Amazing Week

Brave

Member
If I knew then what I know now, I would do things slightly different...from a parent perspective. I was lucky enough to witness R-Day, March Back, and A-Day. All three were amazing for very different reasons. If you can only attend one event make sure it's A-Day! If you have some flexibility, then I would suggest taking off a week beginning with March Back and ending with A-Day. Between the Monday March Back and the Saturday A-Day Parade, take time to visit the museums, take the tours, and even spend some time in NYC. I think it would have been what I would have done differently. I realize that work schedules take president, but if you can swing it, it would be a great way to bookend an amazing week.
 

brovol

Member
last year my wife, daughter and I attended both R-day and A-day for our 2020, and loved both experiences. I would always highly recommend both for parents of incoming New Cadets. West point is a special place, so rich with beauty (natural and architectural), and history. Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up. Seeing your kid on that field, and on A-day being able to spend time with him/her is just amazing.

We attended several home football games, which was also very cool. We got to spend a lot of time with our Cadet after the games, and also before the game for a bit. Well worth the trip. If you want to share the experience, it is a great trip to bring friends or family who have never been to West Point. Most people have no idea what WP looks like and are incredibly impressed. Always a fun trip.
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
5-Year Member
Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up.
Well, that's subjective. I think that's a big downside to USMA. Our son affirmed Sunday night, and my heart is heavy at this point of no return (figuratively, of course). I still wish he were anywhere but where he is, but I love him, support him, and have kept my opinions from him since R-Day. Not everyone is impressed by the academies or the military. I still feel he had much better college options, and I have yet to hear or see anything to convince me otherwise. I post counterpoint here occasionally just to provide some balance. I'm sure not everyone who peeks into this forum is as "all-in" as most seem to be, and if you are a lurker who is among the less convinced, that's OK. It's probably time for me to move on as this definitely is not my herd, though I have great respect for many of the senior posters, their experience, and their generosity of time and wisdom. I peek in occasionally just to see what the chat is, but I find it mostly a monotone choir. Given the purpose of this forum, I understand that. I do not post to cause contention, but statements like the one quoted above make me shake my head and show me just how far from this herd I stand. If anyone else reading here is also outside the perimeter, take heart, you are not alone.

I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
 
Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up.


I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
Visited WP this weekend for the first time. It's a hundred times bigger than I imagined, and highly impersonal. Now i understand - USMA thinks they are a university! I thought they were a military academy. All those white hats, i thought i was back in NROTC. I tried to help DS this week with classes, and last night DS confirmed that the language class that he tested into seems way too hard and the calculus class is way too easy, just like I thought. I am very skeptical of the "they've slotted tens of thousands into the right classes what makes you think they are wrong" attitude is off base. I thought my kid was tough, but I thought USMA would toughen him way up. Nope. "you were WRONG, Dad, NOBODY hangs up their clothes".. He laughed about the knowledge book. All he can say is how easy everything was and how much time is wasted standing around. he can come back home anytime.
Give me a ten second head start before you start shooting....
 
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Brave

Member
Y'all have taken this thread in a different direction than I had intended. I'm simply offering perspective for next year's parents on how I would have planned my initial visits differently having gone through them this year. If you wish to discuss the pro & cons of USMA (or any other academy) then perhaps a different titled thread would be more appropriate. As the OP of this thread, I don't wish to be associated with where this is heading.
 

DD2021TX

Member
Brave..... that's an interesting perspective, I really enjoyed the R-day experience. A-day was great but not as impactful to me. I do agree going to the museum is a must do ! Our kid is an athlete so couldn't do NYC with her since she had practice.
 

Brave

Member
We spent A-Day more low key...school supply shopping, dinner, catching up on stories, naps, etc. Having limited time away from WP definitely had an impact on what you could do in that window of time. We actually spent some time in NYC just prior to R-Day. I decided at the last minute to drive out for March Back. As my wife and I are now empty nesters it would have been a nice week had we gone out together for March Back, toured & visited NYC, then been then for A-Day Weekend. I never thought I would have made it out there as often as I did, and having been able to do so, I would have done it differently.
 
We went to R Day, march back and A Day. In between march back and A Day we went to Cape Cod. It was around a 4.5 hour drive - stayed in Hyannis, Ma - it was amazing. Had we stayed near USMA, the temptation to stalk my son may have overcome me. We ate lobster roll and enjoyed the area. Would love to go back again. Maine is on the agenda for next year. It has been an emotional week as my son is settled and happy.
 

Padre101

Parent
Went to R-Day, March Back and A-Day. All were amazing. March Back is hit or miss (you have to guess where your DS or DD will be in the parade). However, to see the transformation of the New Cadets from R-Day to A-Day is incredible. I literally winced at their marching abilities on R-Day, but A-Day they were amazing. Everyone was in-step and lined up with precision. Amazing.
 

classof2022

Member
Was able to attend the Acceptance Day Parade! Beautiful day for a beautiful event. It was so great to see the Class of 2021 get "accepted" into the Corps of the Cadets.
 

brovol

Member
Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up.


I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
Visited WP this weekend for the first time. It's a hundred times bigger than I imagined, and highly impersonal. Now i understand - USMA thinks they are a university! I thought they were a military academy. All those white hats, i thought i was back in NROTC. I tried to help DS this week with classes, and last night DS confirmed that the language class that he tested into seems way too hard and the calculus class is way too easy, just like I thought. I am very skeptical of the "they've slotted tens of thousands into the right classes what makes you think they are wrong" attitude is off base. I thought my kid was tough, but I thought USMA would toughen him way up. Nope. "you were WRONG, Dad, NOBODY hangs up their clothes".. He laughed about the knowledge book. All he can say is how easy everything was and how much time is wasted standing around. he can come back home anytime.
Give me a ten second head start before you start shooting....
Well, I'm sure your son has a "full" perspective of West Point after two days of class, but he may find that there is more than what initially meets the eye. As for maintaining a sloppy room, he will have the opportunity to show attention to cleanliness and detail in a few weeks when SAMI happens.

Waiting around is one of the lousy realities of WP, and everyone shares the same sentiment. But WP does not think of itself as a university. It has changed over the years though, and certainly appears to be less strict traditional military school, and more "mainstream ", for lack of a better word. Some might argue it the "liberal" element, and many would argue it was better many years ago, but it is what it is. Still though, it is far from a typical university.
 

2020HD

Member
VelveteenR, thanks for making your point so civilly. It's true most here are not on your wavelength but I'm curious whether you evolved to this position or came in with it. The way you mentioned shrouding your opinion "since R-Day" made me think you had a predisposition. In any event, our children have chosen their path. May it be everything they hoped it was... I haven't met an old grad yet who regretted the decision to attend.

Well, that's subjective. I think that's a big downside to USMA. Our son affirmed Sunday night, and my heart is heavy at this point of no return (figuratively, of course). I still wish he were anywhere but where he is, but I love him, support him, and have kept my opinions from him since R-Day. Not everyone is impressed by the academies or the military. I still feel he had much better college options, and I have yet to hear or see anything to convince me otherwise. I post counterpoint here occasionally just to provide some balance. I'm sure not everyone who peeks into this forum is as "all-in" as most seem to be, and if you are a lurker who is among the less convinced, that's OK. It's probably time for me to move on as this definitely is not my herd, though I have great respect for many of the senior posters, their experience, and their generosity of time and wisdom. I peek in occasionally just to see what the chat is, but I find it mostly a monotone choir. Given the purpose of this forum, I understand that. I do not post to cause contention, but statements like the one quoted above make me shake my head and show me just how far from this herd I stand. If anyone else reading here is also outside the perimeter, take heart, you are not alone.

I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
 

flieger83

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
I've asked the mods to delete my post. It IS off topic. My apologies.
Hi!

Let me take another tack on this. I see your point and your concerns and if sharing them in this forum thread is meant to contribute to everyone that sometimes not everyone agrees that "this week, or this month, or even this academy" is the "end-all, beat-all" then perhaps its not irrelavant? One of the most difficult positions a parent can be in is that of being personally either counter or opposed to their son/daughter's choice in anything; whether it be college, a relationship, or ? Its even harder to keep that to yourself and say "I'll support him/her...they have to make their own way now...I raised them the best I could; now I must trust their decisions..." You don't have to LIKE their choice...but as you said, support them.

My parents tried very hard to talk me out of going to USAFA. I had scholarships (military and civilian) I could have to used in many locations; heck, I was even accepted to the pinnacle of the Ivy league (dad congratulated me and then asked where I would come up with the rest of the money) but I wanted to be an AF pilot and the academy was my goal. Eventually they went "silent" on their thoughts.

On graduation day, my parents were immensely proud...was my mother happy I was now an AF officer and off to fly? I think so, but I don't think she ever lost her fear of what I was doing.

Your son may have had "better college options" however he chose to attend West Point and to become an army officer. I would argue that this is one of the finest places to prepare for that calling. Academically perhaps there are "stronger universities" in specific academic fields, but in the mission of West Point perhaps not.

But I think your comments here are very well stated and of value to the members. I hope you don't mind if I leave them for folks to read and consider. I think they'll generate good discussion.

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
 
Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up.
Well, that's subjective. I think that's a big downside to USMA. Our son affirmed Sunday night, and my heart is heavy at this point of no return (figuratively, of course). I still wish he were anywhere but where he is, but I love him, support him, and have kept my opinions from him since R-Day. Not everyone is impressed by the academies or the military. I still feel he had much better college options, and I have yet to hear or see anything to convince me otherwise. I post counterpoint here occasionally just to provide some balance. I'm sure not everyone who peeks into this forum is as "all-in" as most seem to be, and if you are a lurker who is among the less convinced, that's OK. It's probably time for me to move on as this definitely is not my herd, though I have great respect for many of the senior posters, their experience, and their generosity of time and wisdom. I peek in occasionally just to see what the chat is, but I find it mostly a monotone choir. Given the purpose of this forum, I understand that. I do not post to cause contention, but statements like the one quoted above make me shake my head and show me just how far from this herd I stand. If anyone else reading here is also outside the perimeter, take heart, you are not alone.

I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
Oh no! I don't want to see you leave! Your comments always delights me! I wish we get to meet in person one day. I agree with you: however impressive the young man and woman's accomplishments were, they are still college kids. They are not invincible. I think taking pride in the institution can cause arrogance. After all, we haven't seen generals like Eisenhower, Patton or MacArthur for at least half a century. In addition, General George. C. Marshall who built the mordern Army was never a part of long grey line. Anyways, I just want to reassure you: your son will have many more opportunities after graduation. With a West Point pedigree he will have a decent career in the army and will also be able to be attend many renowned graduate schools if he so chooses.
 
Y'all have taken this thread in a different direction than I had intended. I'm simply offering perspective for next year's parents on how I would have planned my initial visits differently having gone through them this year. If you wish to discuss the pro & cons of USMA (or any other academy) then perhaps a different titled thread would be more appropriate. As the OP of this thread, I don't wish to be associated with where this is heading.
You are right! Your recommendations are spot on! USMA is beautiful and many cadets appreciate seeing familiar faces as they march back.
 
@VelveteenR - it's nice to read other perspectives. Helps me to think through some of my ideas and beliefs. Like you, I am supporting my son at WP because he is following the path that he has been dreaming about for some time now - years actually. So, I am happy for him while inside, I am not happy for me. He plans to branch infantry and really, what mother would be thrilled to hear her son say these words? But this I keep to myself.

@AirsoftRanger - the language classes at WP are college level and as such, they are very difficult - especially so because they are often difficult languages to learn (in contrast to say, Spanish which is comparatively easy to learn). He will struggle like the rest of his classmates and will likely join a study group. How nice for him that Calc is easy so far. The pace will pick up and it may or not remain easy as the semester progresses. And if it remains easy for him, that will give him more time to spend preparing for his language class and that will be a good thing.
 

Dad of 2

Parent
I was able to attend R-Day, march back and A-Day. IMHO, they all had significant differences for me. R-Day was very long, emotional and tiring. March back was great to be able to see my DD; however, she and the rest of the cadets (parade went by very fast). A- Day was exciting, short and very rewarding because we were able to take our DD out of WP. For me, I wouldn't miss A-Day, would try very hard to get to R-Day and could miss march back if need be....but I'm very glad that I was able to do all 3!

Add to that the fact that your child will become a part of the Long Gray Line, which is so impressive that no other institution could ever match up.
Well, that's subjective. I think that's a big downside to USMA. Our son affirmed Sunday night, and my heart is heavy at this point of no return (figuratively, of course). I still wish he were anywhere but where he is, but I love him, support him, and have kept my opinions from him since R-Day. Not everyone is impressed by the academies or the military. I still feel he had much better college options, and I have yet to hear or see anything to convince me otherwise. I post counterpoint here occasionally just to provide some balance. I'm sure not everyone who peeks into this forum is as "all-in" as most seem to be, and if you are a lurker who is among the less convinced, that's OK. It's probably time for me to move on as this definitely is not my herd, though I have great respect for many of the senior posters, their experience, and their generosity of time and wisdom. I peek in occasionally just to see what the chat is, but I find it mostly a monotone choir. Given the purpose of this forum, I understand that. I do not post to cause contention, but statements like the one quoted above make me shake my head and show me just how far from this herd I stand. If anyone else reading here is also outside the perimeter, take heart, you are not alone.

I don't mean to take this thread off-topic, but that comment struck me. Carry on.
I truly understand your comment and appreciate your point of view. Our DD had lots of options for other academies and civilian colleges but she decided on WP.

As we were driving to NYC after the oath ceremony on R-Day, my wife was second guessing her support of our DD's decision and wanted to turn around and "get her out of there". I asked her if she had those feelings when our DS chose his college. She said "no, not really." Our conversation that night concluded that my wife: did not (haven't asked since then if she's changed her mind) want our DD to attend WP; never told our DD of her own personal opinions; supported our DD's decision albeit different from hers; attends WPPC events in support of our DD; and still believes that there were/are better choices our DD could have made.

Long story short, our immediate family continues to have different feelings and beliefs about what was/is right our cadet; however, nobody discussed it with our her (except for a nosey/intrusive/opinionated grandparent) because it was not our decision to make!
 
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