Dipping (USMA and Active Duty)

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Ag1999, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. Ag1999

    Ag1999 Member

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    So since I have been here at the academy, I have noticed that dipping is a common occurrence and have been pressured many times to dip. (including people willing to pay me $100 to even try it). I have never felt compelled to try it. My question is, if there are any upperclassmen on this forum who can answer this question, why do people get into dipping after a year or two at the academy even though they never dipped previously? My other question is pertains more towards combat arms branches (Infantry to be specific). Would a platoon leader lose respect because he/she does not dip or drink? I have never been interested in any of those things and I find them rather gross. I have been told that if I want to go combat arms that I will lose respect if I do not dip. Any insight is appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    Just one question that only you can answer. Are you there to learn to lead or to follow?
     
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    You already know the answer to this. If this practice was a leadership practice to be desired, there would be books about it, case studies, visiting speakers, mentions of it in Commissioning Day speeches and an endowed chair at a service academy.

    It's a personal choice. Without being judgmental, you can simply say "no thanks." Smile and walk away. Change the subject. If they pressure you, ask why they are pressuring you, if you're in the mood to take them on. Develop some answers that suit your personality, perhaps with humor. "No doubt after my first combat patrol I'll come looking for you to borrow some, thanks, but not now."

    When the going gets tough and dangerous, your future troops will respect you and follow you for leading them with confidence, looking after their needs, being fair and approachable, setting an example of sticking to your principles and many other tried-and-true leadership practices and traits.

    In a high-stress combat zone, human beings do turn to comforting or stimulating habits whose life-threatening aspects pale when compared to, say, going out on patrol in a hostile area. I cannot criticize that. Everyone figures out what works for them.

    I am far removed from the current cadet answers you are hoping for, but I have long experience with people applying pressure to conform. I applaud you for having made your choices and stuck to them. When I was in college at a time when it is often declared, "oh, everyone did drugs or tried weed back then in college," I can honestly say I didn't. I ran into the same kinds of pressure. I just smiled and said "yep, I am a total chicken, you go ahead and have fun." Ditto the whole cigar thing at formal Navy dining ins or outs. I have never even tried to smoke one (Dad's emphysema cured me of any desire). I brought Mrs. See's Candies chocolate cigars and enjoyed myself without making a big deal out of it. I credit my parents with teaching me how to think and act for myself, and to resist pressure gracefully. I certainly made my share of low impulse control bone head choices, though.
     
  4. billyb

    billyb 5-Year Member

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    C'mon Ag. You know the answer to this! By you asking the question, you know what your gut is telling you. I chewed a total of 1 time while at USMA and that was at Buckner in the field b/c I was beat tired. It definitely gave me an energy boost, followed 5 minutes later by dizziness and queasiness. Never did it again. I was a FA officer, but the quality of my leadership had zero to do with me dipping or not. You need to concern yourself with one thing.... is what you are doing helping to positively impact the soldiers in your unit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
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  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    And ignoring the leadership vs peer pressure stuff, that crap just rots your gums and teeth (he said from personal experience) let alone problems with heart disease etc. (he again said from experience).
     
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  6. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    OK. I have to admit I thought the original post was a troll as I couldn't imagine it coming from a current West Point cadet. But assuming it is a legitimate question seeking real life experience and commentary...

    I was an USMC Infantry Officer and didn't dip, smoke or chew. There was no issue regarding respect from my Marines regarding this. The general feeling was "to each his own." An officer earns his unit's respect by knowing himself, knowing his job and taking care of his Marines. He carries the same gear and sleeps on the same ground. He holds his platoon to high standards and himself to even higher standards.

    My "vice' was sunflower seeds. In the field, I had a mouthful on every forced march and any chance I got.
     
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  7. brovol

    brovol Member

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    I agree with everything Capt said, except this: If someone offers or pushes you to dip, instead of saying "no thanks", as Capt suggests, I advise that instead you say, "F that! Do you think I am as stupid as you, or anyone else who would pay money to do something which you get no positive return for, causes cancer, brown teeth, bad breath, and is a virtual sandwich board sign saying that you are a shallow follower of the type of people who would encourage a friend to do something as moronic as chewing?" Then I would close with something like, "if you grow a pair of testicles you will also have the moxy to tell others no when they encourage you to do something idiotic". At this point it would be optional to say "have a nice day". Personally I wouldn't, and would instead walk away with a quiet mumble to "kiss off", but I can see that this is not for everyone.
     
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  8. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Judge Brovol to replace Judge Judy with his own show! Dang, that just rolled right out.
     
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  9. Ag1999

    Ag1999 Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. It really helped. And no it was not a troll post. I will admit that the question did seem kinda dumb. The reason why I asked is because multiple people in my company told me that my unit will not respect me if I do not dip or drink. (Assuming it is an infantry unit). So I apologize for question, but I think it's kinda ridiculous that many upperclassmen tell me this. So I thought I should ask people that have more insight. Thanks again.
     
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  10. Imboden

    Imboden Member

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    Dipping is incredibly addictive, so don't start. I wasn't at the academies, but I dipped in college because caffeine did not cut it for me with late night studying. So I get why some do it. Others do it just to be followers. But with all of the health issues, it's a road you don't want to go down.
     
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  11. brovol

    brovol Member

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    ...and if you see my kid dipping, tell him his daddy is going is going to quit posting pictures of him in his office because the "pride" factor will be reduced by a factor of ten and then some.
     
  12. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    x 1000


    First option is better. Second option is passive aggressive.
     
  13. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Passive aggressive got a bad name somewhere along the line. Don't underrate it though. It has its place.
     
  14. brovol

    brovol Member

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    I am nicer that Judge Judy when I am on the bench. Actually, One of my clerks, who is in the courtroom with me on all my domestic (divorce and custody) cases is named Judy. She kind of takes charge of those cases from an administrative aspect, and is referred to by people in our legal community as "Judge Judy". I get to blame her when people are mad about something being scheduled inconveniently.
     
  15. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom 5-Year Member

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    @Ag1999 -- you're a Plebe? It may be that the upperclassmen were just yanking your chain. They do tend to be sarcastic & cynical at times, and have been known to tell Plebes some exaggerated truths or fibs, just for the fun of it.

    After the holiday dinner in December, the tradition is for all cadets to smoke and/or take pictures with cigars on the apron. Plebes will purchase/supply the cigars for their table. You don't have to smoke a cigar if you don't want to, but you will see male and female cadets smoking, some who have never tried it before and some who (unfortunately) have taken a liking to it...much to the chagrin of their parents.
     
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  16. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog 5-Year Member

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    I had to chuckle at this. A big FYI to all of the parents on here, dipping has been the new thing with my generation in terms of just a satisfying habit to pass the time or stay awake. It's extremely popular in the military in all branches and MOS's. There was peer pressure in high school and at my SMC to start, and I may or may not have done it a few times, though it was of my own decision to do so, as I grew up with it being where I'm from so there really wasn't a "because Army" there. But your tale of classmates harassing you so much about it is pretty over the top haha.

    Long story short the nicotine keeps you awake and having it in your mouth satisfies an oral fixation in the same way chewing gum does.

    Noone cares if you dip or not. I'm a Maintenance Platoon Leader. In the field giving briefings to my mechanics, welders, and small arms repairers it looks like I'm gazing at a bar in the 80's most of the time. My soldiers don't care if I dip or not. Probably would look bad if I'm seen doing something and then clearly being a noob, conveying that I'm just doing it to look cool, to be honest.
     
  17. Jmoney457

    Jmoney457 Banned

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    My first time dipping my plebe year was a similar situation, peer pressure and all. I felt good for a little while and then puked in the toilet. I have dipped a few times since, but no desire to continue dipping. It just doesn't sit well with me.
     
  18. Humey

    Humey Member

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    Standing up for yourself doesn't mean you have to be rude and insulting. I agree that you should say no if you have no interest in it. It isn't the best habit to have and it is consider unhealthy . However , pissing off other people doesn't seem the smart way to go
     
  19. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Whoosh....
     
  20. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team" 10-Year Member

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    Yeah, I'm pretty sure your troops will be more concerned with how fast you run and if you're tactical or not
     
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