Welcome to (Parent) Indoc 2013

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by jamz, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. jamz

    jamz New Member

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    Dear New Parents –

    First off – welcome. Now, take a few deep, long breaths. You’re only stressing yourself out at this point.

    I graduated the USMMA on 22 JUNE 09 – and I was a Midshipman Officer in Charge during 2012’s indoc. I know what your kid is going through.

    Your candidate is going through a difficult time right now – they don’t need you stressing out and breathing down their necks. You will get a call when you get one—if you didn’t get in contact with your candidate, I assure you – the DIs and Midshipman Officers in Charge are going to do everything they can to ensure every candidate reaches someone. Sure, they may keep a stopwatch nearby and ensure it lasts only 5 minutes – but that’s only fair to every candidate.

    When you DO get that call – don’t freak out on your kid. SUPPORT THEM. They’ll cry, tell you they don’t want to be there anymore, tell you that they can’t do it – but look here. You’re no longer Mr. and Mrs. Parent – you’re their Chief Support Officer now. Your job isn’t to cry with them and freak out with them – it’s to encourage them. You’ve got to be a beacon of strength in an uncertain time of their life. BE THE ANCHOR that they need. Tell little Johnny and little Susie that they made a decision to be at the Academy, and now it’s their job to finish what they started. It’s going to be a long, tough road – saddle up. I’ll never forget my father’s words during my first phone call “Remember that decision you made, son? To go to the academy?” when I answered “Yes..?” He hung up. I guess I should thank him, huh?


    Here’s some of what your candidate is going through:

    Basic Military Drill – understanding how to march in formation, how to act in a military manner, how to be a little bit more disciplined. The purpose of drill is essentially discipline – but it also moves people around in an organized fashion. Most of indoc consists of drill. We’re going to drill, drill, and when we’ve eaten and hydrated – guess what? We’re going to drill some more. Dammit.

    Learning about Honor – they’re getting some education about the academy’s honor code. They’re learning what’s expected out of them as midshipmen – they’re not just civilian college students, they are officers in training.

    Athletics – they’re playing intramurals against their fellow candidates. Companies will face off against other companies in games like ultimate Frisbee, or relay races. These are designed to get the candidates to bond and build a sense of espirit de corps. Every morning, they’re working out in formation. There’s nothing there that a young man or woman should not be capable of – everything is doable.

    Basic Seamanship – they’re learning some basic knot tying, how to put out fires, etc. These are the more fun parts of indoc.
    And they’re also learning about what it takes to get through plebe year – how to wear a uniform, how to shine shoes, etc.

    Indoc’s not so bad – in fact, your candidate is going to have great memories of indoc. Everyone is capable of completing indoc – so don’t sweat the little stuff.

    The midshipmen in charge of your candidate? They’re taking damn good care of them. Those DI’s and OICs work VERY hard to ensure candidates are taken care of. They go to bed HOURS after your candidate lays their little head to rest, and are up AT LEAST an hour before them (which is DAMNED ungodly early.)

    They have been trained extremely well, and watchful eyes are always on them.

    I hope these words help… if you have any specific questions, just post’m here.
     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    welcome back Jamz.....that's a pretty good write-up for an Air Force guy :biggrin:
     
  3. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    Yikes. Ouch. I asked him for a few words KP so I add a disclaimer. :biggrin: ^^^All THAT said, maybe I can add the parent side & perhaps a grin.

    High fives to all the PC’s parents who have made it through the first few days pretty ok. How lucky are we at SAF to have Mid2012 posting those photos!?! About right now, your PC is wondering what the heck they got themselves in to. That’s why you’re not seeing many smiles yet. It will come as KP2001 said. They are getting a double dose of not being able to do one thing right, no sleep, constant yelling, not enough time to complete assigned tasks & are exhausted. Probably kind of hungry too.

    Jamz said not to freak your kids out when they call that first time. So true. They are already stressed out to the max. In other words, if you cry, have someone at the ready to take the phone to carry on. If the kid goes silent into tears, ignore it & have an upbeat pre-prepared story to talk your way through it.

    They might take off on a huge vent. Be silent. Let ‘em go with it & get it all out. YOU, unfortunately, are their only outlet. Blow it off after you have to hang up. They are ok. (Just don’t mention what you are having for dinner oK?) The next day will be a whole new outlook on their part leaving you way more distraught than they are. It will change from minute to minute. That first phone call is tough & you will blink & it’ll be over. Start the mail box watch for letters!

    Its only been a few days so I’m not advising to stop the tears yet. You guys kinda get the point that your kid is now doing something that may make or break them & its so hard to know it. I know how greatly their presence is missed at your home. Write them often & start your mailbox watch for their letters.

    INDOC will be the easiest time they have there but they don’t know this yet so there is plenty of opportunity to be a rock later. Ramp up for it. This is let go time & its still too new so just try to do what I’ve always heard said…. Take one day at a time. This will become the mantra to live by for the entire year for both of you.

    Just so ya’ll know…. I recall loosing it in the grocery store when I realized I didn’t need to buy goldfish for a while. Yup. Stood in the cracker isle crying like a baby. You will find humor in this someday so find a way to smile during the long days.

    “Chief Support Officer”? AWESOME! Ya’ll now have titles. I would have t-shirts printed up.
     
  4. 2013Parent

    2013Parent Member

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    One of the quick notes, already mailed to my son, reads: "Thank God, my grocery bill is now going down!"

    I am sending him short notes of humor and encouragement.

    The last thing he told me, as I was shaking his hand goodbye,was:
    " I am here 'cause I want to be, and my plan is to graduate. They might send me home, but you can bet it won't be because I quit or did not give it my best."

    Last thing I told him was; "See you in September, son "
     
  5. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    Perfect attitude to take in with him 2013Parent. It will serve him well during these difficult times. Hope you see many photos of him in the days to come!
     
  6. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

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    :bump8ls: Bumping this back to life from last year. Tells of what the Candidates are learning & doing at the moment. Please ignore the snarky-ness of LT Jam'z tone. He didn't mean it. :rolleyes:

    Gotta love everyone is now a Chief Support Officer though. :shake: SEND COOKIES!! in other words.......
     
  7. Amy Nan

    Amy Nan Member

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    Second Time Around

    I am reading the posts of new academy parents with empathy.
    It's so much easier since we have been through an "INDOC" (BCT at the USAFA) before. I echo what has been said. Our kids are in GOOD hands. They have been determined to be valuable assets to this country and are being treated accordingly.

    When oldest son, now an Air Force LT, was a training officer (after surviving his own BCT :) he spent hours and hours ensuring the safety and success of his cadets. I am positive that youngest son is receiving the same care at USMMA INDOC. I am not one bit worried about it.

    When they call, just listen. Let them vent. Tell them they will be fine and then, change the subject to Parents Weekend. Keep it all positive and don't tell them that the dog has been moping around for days. Remind them of all of THEIR chores that the brother/sister still at home now has to do. That always works!

    Our plebe candidates will have lots of great stories to tell when we see them in September!
     
  8. shutterbugC

    shutterbugC Member

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    Thanks for letting us newbie parents know what is going on each day. Watching the live feed has also helped. I have seen DI's actually teach individuals and groups. This has been nice to see and so far haven't really seen anyone being in a Candidate's face like they were on the first day.
    My son asked me not to pack stationary since he already knew he was not going to write. Has anyone's else child said this and then find out that they did write home? Just wondering if we should look out for any letters or not.
    thanks,
     
  9. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    We got 2 or 3 letters from DD, also NOT a writer. The first one said that "they" were making her write, so she was being a good plebe candidate and doing what she was told. She just used a standard sheet of paper, nothing fancy. Those were probably the last letters we got from her. Our most common form of communication is instant messaging. She will call if I hint rather directly that we haven't heard from her in a while.:biggrin:

    Our DD reacted a bit differently to Indoc than most PCs. She did NOT want cute, encouraging cards. I think mail meant more to her after Indoc than during. She said Indoc was not hard (other than the not talking bit, which she still complains about :rolleyes:). She was also able to see it for the group dynamics and discipline exercise that it really is. So she knew that even if she didn't understand why they were doing something, there was a reason for it. That helped, I think.

    As for packages, we may have sent one during Indoc. But I think we waited until after, other than the supplies she requested in that first phone call (needles & thread, good shoe polishing supplies, perfumed body spray - she suddenly wanted girlie stuff for the first time in her life). She quickly figured out the her athletic locker was a good place to take packages.:wink:
     
  10. wolfe834

    wolfe834 Member

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    Let me tell ya...Jamz nailed it.

    To the new parents. Jamz and Jamzmom are a great asset to this forum. They have been here since 05. Remember our parents weekend with the lightning and rain???

    Jamz and my son were both in 3rd Co and lived across the hall from each other their last year.

    I would like to also add that each of the D/I's and CTO's have given their summer to train your DD/DS. They were not forced to be there. Some are asked to be there but or the most it's voluntary.

    Please keep this in mind and know that when it's all over, they will still be KP brothers and sisters!

    :tank:
     
  11. USMMA2014mom

    USMMA2014mom Member

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    As a new 2014 Plebe parent, I appreciate reading what Jamz and his mom wrote about last year's INDOC...thank you, as these kinds of things keep us new parents going....

    Hoping to receive our first letter today....
     

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