What is it like?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by mom3boys, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    I have read several postings at CC and heard others talk about USNA units being very demanding or very easy. It seems there is a lot of variety, and the mid experience differs based on the randomness of the unit assignment. I have not heard this talk on USMA forums. Is there less variation at WP? Is it all very demanding, or what is it like? I would like to hear some opinions about this. I know the two schools are very different; however, what I'm looking for is not anything negative about one or the other, but observations on the rigors of cadet life.

    Thanks!
    Mom
     
  2. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    By "unit" I am assuming you mean the company they are assigned to. At USMA the Corp is broken down into 4 regiments and then into 8 companies (A-H) within each regiment. For example my son is in B-2 (Bravo company, 2nd regiment).

    I know that privileges can vary between companies, like when the plebes are allowed to use Ipods and MP3 players. As far as some companies being more demanding than others, I guess that depends on how you look at it. Some may give fewer privileges than others; does that make them more demanding? I'm sure some cadets would say yes and some would say no. I have not heard my son say anything about his company being harder or easier than any others. He does mention specific upperclass cadets that are more demanding than others. It seems to be more about which cadet is in charge at the time than the company as a whole.

    If we could get some current or past cadets to chime in that would be great. Futurewarrior, ScreamingEagle, any others....are you out there????
     
  3. wpmom2011

    wpmom2011 Member

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    From what my plebe tells me, her company is a little more laid back than some of the others. She appreciates the few privileges that she does get, because overall the whole system has high expectations. Having said that, she realizes that having too laid-back of a company can produce problems down the line for the cadets, because when/if there is a change of company (command), etc., the cadet must know what all cadets are expected to know. If they don't because they got rusty, they will draw "attention."

    In discussing the rigors of cadet life, just consider. These cadets are taking approx. 18-20 credit hours of classes, participating in sports and any extra military training (periodic classes at night and on some weekends), while maintaining "good order and discipline" in their rooms and with their uniforms.

    The whole system at WP has put these cadets into leadership positions. The yearlings (yuks) (thirdclassmen) (aka sophomores) are made Team Leaders and are given 1 or 2 Plebes to supervise/help/support. The cows (aka juniors) have more responsibilities than the yuks, etc. Firsties run most of the brigade/regiments, etc. It is a chain-of-command system where the cadets are graded by their superiors on how well they carry out their duties, and they in turn grade those under them. The Firsties are graded by their NCOs and TACs.

    I don't know how USNA operates, or how strict or lax they are over there. But it's interesting that the parents that attend the Army-Navy game always comment on how much more squared-away Army is during their March-on. :wink:

    (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) :yllol:
     
  4. futurewarrior

    futurewarrior Member

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    There is some variation among academic year companies and the demands placed on plebes. I didn’t know this when I showed up, but your Beast platoon corresponds to the academic year company that you will become a member of after A-Day. There are 8 Beast Companies, A-H, with 4 platoons each. I, like WAMom68’s son, was in 2nd platoon, Bravo Company during Beast so I was put in Bravo Company, 2nd Regiment for the school year. The kids in 3rd platoon were put in Bravo Company, 3rd Regiment and so forth.

    In cadet terminology, a company is either “hot” (lots of hazing), or “chill” (plebes aren’t really hazed after Re-Orgy week). As stated before, this is almost entirely dependent on the upperclass chain of command. I would consider my company fairly “hot.” Not so much now, but definitely during the 1st semester. I have spoken too many of my classmates who are in other companies who have told me that they literally were never hazed after Re-Orgy week, while us B-2’ers were pretty much being hazed through November. I think that this distinction is one of the unique things about the Corps. Each company is like its own little family and has a unique culture/command climate. I am sure there are advantages and drawbacks to each, but to finally get to the point, no matter what company you are in, the plebe experience is a universal one. Same Corps, same standards. The difference lies in the methods used to enforce those standatrds.
     
  5. ScreamingEagle

    ScreamingEagle Member

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    exactly, it all depends on the Company. My Plebe year company was chill. My company the rest of the time started off kind of hot and really died off over the three years. You'll see that. When I was a plebe, everyone feared H3, when I was a firstie, there really were no feared companies. It all depends
     
  6. luv

    luv Member

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    Uhh...sorry to hijack the thread a little... but as a possible future cadet, what kind of "hazing" might I expect my plebe year?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2008
  7. Poyner

    Poyner Member

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    Actually I was wondering about that, too. Correct me if I'm wrong but I assume they mean getting chewed out and having to do unplesant tasks(doing something over and over until you "get it right") in my basic flight they would do stuff like make us run from one bay to another than say we didn't get there fast enough or didn't yell loud enough and make us do it again and again. Is that what you mean or is there something more to it? Cuz if that's all then I think I should be good...although I'm alittle uneasy about someone my age or younger trying to chew me out.(I really hope I don't yell back!)
     
  8. The Commissioner

    The Commissioner Retired Staff Member Founding Member

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    There will be members of your training cadre and company leadership who are your age or older. Almost a third of each entering class has been out of high school for a year or more so there is a good chance that the people yelling at you are more mature than the typical college junior or senior. Some of them have been in combat.

    To learn to lead, you will learn to follow. When my son complains about his peer leaders, I advise him to model the behaviors that he sees being effective and to reject the behaviors that produce the opposite result. Concentrate on what you are to learn, rather than who is doing the teaching, and you will be fine.
     
  9. Poyner

    Poyner Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I didn't mean to sound like I would be insulant or insubordanant. It's just that I do some chewing out in my squadron(never to my superiors!) so when someone around my age(a junior enlisted member) trys to get in my face it usually leads to a quick and unquestionable resolution. It's kind of a force of habit. I'm 21, haven't been deployed but I have a good deal of military experience, so most of my superiors at the academy would be around my age or possiblly a year older(with the exeption of prior-service whom I have the upmost respect for). I think that all of my superiors there would know what it takes to be a good cadet and what becoming a good officer is all about. But I also don't think that they can be as scary as SSgt Whells(my basic TI whose year round job was to put the fear of God in young Airmen) who at the end of basic he could yell all day and I would be laughing on the inside. I just don't want to do it as a split second reaction! haha. You're advice should definatly help though and I will be sure to remember it when I become a Cadet. Again, thank you.
     

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