2021--what to expect in the next 2 months

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by golfindad, May 1, 2017.

  1. golfindad

    golfindad Member

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    Just thought I would gather some thoughts about the next 2 months. I hope others jump in as well.

    The day before indoc begins, go on campus and into the bank, and set up a bank account at Navy Federal--go into the branch and set it up, which is different from just filling out the paperwork outside under the ez-up. We set ours up as a joint ownership, which eases the funds transfers. Ds spent very little at the start, and now probably blows through couple hundred a month, mostly on protein mix, and junk, but also uses cash for food on team movements and the like.

    Buy lots of things at the NEX with USMMA on it. And, it is a chance to walk through the NEX with your DS/DD to see what they have and where.

    When attending to drop off DS/DD at the end of June, expect DS/DD to be stressed and nervous. However your DS/DD handles stress and nervousness, expect it to be in overdrive the day/night before and the morning you drop them off. For mom, and for dad to, put your game face on. They don't need more stress. The bathroom, or closet of the hotel room is a great place to hang and get yourself together and face clean so DS/DD doesn't see how his leaving has affected you.

    The drop off time will be a couple hours window. I believe last year it was a 7am start. Our DS wanted to get it over with, and was one of the first to line up. Hanging around with other nervous folks is not fun. And, if you go early, you will go right in the door and start processing. If you wait, a fairly long line forms outside, which just leaves them more idle time to be stressed about what they are doing.

    There is not much for mom and dad to do then for about an hour. On the 2021 facebook page, they will probably post a map with where your DS/DD can be seen throughout the day. The campus has numerous barriers set up, restricting where you can stand and watch. Warning--you will not be able to get a photo with your cell phone. A camera with a 200mm is needed, 300mm lens is better, and will allow you to get close photos of your DS/DD. Every site will have you placed 100-200 yards or so away. Another good thing if DS/DD goes in early, is that you will be able to get to the different locations where you can see your DS/DD running, being yelled at, etc., first. It really is a neat feeling watching DS/DD run by--something you just have to experience. You can see indoc photos and videos on you tube, and other platforms. Be sure to watch muster and the superintendent's speech to the regiment. It is emotional to watch DS/DD march into lunch after muster, and being told to leave the campus.

    If you do not have it already, you will soon get a list of supplies DS/DD will need. All of them can be purchased through the NEX. Do it. It runs about the same price, and, the supplies are delivered to DS/DD. If you do not purchase through the NEX, DS/DD has to carry all of the supplies throughout the day. The supply list also has a computer and printer package. Buy it. It is well worth having them have it for DS/DD, especially since the computer has to have security features to operate at KP. Total cost of the supplies, computer package, haircut fee, laundry fee, etc., was about $4,000. Half of that was the computer package. You do need to carry some things, and you will figure out what that is with DS/DD--certain undergarments, gold bond, chapstick, etc.

    DS/DD needs to keep up physical fitness.
    Get your TWIC card asap.
    Get your passport, or renew your passport asap.
    Make sure health insurance meets the Academy requirements. There is a checklist the Academy sends you, and call your carrier to make sure it meets the requirements. If it does not, DS/DD will be changed about $2300 for the year.

    For guys, be sure you have razor and shaving crème. They will say electric is ok for indoc, but it is not. Gold bond too may be helpful.

    If you are not yet on facebook, get on it. Facebook will have pictures of indoc, almost every day, and you will want to pour over each photo for a sighting of DS/DD, (and yes, you will complain about how the photographers are biased against your DS/DD and how they favor some other company). Plus, once they start classes, facebook messenger is the only way that your DS/DD will be able to communicate with you.

    Make sure DS/DD phone is fully charged and maybe has a small back up battery. They will give up there phones on day one, but will get them back for 5 minutes two weeks later. While you will know the day of the call, be ready to be flexible on the time of the call. While they may say the call will be from 4-430pm, there is an equal chance that it will not be at the announced time.

    Your DS/DD will be stressed during these calls. Encourage, encourage and encourage. Practice this so you can do it well on the calls. lol.

    Be sure you have a HIPPA form executed by your DS/DD allowing you access to their medical records. A medical power of attorney and a general power of attorney are good ideas as well. Be sure DS/DD executes a will before leaving home, and you keep it in a safe place.

    Be sure to bring athletic gear if needed. cleats, sport gear, sweats if needed, etc.

    You will hear a lot of things on facebook, and they will upset you--(its cold at night in the barracks and they don't sleep under a cover; they don't sleep enough; the food is bad; etc) take it all with a grain of salt. With regards this stuff, it is worse for you than DS/DD.

    Write all the time--use snail mail. It is the only way to communicate during indoc(with the exception of the phone call) and it does lift spirits. Mom and dad should write, brothers and sisters should write, and grandparents should write. Be sure to address it to "plebe candidate ________" until acceptance. Do not expect letters to come back. If they do write, they write while lying on the floor of their room, using light that comes under the door. They are busy 24/7, and, at times they will not even have the ability to read the letters they get for a couple days, much less write back.

    Make hotel reservations now for indoc; and acceptance/parents weekend. We stayed in Carle Place and around there, where the are a variety of mid to regular priced hotels, springhill, courtyard, Marriott, and the same for Hilton, etc.

    Teach DS/DD how to do laundry. They probably won't do laundry, but it is good to teach them anyway.

    don't try to learn "the book", etc., before you go. Waste of time.

    Expect DS/DD to have a bucket list of things they wish to do, people they wish to see, before leaving home. Do all of this. It will be a long time before they have a chance again. And, you will figure out that your DS/DD is on a much different track than their friends, and it will begin to show a little.

    This is also a learning period for mom and dad. Learning to let go is the hardest thing to do. And this process makes mom and dad grow as well. You will want to fight all of the battles for ds/dd, but as time moves along, you will learn that you cannot, and, what you think is a major issue, really isn't. Alternatively, you will find that the major issues your ds.dd has really don't seem to big to you. Don't dismiss them, and instead just work them through it with encouragement.

    Most of all--Enjoy the ride!
     
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  2. KrisKatz

    KrisKatz Member

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    Thank you goldfindad. This post was most helpful to our family, who just got on board this weekend.
     
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  3. Pajc

    Pajc New Member

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    Send pre stamped and addressed envelopes, paper. They find it easier that way. Make your that they are well hydrated before getting to campus. Many are not used to summer here and wind up dehydrating, even if they dont feel hot drink plenty of water. Order extra tshirts and shorts from nex, they will use them. Extra socks as well.
     
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  4. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 10-Year Member

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    Great advice. I will add a couple things. Not all plebe candidates want parents to hang around on the day they report. Our DS wanted to go it alone, first to show his independence and also because my anxiety would have added to his nervousness. You should at least talk about it with your DS/DD before just assuming he or she would definitely want you there. We said our goodbyes at the airport. DS arranged for a local couple to pick him up at the airport. He stayed at their house in Great Neck, and they dropped him off at KP the next morning after a hearty breakfast. I was amazed that someone volunteered to help him like this, but we learned that it is not at all unusual for people to help out in a thousand different ways.

    There will be a TON of photos and videos online with better photos than you will be able to get if you stay. I guarantee you will have many of your kid. There are upperclassmen assigned to take photos during indoc and they do a great job.

    Definitely do go for parents' weekend. Your DS/DD will want the chance to leave and get a change of scenery. Be prepared for the dramatic change in your DS/DD by that time. Even though I thought was prepared for it, I was still shocked at the level of maturity and self-confidence even though DS had both of those before Kings Point.
     
  5. BuckeyeGuy

    BuckeyeGuy 5-Year Member

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    All good points - you can also call Navy Fed CU and apply/open an account over the phone if you do not want to spend the time to do it at the academy. As far as mail - yes write everyday snail mail - you may also want to send the local newspaper or sports section...if you live in a major city and they have a baseball team send the sports page - especially if your DD/DS is into sports they will be the company hero - still have pictures of the other plebes sitting around my DS looking at the sports page to see what their favorite team was doing and it does give a little flavor of what is going on at home to your kid.

    Ask your DD/DS if they want to hear bad/sad news when it happens or to hold off until after indoc - because it can and does happen - a family member/grandparent can/will pass away or the family pet...if this does happen, contact the Chaplain to help both you and DD/DS at this time.

    Tell your DD/DS to listen for and to try and sign up for a sponsor family when it is announced - this is a safe haven away from the academy with real food and bed to kick back and relax even with 1/C's at the same house this is a no hassle zone in civilian clothes.

    All of the kids were and are good enough on paper to get in to the academy - they will probably have to work harder and longer than ever before in their lives they will be tired when you see them at parents weekend - GO to Parents Weekend - let them dictate what they want to do and how fast or far they want to go - you will most likely see a change in them - usually it is a good change - a very good change.

    Best to all - both parents and Plebe Candidates (Mids)! Enjoy the ride and Welcome to the KP family!
     
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  6. KrisKatz

    KrisKatz Member

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    Thank you to all of you posting this helpful advice to all of us newcomers. We are excited to be on board.
     
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  7. KrisKatz

    KrisKatz Member

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    Does anyone know what the Pleb kit and Educational kit are on the cost of attendance page of USMMA?
     
  8. sevenrider860

    sevenrider860 Member

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  9. azmilmom

    azmilmom Member

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    Question: I've read over the logging in book and wonder if there are any other clothing items they should bring aside from the t-shirts, underwear, socks, mentioned and the also mentioned clothes to wear to Indoc? Or, are they issued everything they will need until we come for Parent's Weekend? Looks like even the PJs are issued after I looked at a funny mail call video with the plebes in robes, some kind of slippers, and pajamas! Let me know if otherwise.

    Thanks for all the tips!
     
  10. BuckeyeGuy

    BuckeyeGuy 5-Year Member

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    They are issued all clothing items except underwear, t-shirts, socks, gym shoes...they will have what they wear to Indoc and that will the last civies they wear for a while unless they get a sponsor family then they can/will have clothes there too. There is always the US Mail to send up a shirt or long pants...but some of those clothes may not fit after Indoc...some lose a bit of weight. They will sleep in some PT gear and they will probably sleep on top of their blankets so they will not have to make their beds - time is of the essence in the morning. When you go out on parents weekend they will be in their whites when you go off academy grounds, but they may want you to bring up some clothes. When you do come up for parents weekend please have your DD/DS check around to see if any of their classmates will not have their parents there...please consider taking them with you for dinner. Also, if you send/bring up cookies/treats please make enough for others to enjoy too...
     
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  11. azmilmom

    azmilmom Member

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    Great advice...thank you!
     
  12. KrisKatz

    KrisKatz Member

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    Thank you for the link. We have not received our 2021 Logging book. My DS just received his appointment on Saturday 4/29/17 and his portal updated this morning. We are a little behind the curve I think.
     
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  13. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 10-Year Member

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  14. KrisKatz

    KrisKatz Member

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    Thank you for clearing this up for me. Maybe we are not as far behind as I thought.
    I thought maybe everyone was issued them as they accepted their appointments, and for some of you that was a month or two ago.
     
  15. KrisKatz

    KrisKatz Member

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    Thank you kpmom2013 and sevenrider860 for posting the logging in booklet link.

     
  16. Pajc

    Pajc New Member

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    Sunblock
     
  17. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

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    I suggest bringing the bare minimum. An upperclassmen told me before my first sea year to lay everything out that you think you need, put half of it back and you will still have too much. Its hard enough trying to march in formation the first time while your DIs are looking for any reason to yell at you. You don't need to be lugging four bags around with you at the same time.

    I do suggest some black cotton sweat socks. I presume the issued socks are still almost 100% polyester and they can cause some rank feet so most people wear white sweat socks under their black socks.
     
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  18. KP2020Dad

    KP2020Dad DS - USMMA '20

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    They should be issued everything they need. However, if they are a recruited athlete (especially a Fall sport athlete), their coaches will give them some guidelines for sport related clothing. We packed an extra gym bag that had football gear (cleats, gloves, etc) and turned it into the coaches the day before indoc. Good luck.
     
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  19. azmilmom

    azmilmom Member

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    Are you talking about wearing them under dress socks? Can you give them black dress socks that have better wicking qualities but still meet the requirements?
     
  20. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ... 5-Year Member

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    Yes, we used to wear two pairs of socks, a black pair (issued were polyester) for uniform purposes over the top of white (cotton) socks for comfort and odor prevention.

    As for uniform purposes, black is black and whatever kind that provides the comfort, moisture wicking and odor prevention that suits your personal needs will be fine. For me, this was as close to 100% cotton as I could get but we didn't have the fancy moisture wicking materials then that they do now. This is even more important as they transition from leather shoes to coroframs which have less breathability and "better" odor retention than leathers. I myself stuck with leathers the whole time and got rid of my coroframs early in my KP career.
     
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