Getting Ready for R Day? Swab Year Video attached...

F15DOC

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Oct 27, 2013
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281
Hello worried and excited parents!
I am remembering our world one year ago when we were preparing to take our son to the USCGA...
The great unknowns, the excitement, the questions...

It is a ride ladies and gentlemen... buckle up...

Well, it was quite a year for us, from the very first morning after dropping him off at the RDay check-in, getting a call and being told we needed to meet with our son and a USCGA rep at the counselor office, being told he may not make weight standards and he could be sent home before we even had our parents greeting lunch!
Then he was measured and made weight, we got another call, our hearts stopped, but all was good...
Then the big parade ground review, the 15 minutes with our son with his freshly shaved head, the shellshocked look in his eyes and him stating that he didn't think he really wanted this after all....
Leaving him there to sort it out, flying home tormented...
Then the 4 weeks of waiting, which turned into only 2 weeks when we got a heart stopping call from the counselor office and he repeated on the phone to us that he didn't want this... at that point I gave the motivational talk of my life to encourage him and support him, letting him know this is his life and his call but pushing him to make it through swab summer before deciding to give it all up.
Then the daily surfing through Paul Duddy's photos, grateful for them, looking for those great photos of your swab, just to see him...
Then the much awaited call at 4 weeks, the one all parents are waiting for... hearing he is doing better and is definitely sticking out swab summer....
Then the video chat at 6 weeks as he is getting ready to board the Eagle, sailing to New York, being treated like a Hero there, loving everything about it...
Then the call after finishing swab summer, he made it, and things were looking up!
Then seeing him at parents weekend, looking so squared away, happy...
Then Christmas break, him flying with our local USCG Air Station, hooked... doing great...
Finishing up his year, 6 weeks on the Eagle, amazing stories and experiences...

Wow, what a year....

Here is a quick video I put together and shared with the Class of 2020 Parents Facebook Page.
Join your swabs parents facebook page! It was a lifesaver during swab summer, the Paul Duddy Photos, the support, its terrific!
The video shows a glimpse of checking in for RDay, what you and your swab can expect.


If you have any questions or concerns about R Day or the upcoming year, feel free to ask, I know what you are going through!!
 

Freda'sMom

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Mar 24, 2011
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I heard they are no longer calling it "R-Day."

I think "Swearing-In Day" or "Day One" is now the preferred nomenclature.
 

AuxNoob

CGA Admissions Partner
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May 15, 2012
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459
Already been changed again to "Day 1". The "S" had so many options...
 

F15DOC

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Oct 27, 2013
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Lol, yep, well this video was from R Day 2016, Day One is what they are calling it this year... changes changes.... Semper Gumby, right?,
 

rjb

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Feb 15, 2014
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Welcome Aboard!
 

NavyHoops

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This picture is great. That guy is pretty massive. With the way things work, the tiny female cadre next to him was probably scarier (seriously... you should see what male Marines say of female Marine DIs... they are terrified of them).
 

Jmoney457

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This picture is great. That guy is pretty massive. With the way things work, the tiny female cadre next to him was probably scarier (seriously... you should see what male Marines say of female Marine DIs... they are terrified of them).

Maybe not...that 2/C male cadet's physique is so stellar that if I was in that kid's shoes I feel like I would just have tunnel vision with the guy, and that girl and the other surroundings wouldnt even exist in the moment.
 

NavyHoops

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Interesting. I had an exchange Mid from Lithuania many years ago. He was a phenomenal Midshipmen. LITS, you are so right on the whispering. I have seen more grown men break down from whispering than yelling. The yelling and push ups eventually get routine and you tune it out.
 

DesertCaliMom

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Interesting. I had an exchange Mid from Lithuania many years ago. He was a phenomenal Midshipmen. LITS, you are so right on the whispering. I have seen more grown men break down from whispering than yelling. The yelling and push ups eventually get routine and you tune it out.
My boy scouts know if I'm whispering or saying I'm disappointed that they're in biiiiig trouble. Haha
 

Idlewild

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Sep 4, 2016
Messages
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This was such a great video and story- thank you for sharing! I am finally sitting down to process the emotions of the weekend-there are so many! I truly thought I would be the one trying to keep it together but daughter had a rough morning and could not fight back the tears once dad put his arms around her after the swearing in ceremony. She is where she belongs, it took me until today to really see that, now I hope she can see it too despite the obstacles.
 

trackandfield08

USCGA 2014
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Sep 18, 2008
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This was such a great video and story- thank you for sharing! I am finally sitting down to process the emotions of the weekend-there are so many! I truly thought I would be the one trying to keep it together but daughter had a rough morning and could not fight back the tears once dad put his arms around her after the swearing in ceremony. She is where she belongs, it took me until today to really see that, now I hope she can see it too despite the obstacles.

She will be fine! The first day is always emotional, it's a shock to the system. She is not the first, nor will she be the last, to fight back tears. I remember a classmate on our R-Day that could not stop crying and I honestly wasn't sure if that person would make it through week one, let alone swab summer. Fast forward seven years and that classmate is a successful Coast Guard officer. Write your daughter letters, encourage her that she can do anything, and remind her that the clock cannot be stopped. Soon enough, swab summer will just be a blur of memories.

As a side note, it's moments like what you've described that make me question the "10 min goodbye" after the swearing in ceremony. A swab shows up early, gets whisked through station after station by people yelling at them, using nautical terms they've never heard of, and calling them out on every mistake. Then, as soon as you start to adapt and somewhat internalize the experience, the swab is thrown back to their parents for a brief hug and a kind word. Ten minutes later, they're thrown back into the new world of time demands and stressful situations. It messes with your head, or at least it messed with mine a little bit. I get that it might reassure parents but it can also terrify them if their kid is a mess. I had a swab come to me right after his swearing in ceremony saying he wanted to leave and that he was going to go home with his parents that day. I told him that was not an option, he was officially a member of the military now, and that it would be at least two weeks before he could be out-processed. The look on his face, you could tell he hadn't really understood the gravity of swearing in and taking the oath.
 

Laguna

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Feb 16, 2010
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Good luck swabs and parents. My cadet was a swab the summer of 2010 and graduated in 2013. If I remember right we received a letter from the swab right after the July 4th. Said that on the evening of July 4th they were marched down near the river and watched the 4th of July fireworks. It was very emotional and patriot for all the swabs for be enduring swab summer and then watching the fireworks.

Enjoy the ride folks. Try to visit your cadet as often as possible as it will go faster than you think.
 

LineInTheSand

USCGA 2006
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Good luck swabs and parents. My cadet was a swab the summer of 2010 and graduated in 2013. If I remember right we received a letter from the swab right after the July 4th. Said that on the evening of July 4th they were marched down near the river and watched the 4th of July fireworks. It was very emotional and patriot for all the swabs for be enduring swab summer and then watching the fireworks.

Enjoy the ride folks. Try to visit your cadet as often as possible as it will go faster than you think.

Hahaha...

In 2002 we marched down to lower field on July 4 to watch the fireworks. We thought it would be an emotional, inspirational moment.

Instead, our platoon commander had us do "incentive training" which was not very motivational (it was painful). Couldn't even watch the fireworks!

But... what your son experienced is what we hoped and expected to experience.
 

swimmermama1

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May 14, 2014
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Hahaha...

In 2002 we marched down to lower field on July 4 to watch the fireworks. We thought it would be an emotional, inspirational moment.

Instead, our platoon commander had us do "incentive training" which was not very motivational (it was painful). Couldn't even watch the fireworks!

But... what your son experienced is what we hoped and expected to experience.
My child is in the class of 2018 and they had the same experience as you. Backs to the fireworks!
 
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