West Point Advice

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Turn28, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Turn28

    Turn28 West Point Class of 2017

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    Hello,

    I am accepted into Class of 2017 and was wondering if there are any vets here who have some helpful advice.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. I heard a firstie say that we (plebes) cannot speak while outside? What's with that whole deal? Is it even true or was he trying to mess with me?

    2. What does "DS" stand for? Sorry if it seems elementary. I have seen it everywhere on this forum and for the life of me cannot seem to figure it out.

    3. Any helpful advice for Beast?

    4. Any personal tips for making Plebe year the best?
     
  2. Sawndog

    Sawndog Member

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    1. Yes that is true. You only greet upperclassmen.
    2. Not sure.
    3. Run hills and don't be lazy.
     
  3. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    1. There are a lot of things that plebes have to do/cannot do and it will be annoying and may be difficult to understand why there are so many rules...but its only a year

    2. "dear son," DD goes for "dear daughter" ...pretty sure about this

    3. Be physically fit and take everything with a grain of salt

    4. Stay under the radar, find out who your friends are, and study hard


    Congratulations and good luck
     
  4. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Per current cadets, True in specific areas, with specific boundaries. Allowed in your room, classroom areas, etc. You'll learn the specifics, but it's largely the main Barracks & central areas, plain, Mess hall, etc.

    DS= "Dear Son"
    DD= "Dear Daughter"

    Used as a shorthand on formums and depersonalizes things a bit. (You don't want to say "Johnny' or "My cadet"

    Not for BEAST, but input recent cadets have given to new appointees to prepare for BEAST:
    - Run, and prepare for the APFT. You'll take it at Beast (and twice a year for the next 4 years) and it impacts your grade.
    - Don't sweat all the details on the various parent packing lists
    - Move toward an early schedule as R-day approaches... it will be to your advantage if you are already used to getting up early
    - Don't be stupid and blow the appointment.... bubble wrap!

    For BEAST:

    - Recognize that reps developed in BEAST can stick with you for a while (good and bad). In past years, most beast squads were put in the same companies during AY.
    - Don't be a blue falcon or a profile ranger
    - Recognize that your teamwork, individual effort/attitude, and plebe duties performance are all graded, and will be for 4 years. Your CBT mil grade will have a big impact on class rank and thus MIAD selection, etc.
    - Same for physical performance- APFT will heavily impact (1/3) your physical grade 1st semester.
    - Don't be "that guy/gal" holding the squad back

    "Embrace the suck"

    You are there for a reason, not a lifestyle. IE: You can have fun, but the grind is part of the deal and is a means to an end.
     
  5. PJay

    PJay Member

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    What is this?
     
  6. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    Blue Falcon = one who screws his or her buddies over by doing things such as not carrying your weight in a team exercise, not showing for duties, etc.

    Profile Ranger = a "profile" is what you get when you are sick/hurt and cannot do heavy exercises (or any exercises at all sometimes). Learn the difference between feeling pain and getting hurt - odds are you will feel pain... but rarely will you get hurt. In other words, if you are feeling miserable... ranger the f up.
     
  7. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    In addition to Bill's explanation:

    Blue Falcon- looking out for yourself at the expense of the team. Stuff like from grabbing two of the good cereals at breakfast before everyone got one, shorting your team. (Bigger deal than you would think.... ) Or performing in an exercise in a way that makes the individual look good, but costs the team overall.

    Profile Ranger- "milking" an injury (profile status) to miss duties, etc. Or constantly being on profile for minor injuries that most would not have reported.
     
  8. DMBusma2017

    DMBusma2017 Prospective

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    That is perhaps the greatest advice ever!
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I've posted this in the past, but I'll repost now for the benefit of anyone who might find it the least bit beneficial. I penned this seven years ago for two kids I knew who were going to Beast. One is aviator now, just back from OEF, and the other is an engineer. I personally believe that my advice is directly responsible for none of their successes.

    I edited and updated it a bit. Take it all for what it's worth. They say free advice is worth every penny...



    You are about to embark upon the great crusade (apologies to GEN Eisenhower). So this is it. You're packing the bags, maybe running one more time, saying goodbye to friends and loved ones, and generally freaking out at the prospect of starting this new life. Good. It's part of the system, and it has served many graduates well.

    I've thought a lot about my experiences in Beast. (Twelve years later, I still do.) I thought perhaps I could help you to some great degree - be the wise Grad whose littany of mistakes could somehow come in handy for you as you traverse the threshold from high school kid to cadet. As I reflect on it, though, I now think that Beast is something you own, and everyone's experience will be tailored to wear on them in the spots that need work.

    I was a very egotistical but very scared New Cadet. In my mind, I was one of the best. There was nothing I couldn't do. Then the bell rang and reality came out swinging. I discovered there was a multitude of things I was terrible at. From personal relationships to the first APFT, I was sucking wind in a lot of areas. For the life of me, I couldn't understand it. I was a three-sport athlete, at the top of my class, accepted very early via an LOA in August. I thought I was going to be the poster child for West Point. After two days, I felt more like the dumb kid who had to be seatbelted on the school bus than a potentially successful future officer.

    You, too, will fail. You'll be told you're a screwup. Maybe your platoon leader will tell you your attitude sucks. Maybe the XO will give you some "special attention." Maybe you'll lose your rifle card 5 minutes after they give it to you, and your Tac Officer will find it. Maybe all of that will happen to you, as it did for me. Take heart in knowing that it's a part of the system, and that you are not the first person to make whatever mistake you might have made. If you doubt that, tell yourself that I probably made that mistake, too, and you'll most likely be right.

    Despite my potentially skewed views on life, West Point, and the world in general, I thought I would nevertheless boil down the essence of Beast survival into three tips, as I see it. Remember, of course, that in those days the uniforms were green, the boots were black, the rifles were long, and everything was as hard as it ever could have been and the Corps has become leaps and bounds easier since the day I left (or that is how each grad views the institution in his or her own mind )...

    1. Never feel truly sorry for yourself. The number one killer of the mind in situations of difficulty is self-pity. Ask anyone who's been to Ranger or SERE or a SOF assessment. Self-pity leads to a whole nest of destructive thoughts that you as a young man or woman of recognized potential have no business wasting your time on. When you do start to feel sorry for yourself, remember that 9 kids are working at Taco Bell this summer while you have that slot. Remember that there are kids your age deployed for a long tour in Afghanistan.
    Most of all, remember that you were chosen for a reason. You have demonstrated the ability to succeed. So shut out the bad thoughts, wipe away the tears, and go succeed. I advise you against these thoughts because self-pity was my forte, and it will be among many of your classmates...especially those who do not survive it.

    2. Never fail your squadmates and your roommate. If one of you is screwed up, everyone else needs to fix the screwup or screw themselves up to match. Always insulate, never isolate. Don't ever leave your buddies dangling. Servant leadership starts with the idea that you are the last man by choice.
    Listen to the differences in people. Your squad will be a mix of race, religion, and origin. Love them all like siblings, even the screwup. The role of the screwup changes from day to day, and more than once that screwup will be you. You'll want your squadmates to grab you by the drag handle and pull you along when you need it. You had best be there for them when they need it, too.

    3. Never give in. Fight for every inch, because you are fighting for yourself and all the good and difficult things your country will ask of you. Push yourself just that much harder. Do everything you can to make your family and yourself proud. As Solzhenitsyn said, "the bitter doesn't last forever." It's true, so make it count. You only get one life.
    Speaking of which, don't let your old life get in the way of your new one. I went to WP with a girlfriend of four years, very much in love with her. She's married now and it's not to me. I'm married now, and not to her. I went as a selfish teenager, but I think I left as a decently generous adult. Don't fear the change. Embrace it. Worry about what you can change, forget about what you can't. (If you succeed at that, please tell me how.)

    It's always a great day to be an American fighting man. So, in the words of Chief Dan George, "Endeavor to persevere." In the words of my departed classmate and friend Paul Pena, "keep on keepin' on." You all have what it takes. Someday, a decade later, you'll go to a Founder's Day dinner so that you can simply look back fondly with others who've shared the experience...and laugh.
     
  10. 2017NWPmadre

    2017NWPmadre Member

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    Thank you Scoutpilot.....guaranteed your words will be read over and over and over again as we start this journey together with the Class of 2017.....Go Army, Beat Navy!
     
  11. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016

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    The biggest advice I've got was:

    Finish Beast.

    There might be times you will want to leave. And some will. Whatever you do, stay 'til the end of it. The Academic Year is not like Beast. Don't consider going away before you spend at least an year here.

    In all honesty, I wanted to leave West Point for the better part of the first two weeks of Beast... but that advice, "finish Beast, whatever it takes," which was given to me by a Yuk a few days before R-Day, kept coming up. And I'm glad I heeded that.
     
  12. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

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    There is a long...tedious list of what plebes can and cannot do. don't worry, you'll get that info during beast but some of the major ones (that are the "worst"):
    -no talking outside
    -cup hands
    -duties, trash, minutes, laundry,table
    -uniform for travel
    -must be in full uniform at all times (even to the bathroom)
    -must walk on the wall, and square corners (a little different after beast)
    -remember different greetings
    -Evening Study Period- 7:30- 11pm, you must stay in your room/library and study, door open 90 degrees.

    Theres more that I probably don't notice anymore..
    it sounds strict, but you get used to it. It becomes second nature, and only lasts a year.

    My biggest advice: one step at a time.
    My watch was a males timex ironman (loved it)
    it had an alarm funtion that beeped every hour. That is how I spent my days, waiting for that beep. After a while, I got excited. Everytime I heard it i thought "whew. one more hour done, one closer to lunch/dinner/bedtime"
    If you think of it like 47 monthes, you'll go crazy. Heck, i couldn't even think of it past a day. remember that.

    The cadre can make your life miserable, sure. But they can't stop time. No matter what they do, time keeps ticking away, closer and closer to the end of your senior year, beast, plebe year, etc.

    On that note:
    1. Run. Run hills. Run till you can't anymore. Then run some more.
    2. get used to getting up at 5am, and going to sleep at 10pm.no naps.
    3. please enjoy the rest of your senior year. turn in the paperwork, and forget about worrying, enjoy being the top dog and be smart.
    4. do your research about west point. it really is full of history and very special. it helps the bitterness to know how great this place is.
    5. Breathe. have a good attitute, help your classmates, and don't give up.


    Eventually I'm going to post some tips i wish i knew before R day, so look out for that!

    Pm if you need anything. :biggrin:
     
  13. USMA2020

    USMA2020 Member

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    scoutpilot, thanks so much for posting. A lot of that makes you think about things in general, not just USMA. I really appreciate getting to hear all of this, and I am going to make a point to remember it. Thanks.
     
  14. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    scoutpilot, that's one of my all-time favorite posts/readings on the SA forum. I'm so glad you posted it again.
     
  15. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    Don't psyche yourself out. Probably 90% of the stress you feel on R-Day will be in your head- you worrying more about something you expect to be coming than what is currently happening. relax, go with the flow, and remember that there are about 200 former "goats" out there that all made it through and into an Army career.
     
  16. lakeland11

    lakeland11 Member

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    Thank you! I have a 4C at USCGA and was having a bad day regarding points 1 and 2! Your words were much better stated than mine, so I cut and paste to him. He read them and said he is just having a bad day! Thank you again for your post!
     
  17. Turn28

    Turn28 West Point Class of 2017

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    Thank you all for the advice. I am very grateful and excited to attend West Point.

    Go Army!
     
  18. SVG

    SVG USMA Cadet

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    advice for your future at the academy- keep that curious, ambitious, excited and hard-working feeling you have now about West Point throughout your entire experience there. Too many fall victim to cynicism and forget that they were once that kid in high school studying hard to get where they are now. In the words of Steve Jobs, "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."
     
  19. CCUSMA17

    CCUSMA17 USMA17

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    Thanks for all this great advice!

    Is there anyone else with good advice for preparation for beast?
     
  20. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    robinhood17's post above is a good place to start.^^^
     

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