Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by USNA Friend, Jul 22, 2015.
Not sure if this has been asked before but do the detailers ever read the letters sent to plebes?
Mine didn't. They shouldn't. Have some done it, probably.
I would hope not. In our day, letters were delivered sealed. Has that changed?
I could see that packages might be inspected (for "contraband") but letters are . . . letters.
That is what it was for us 85. Packages got a quick look when opened. Letters were not opened.
Our packages weren't even opened. In our day, the only "contraband" was a stereo -- kind of hard to hide in a small package. This was before cellphones, etc. And we weren't restricted in the type of food we could have during PS -- anything was fair game. But I can see why they might open packages today.
I read somewhere that detailers don't open sealed envelopes -- something about federal law related to tampering with mail. My understanding is they observe Plebes opening packages, inspect the contents, and remove contraband. In my son's case, he was allowed to keep something I sent that he wasn't supposed to have in his personal locker with instructions not to use it until Plebe Summer was over.
What is considered contraband?
As far as food goes, we were told no high sugar foods/ candy. That said, my Plebe asked for Pop Tarts and home made cookies his first call home. Must be Company by Company.
I think the detailer made my son put away the book light and headphones (what was I thinking -- they have access to no media of any kind!). With the heat what it is and possible delays associated with getting the packages to the Plebes, it would make sense to hold off on sending home made (no preservatives, fearof spoilage) food until after Plebe Summer. My Plebe has asked me to only send protein bars from now on.
My DS asked for a flashlight as many of his platoon-mates had them- and could I please discretely send one. I did.
He indicated in his subsequent letter that he had no idea it was even in the package (go mom!) until he decoded the accompanying letter. I was very pleased with myself, until of course- my husband said that "in this day and age- they are probably scanning the packages."
Haha! I thought I had hidden mine in the package I sent (in the container holding a cooling towel). Oh well...
I think the detailers probably look the other way in the first weeks for morale. DS most recent letter suggests there has been a "flashlight round-up"- his is now away.
Thanks for the replies
I haven't received a letter back from my friend yet. I understand they don't have much time to write and that when they do family comes first, so I don't expect I'll get one. How're your plebes doing?
Zooming out a little: They're just about halfway through, USNA Friend. Turnover is this weekend, right? So second set is there observing them. They (plebes) want to do well, but they're in their third week and they're tired. They're probably a little anxious about being observed, and about turnover with new fresh detailers when they're already so tired and still have a tad more than 3 weeks to go. A few of them are starting to wonder if they can do this, and do they have what it takes. They usually look forward to Sundays, because they get a morning off from chopping, sounding off, rates...but this Sunday, second set detailers will take them. So they're nervous and a little uncertain. A few of them are back to making stupid little mistakes, and those are corrosive too.
Whoever you are to that plebe - parent, sister, brother, friend, BF, GF, teacher, Scout leader - they need to hear from you now! The rah-rah-rah has worked for the first three weeks but it doesn't sustain everyone. They need you to help them remember how to use a shovel and dig deep. Remind them that you love and admire them. Remind them that plebe summer is not plebe year, and that they're halfway through (by the time they get your letter). Tell them it's normal for people doing HARD things, like your plebe is, to doubt themselves, and that they're not in it alone and to look around at their squad and company for help. Remind them that these are people they didn't even know on June 30, and look how much they've accomplished as real teams of people. Remind them that they chose USNA because they want to do something hard with other people who are up to hard things. Mostly remind them that this is not permanent, that they're going to make it and be successful. They can make it harder, but they can't make it longer, and August 13 will be here so soon!
Agree long ago... this coming week is probably the hardest. Plebe hack, the unknown of new Detailers, haven't seen the light yet, exhaustion is setting in. I think once they make it past turnover and the next week they have the baseball game coming and Parents weekend is so close. They may hate their Detailers but they know how to respond and what they want.
Not sure how they do things now but as second set detail we never once saw the plebes prior to turnover. We came on deck after taps and met with out counterparts at night. The first time we saw them and they saw us was the noon meal lunch formation where first set marches off and second set marches on. I remember being a plebe and being so nervous standing there!
Oh and I confiscated 28 flashlights in one set of detail as a firstie! Plebes always think they are so slick and can get away with... Nope. Besides the sleep is in all honesty more important than the 10 minutes of sleep deprived rate they are studying they won't remember anyways.
Thank you Long Ago Plebe and Navy Hoops
I included some lyrics from Bon Jovi's "Livin on a Prayer" in one of my letters. Hope it'll make my friend smile
you are a good friend to your plebe- according to my son- he really enjoys getting letters- he says its like Christmas. My son said he was going to be too busy to write in the coming weeks- but he still really enjoys the letters- I think it will mean alot to your friend to keep your letters coming even if you don't get a reply
Thank you so much!
I recently received a letter. It was all but three lines written in haste but it made me incredibly happy.
Thinking of sending him a small care package. What are some food items that are safe to send?
Individually wrapped food items work well- there is a posting from USNA to send healthy things - so protein bars or sweet and salty granola bars; I sent squeeze packs of apple sauce, individual small packs of nuts; dried fruit, fig bars, etc. BUT that being said- according to DS, the oreos I sent FLEW out of the box. If you would like to send something homemade, pack it in an airtight container like a tupperware. Remember, they will be happy you care- no matter what you send, and what your plebe doesn't eat- his platoon-; room-;or company-mates will.
Also, box should approximate size of shoe box- according to specs we received
I will confess to not knowing all the details but this sounds like one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of -- not allowing home cooked food, that is.
Understand limiting the types of foods (e.g., no sweets) but the whole point of sending food is to provide goodies that the plebe can't o/w obtain, which is primarly stuff that can't be bought in stores. I would understand not allowing any outside food but this seems like an arbitrary -- and stupid -- distinction.
Then again, maybe I'm missing something.
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