For those we lead! 2015
     
  2. dhawbaker

    dhawbaker Member

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    1-Waiting in lines at all of the issue points. You will find out issue points are the worst thing ever..
    2-Physically, it's really not that hard. You just have to arrive at West Point in shape, and never give up while doing PT. They will push you until you have muscle failure, but keep trying when that happens. As for mentally, don't take all the crap the cadre throw at you personally. They are doing it to make you better.
    3-Running around for 7hrs doing the Neel Challenge, followed by an APFT the next day, followed by the 13 mile march back. In essence, the cumulative amounts of marching/running you do/all of the flights of stairs you run. For some reason, West Point is the only place in the world where you can run 3 miles, finish where you began, and have ran uphill the whole way.
    4-Everything. There are too many cool things you get to experience here, even as a New Cadet and Plebe. I personally enjoyed night shooting with NVGs
    5-I think everyone suffers from some sort of rappelling fear, but it's really not bad at all. In fact, by the end of the day, you'll be bounding down the side of the 75' cliff you go down. They make sure you know how safe you are, and give you figure 8 rings to ensure you have a slow decent. All you have to do is take the first step over the ledge, and you'll be fine. It's all downhill from there! (pun! :yllol: )

    Good Luck with your application! Also, enjoy senior year of high school! You don't want to rush to get here too soon, because once you are here, you will miss having all the privileges you have at home and being able to hang out with friends, sleep, etc. The little things are what you miss.
     
  3. beat navy

    beat navy Member

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    1) I had always dreaded R-day for years, looking at the pictures and talking to people. I never understood it and it seemed like a confusing mess. But it came and went just like any other day. It's just a really stressful day of inprocessing, waiting in long lines, and staying as still as possible with upperclassmen in your face all day. I was always affraid I'd laugh, but I was honestly way too scared. Looking back, I think the weight of the bags was the worst. Look at pictures of the flight bags and see how far forward we had to lean just to stand straight.

    2) I feel like I prepared myself decently, but not the best I could. I still was not in the best shape I could have been in, and it will show up on your diagnostic APFT. I didn't do so hot. But one of the reasons for Beast is to bring you up to the standard. I dreaded the morning PT for the first few weeks, but then I got stronger and enjoyed it. I wound up adding 18 pushups, 18 situps, and cutting 3 minutes off my 2 mile run on the last APFT.

    3) I learned that whenever the cadre put the word "challenge" before anything (Goeke Challenge, Neel Challenge, Mountain Challenge, etc.), it was really going to push my limits. The challenges were the hardest for me. I reached my breaking point about 5 hours into the Neel Challenge, but stopping literally was not an option. It was almost all mental, and I passed my own limits on that one.

    SFR was difficult. My buddy could not find my veins at all, and I got stuck about 7 times in each arm before a cadre had to do it. And I really, really, REALLY got chills thinking about nasal tube. Everyone had to have an 8-inch nasal pharangeal (sp?), and I did not want to. It felt so weird, but I got through it.

    Also: CS gas chamber was the worst. My squad was the very first to do it for our Beast, and there was no set system yet. We had to take our masks off and breathe it for a whole minute (later squads did it one at a time, or recite the soldier's creed, etc). It might sound dumb now, but I really thought I was going to die or pass out. I honestly didn't see myself getting out.

    4) There were so many cool parts of Beast. We did fire team live fire, which is a five person team bounding up through a range shooting side by side. Marksmanship was awesome, especially night firing with the night vision goggles. Heavy weapons day was just as fun. Some lucky NC's got to shoot the AT4 and set off claymore mines, and we all were able to shoot the M203 grenade launcher. The Neel Challenge was really fun at certain spots, especially the problem at the end. Everyone was supposed to finish it with a ride in a Chinook, but for some reason my company wasn't able to.

    5) Rapelling really was one of the best parts of Beast for me. Yes, it is a little scary. But you go through so many stations, classes, checkpoints etc. that you will be perfectly safe. We did a 75ft rock climb up the cliff first, then rapelled down a small 25ft course where we were coached, and finally down the 75ft cliff. With the figure 8 piece, it is a slow descent. The hardest part is stepping over the edge. I remember getting that feeling of "oh man I don't think I can do this," and then getting over it because there is only one way down. As soon as I started going down and bounding, it just got to be really fun. I wanted to go again.
     
  4. Szpieg

    Szpieg Member

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    1) R-day; what was the worst part about it for you?
    Definatley reporting to the First Sergeant. I had to do it over about five times. Each time you messed up, you went to the end of an ever growing line and had to stand there with your heels on the wall.

    2) Did you feel like you prepared yourself well for beast? In retrospect, how would you recommend preparing for CBT's physical and mental strain?
    Just prepare physically, you can't really prepare mentally. Just be as physically fit as you can possibly be.

    3) what were some of the things that you did that you never thought you would be able to accomplish?
    Increase by 15 pushups and situps and better my 2 mile time by 3.5 minutes

    4) What was the coolest thing you did?
    Chinook Ride

    5) this is more a personal issue but - rappelling kind of scares me. It's definitely an irrational fear since I'm okay with heights and jumping off of things, but what did you do as far as rappelling goes? Was it difficult? Do you too suffer from this strange fear?
    I was scared as hell in the beginning, but once you down like 10 feet, it gets easier and easier until you get to the point where you just jump and let yourself fall.
     
  5. jiu-jitsu girl

    jiu-jitsu girl USMA Appointee 2015

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    1.) What was worst about R-Day?
    -Honestly, having to lug that huge flight bag around all morning. When everyone says R-Day is a blur, it really is. The other thing that was rough on me was seeing my parents in the stands when we marched out onto the plain, knowing that was the last time I'd see them for weeks was hard. R-Day was not as bad as I thought it would be.

    A big tip is stay under the radar. I did a pretty good job. Of course we all get yelled at but don't look around. DO NOT. There is nothing worth looking at that you won't be able to see another day. Just listen and follow instructions and you'll be fine.

    2.)Did I prepare well enough and how should you prepare?
    -NO. If I could go back I would have worked SO much harder to get in shape. I payed the price and made it a lot harder on myself by not coming in prepared.
    -I suggest running a whole lot and focusing on push-ups and sit-ups. Pull ups and dips would be good too for MSE. Also. BREAK YOUR BOOTS IN. And make sure they fit properly. I decided to try my issued boots for the first 3 mile ruck. Do not do that. And don't wear athletic socks under your boot socks. My blisters are still healing from that first ruck. I have been on soft shoe profile since 7/29. So yeah...avoid blisters haha

    3.) What were some things I did that I never thought I could accomplish?
    -Roam the wilderness (by myself) and be able to locate points using a protractor, map, and compass, then find my way back. I'm directionally challenged so that was an accomplishment for me. Also completing the 12 mile marchback. If you told me a year ago I'd be doing that, I'd tell you that you were crazy. That is something that no one can take away from me.

    4.) The coolest thing I did:
    -Yeah FTLF was pretty awesome. And I trusted my teammates enough not to worry about them shooting me. It was so much fun. Firing the heavy weapons...like the M240B, the M249 SAW, the grenade launchers, the AT-4...that stuff was intense. Honestly, looking back on it, I had fun at the House of Tears. My squad was so crazy...we all asked our squad leader to take us through again, with no masks. Then a third time haha By that time though the gas wasn't nearly as strong. Also the chinook ride after the Neel Challenge. Prolly the highlight of my beast...my mouth was open the whole time :shake:

    5.) Rappelling...
    -Ok so I'm terrified of heights. Watching the swimmers jump off the highest platform made my stomach turn. So we get to the rappelling site and I'm freaking out. We rappell down the 25 foot cliff...no problem. Then I get to the edge of the 75 footer, and guess what? I'm not scared at all. I didn't even get butterflies. It was so so amazing. Then you get to climb back up the 75 foot cliff using only your hands and feet. Of course you're still in your stylish swiss seat :thumb: Don't worry!!!! It's really not bad at all.

    Look forward to being out in the field. Spending the nights suck. We got rained on almost every night. And it was so cold!!! But 2nd detail is a lot more relaxed. You have so much more fun in the field because the cadre kind of chillax. (And they're not allowed to smoke you!!) But you will have to write ridiculously funny letters if you mess up.

    Beast was by far not an easy feat for me to conquer. It was tough physically and emotionally. I for one took it incredibly hard when I found out the news about New Cadet Bower. I didn't know him, but being here for only a few weeks already gives you that intense feeling that we are one. We are family. God bless his loved ones. When times would get hard for me after that I would tell myself ok...you're doing this for Jacob. Do not quit. I made it through and I have faith that all of you coming in next year will too. If you have any more questions please feel free to contact me on here. Good luck with the process. It's a long and tedious one. Your fun is just beginning :biggrin:
     
  6. AKH

    AKH Member

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    1) The worst part about R-Day was waiting in my room for three hours after I did everything, wondering what the heck I was supposed to be doing and praying that my roommates would be higher alphabetically than me so I wouldn't have to be on the top bunk (didn't happen). It wasn't stressful at all for me, I was kind of bored.

    2) I thought I had prepared well, but I probably could have done more. The best way to prepare yourself is by doing more than you think you're capable of, like doing a full muscle workout and then running straight uphill. I didn't lag behind but I felt like I could have excelled more.

    3) Rucking. Dear Lord. Every successful march was a huge victory from me. We did four big ones - 3, 6, 10, and 12 miles. One of my favorite memories from Beast is going up the MSE hill down by the river courts with like 9.5/10 miles completed, and honestly thinking that this would be it, I wouldn't be able finish and that I would fail. That's the lowest I felt. But my squad literally surrounded me and we got up there, together.

    4) The coolest thing was by far getting to shoot a real AT-4 round. They picked one person from each platoon to shoot the actual one and for some reason they thought the smallest person around would be a good call! It was awesome, even though I missed and they caught it on video for public affairs.

    5) I wasn't scared at all and felt very safe rappelling, it was one of the more fun things we did! The only hard part was climbing back up :smile:
     
  7. jiu-jitsu girl

    jiu-jitsu girl USMA Appointee 2015

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    AKH!! What beast platoon and company were you in??
     
  8. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    Great job Cadets. You never have to go through that again :thumb:
     
  9. SVG

    SVG USMA Cadet

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    1) R-day; what was the worst part about it for you?The culture shock. I come from a completely non-military background, and no matter how many times people tell you it's going to be like this or that, it's still a huge change when you get there. Expected, but still caught off guard. To be honest, I wanted to go home right after R-Day! Morale was probably the lowest I'd had throughout all of Beast-- but that's where it's important to really just take things day by day. R-day was the worst day of Beast for me.

    2) Did you feel like you prepared yourself well for beast? In retrospect, how would you recommend preparing for CBT's physical and mental strain?I don't think I prepared as well as I should have. Push yourself physically before you come. Get in tip top shape -- it's not do-or-die in that respect, but it is monumentally harder (by observation) to get by if you're not in shape. The physical and mental a lot of the times go hand in hand. Be healthy in both aspects and you'll do fine. Mentally, I think I was much better pred pared. The key is determination. You can get through anything if you want it bad enough. Never give up.

    3) what were some of the things that you did that you never thought you would be able to accomplish?shoving an IV into my buddy after like a 5 minute instruction session.. a draining event called the Neel Challenge.... A lot of things, really. Beast in general is about overcoming things you never thought you could do. Ruck marching was the hardest thing for me -- but I never fell out, never gave up. It expended every ounce of energy in my body and maybe it was easy for some people, but I'm proud of completing every mile!

    4) What was the coolest thing you did?Rapelling, night fire with NVG, fire team live fire, shooting machine guns... basically everything was pretty cool.

    5) this is more a personal issue but - rappelling kind of scares me. It's definitely an irrational fear since I'm okay with heights and jumping off of things, but what did you do as far as rappelling goes? Was it difficult? Do you too suffer from this strange fear?Rapelling was AWESOME. And I think everyone was pretty nervous going into that. But the instructors are great and a huge help. I was talking about the red sox with my instructor as I slowly lowered myself into a parallel position off the cliff to begin haha. It's all about stepping out of your comfort zone. Yeah, it may be a little nerve racking, but just do it! It ended up being really fun. Swiss seat is not comfortable, though.

    Beast was hard, but it was fun in all honestly. I'm slightly nostalgic about it.
     
  10. RLTW

    RLTW Member

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    2) Did you feel like you prepared yourself well for beast? In retrospect, how would you recommend preparing for CBT's physical and mental strain?

    I'm stepping out on a limb and replying based on what my DS told me:

    "The hardest part of Beast was losing NC Bower from my Company. I never expected the first casualty from my unit would happen during Beast."

    Hard to prepare for everything. Do you best, drive on.

    Our prayers still go out to Cadet Bower's family.
    RLTW
     
  11. GSKeziah

    GSKeziah Member

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    Really if you are in pretty good shape going into beast you have nothing to worry about. Basic was a steady incline and the hardest thing for me was actually this 2 mile ruck up the moutain side of the ski slope in like 100 degree heat and after that day beast was all down hill from there. Just relax and stay postive and you'll do great. Oh and if you can work on anything have it be military bearing I have a smile fixed on my face so I got yelled at for smiling more then anything else, they never fixed me of it either.
     
  12. GMRobertson

    GMRobertson Member

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    Run run run run and then run some more now.

    Then go run some more.

    Get your boots when you get the shoe and boot letter - do not feel at all embarrassed wearing them to school - break all foot wear in. You do not want blisters and problems with your feet.

    Go run some more.

    Every morning do pushups and situps, dont stop just because you passed your CFA.

    Do more running.

    Run some more.

    Hope you get the drift on running.
     
  13. howacupcake

    howacupcake Member

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    I found this thread very interesting! Thanks to those who wrote:thumb:
     
  14. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    Beast

    My son just completed Beast as a member of 2015.
    When I asked him about this question on the phone today he said:
    1. Be in great physical shape - exceed all of the West Point minimums and be able to run 3 miles in at least 21 minutes.
    2. Have a very positive mental attitude. Do not think of failure as an option.
    3. Make sure that YOU want to be a West Pointer (not just your family)
    4. Do not take any of the Plebe harrassment personally
    5. Do not let the disappointments of yesterday carry-over to today
     
  15. jbrowerdallas

    jbrowerdallas Dallas Mom

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    A good life lesson as well...

    Thank you BigNick for sharing your son's insight into Beast. It is not only good advice for West Point but life in general don't you think? We are anxiously awaiting good news here... perhaps an LOA in the next few days?
     
  16. JCraft

    JCraft Member

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    1) R-day; what was the worst part about it for you?

    - Leaving family behind, lugging around a flight-bag from hell, heels on the wall, not knowing what is going on. You are basically cattle, for lack of a better word.

    2) Did you feel like you prepared yourself well for beast? In retrospect, how would you recommend preparing for CBT's physical and mental strain?

    - Physically, yes. Work out hard. I ran three times a week, ranging from three to six miles (shorter distance, faster run). You'll never run more than four miles at beast. I ran with green group, which was the fastest (couple hard runs, but it was the hills that crush you). Mentally, no. There is no way you can (unless you're prior enlisted). Just do what you're told quickly, keep a good attitude, don't get down on yourself, depend on your buddies. I actually recommond studying some knowledge before you head off. Also, try to know before hand what the cadet ranks are (SGT, 1SGT, LT, CPT).

    3) what were some of the things that you did that you never thought you would be able to accomplish?

    -Nothing really, it's really not terribly difficult - it just sucks. You have no time to yourself, and you have to get used to getting up at 0500 everyday. Just focus on enjoying HS right now, it really is the best time you'll have for a long time if you come here!

    4) What was the coolest thing you did?

    Fire-Team Live fire and marksmanship evolutions (I shot over 200 rounds in one day, more than 1000 rounds over the three days)
    5) this is more a personal issue but - rappelling kind of scares me. It's definitely an irrational fear since I'm okay with heights and jumping off of things, but what did you do as far as rappelling goes? Was it difficult? Do you too suffer from this strange fear?

    Repelling is awesome! It's too easy, trust your gear, get pumped, and leaaan bacckk!

    The biggest tip I would want to hear from a plebe is to: (1) enjoy HS, because this place is no joke about school. If you think school is hard now, West Point will destroy you! However, it teaches you that you can get through everything, so keep a good attitude! (2) stay motivated, pay attention, "love the suck" which means embrace getting sick after spending three days in the rain at night. Just smile about it - it helps. (3) This place gets hard, but it really is do-able. You'll make good buddies, which will become your family. (4) Finally, do not stress too much about getting everything done before you leave for West Point. I know I worried myself sick about paperwork, deadlines, etc. Just get them done before they are due and send them in. You won't ever be prepared enough - just the way it is, and will always be. However, it will help you to spend time on these forums and pick-up on advice.

    P.S. have song lyrics and funny jokes/trivia sent to you at beast - they will help you pass the time and entertain your cadre.
     
  17. mtnman17

    mtnman17 USMA Appointee 2015

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    1) R-day; what was the worst part about it for you?
    Worst part about Rday was rday. I will just go ahead and throw out there that it sucked. The entire first 3 or 4 days were miserable. But after those few days the rest of beast isn't as bad.
    2) Did you feel like you prepared yourself well for beast? In retrospect, how would you recommend preparing for CBT's physical and mental strain?
    Physically, I'll echo what everyone else said. Be 'in shape'. If you can pass a APFT before you show up, you'll be fine. Mentally, just understand going into it that you will not be seeing your family or friends for a long time and keep your sense of humor. If you loose that, the cadre win and you just made your life worse.
    3) what were some of the things that you did that you never thought you would be able to accomplish?
    I was pretty pumped about most stuff going into it. I had done a lot of the 2nd detail stuff before (Appalachian Trail, worked on a farm, understood weapons and ballistics etc) but 1st detail I really learned alot about myself. Just stay on your a-game and it's not too bad.
    4) What was the coolest thing you did?
    Never shot a M203 grenade launcher. That was awesome. The gas chamber sucked-don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You'll survive but it sucks.
    5) this is more a personal issue but - rappelling kind of scares me. It's definitely an irrational fear since I'm okay with heights and jumping off of things, but what did you do as far as rappelling goes? Was it difficult? Do you too suffer from this strange fear?:biggrin:
    Rapelling is no big deal. I had opportunities to rappel a lot with the Scouts before I came here and I'll say that's a little more fun because a swiss seat is not involved, but you'll be fine.
     
  18. Classof83

    Classof83 Member

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    Beast

    Having gone through R-Day myself over 30 years ago, I tried to prepare my DD who is a member of the Class of 2015 for that day as much as possible. From her first letter home:

    "I thought R-Day would be bad but it was horrible...It is 8 p.m. and I'm exhausted and it still isn't over."

    With that written, she did later tell us that after about the 3rd day things improved tremendously.

    She did prepare physically but would also say that one should run, run, and run some more!
     
  19. pkneram

    pkneram Member

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    Beast really wasn't that bad in retrospect. Depending on how you load up your school year you'll be getting much less sleep and often be working out harder. The big thing is to just do what your told to the best of your abilities. The cadre notice work ethic and a never give up attitude.
     

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