10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Dec 31, 2007
Lurking on the USMA website, I found that civilians can go to West Point right before R-Day for a Mock R-Day. I don't live very far from West Point and would consider doing it to see if West Point is really for me (I think it is, but just to make sure). I will be applying for the class of 2013. Has anyone heard of this being done before. If anyone has done this, would you recommend it? Thanks for all of your help.
I read about it in Samet's book...said it scared some of the volunteers! It sounds like a should definitely check it out if they allow it.
I did it... it was awesome you should absolutely do it
You'd get to see what actually happens on R-Day, but from what my d's MALO told our parent group - that is the toughest day of Beast.

Sounds like it's a two-edged sword to me. I know my d was pretty miserable on R-Day (as were most of the new cadets). Seeing it up close and personal may discourage you. But then again, seeing it may reassure you that you can handle it.

In the meantime, think about going for an orientation. I think they have them in the mornings. Check out the times on the website under admissions. I strongly suggest that you go when the cadets are on post. You will get the "feel" of West Point that you won't get during the summer or any other time the cadets aren't there. (I'd suggest that with any college visit.)
Can't comment on any experiences of Mock R-Day, but we went for a daytime visit last year over s's spring break. We (parents/students) began the morning with an orientation. Then the cadet escorts came to pick up individual students to take them with them to classes so they could see first hand what the classes were like. Since we knew a plebe already there from our hometown, s got to go chem lab and then on for peek at the barracks, then on to mealtime at the mess hall.

In the meantime, parents had the opportunity to ask questions of a regional admissions officer and an older cadet. He was frank - admissions left him in there with just the parents, so we heard the good, the bad, the ugly, and the fun! It was not only informational but reassuring. This visit solidified s's desire to attempt the admissions process. (He is not there yet, but we believe his is getting very close at this point...).

If you participated in the Mock R-Day, at least you would know what to expect. But as another poster mentioned, I also strongly encourage a post visit before that anyway. Experiencing the class, mealtime, and barrack atmosphere during the academic year might counterbalance any less-positive feelings from that mock first day of Beast. (Thoughts of watching this are now starting to make ME nervous!) :eek:
CGA didn't have Mock R-Day, but we did have R-Day.

Reporting-In Day is, probably up there in the top 10 worst experiences of my life, but I would consider myself lucky.

R-Day is designed to shock you, as a newly reported cadet-candidate. You will be yelled at, and you will be well outside of your comfort zone, however R-Day was not even close to the worst day of that summer for me, no where near it. It will be tough for parents, especially when you realize you will have very little time to see them before they are gone, after taking the oath. If you have a son, his head will be shaved, and he will look pitiful. Do NOT go get a shave before you get there; you'll just ask to be a lightning rod after you do that. Also, DO NOT shave your platoon into your head. My best friend did that, and it was not good for him to walk around with "X-Ray 3" on his head. Of course, his brother had thrown him under the bus after suggesting that move, he should have known better, his brother was two years ahead of him.

Swab Summer was rough, but having been on both sides of the yelling, I can say it is easier as a Swab than it is a the Cadre. Doing what you're told is not terribly hard, even if you mess that up.

As a Cadre, right before we took control of the batt. from the first make, people were sick to their stomachs. It is an awesome responsibility to train newly reported swabs, kids right out of high school. The gravity of the situation really hits you right before you march out on that field, exchange salutes with the off going make and begin the training.

That should be comforting as a parent, the Cadre take their jobs very seriously. They are not out to kill your kids, they are not out to make them cry (although this will happen from time to time). They are there to train them, and at some time they will all be serving in the same service (for those who make it).

I would love to see Mock R-Day though, when is it? Do you have to sign up? Can you watch or do you have to participate.
Mock R-Day is exactly that - a run through for R-Day.
West Point will post on their web site the opportunity to sign up for it later in the spring - yes you sign up ahead of time.
The date has not been set yet on the Master calendar but my recollection is that it is held about a week before R-Day.
I am not sure if the general public is allowed to observe or not.
I believe that if you are a candidate for admissions then you are not allowed to participate.
"You'd get to see what actually happens on R-Day, but from what my d's MALO told our parent group - that is the toughest day of Beast."

With all due respect to the MALO, I would have to say that it is the easiest.
When I wrote:

"You'd get to see what actually happens on R-Day, but from what my d's MALO told our parent group - that is the toughest day of Beast."

That was his opinion. He was pointing out the emotional and psychological stress of being away from home, under total control and giving up all freedoms. He seemed to feel that after R-Day the new cadets can bond and then lean on each other for support. On R-Day there is limited, if any talking, and you are totally alone.

My daughter had a really tough Beast - almost all of the 6 weeks. I have no idea if that is the norm. I just know she had a cold almost the whole time, was put on a week of anti-inflammatories, and then antibiotics for an extremely infected blister. When I saw her on A-Day her feet were still peeling from all the healing blisters, she was still black and blue in places, and was going to lose two toenails. My impression was that these conditions were very common during Beast, but I just don't know how many others had all of these issues like she did.

Molloy09: I can tell you that her worst day of Beast was really about a week and included a trip to the hospital. But she survived it, and so will you. What's most important - she loves it there.

Remember that the fun stuff gets you through. She loved the M-16 training, rappelling, Camp Buckner, and the camaraderie of her squad.
WPmom - that's tough stuff.

It sounds like her boots or running shoes were not a great fit. Maybe a bit too big. Was she an athlete in high school?
Yes, she lettered in wrestling and cross country.

She overtrained in the Spring and irritated a knee. Not 100% by R-Day, thus re-irritated knee. Then compensating irritated the other one. Plus she'd never had hills to contend with. :wink:

The bad week had a 4 mile regimental run and then the 8-mile ruck, I think the next day. Through a series of unfortunate happenings, she was a mess after that and it went downhill from there. Basically, she tried to tough it out instead of going to the medic when she should have.

Pretty sure her boots and shoes fit; I think it had more to do with the socks.

Word to the parents reading this: It was hard on her, but she got through it. But as a parent, I'm glad there's only one Beast and it's over. Nothing like getting a three-minute (my share of ten minutes) phone call, hearing all that had gone wrong and then be left staring at a dead phone after she says, "and then they took me to the hospital, I gotta go, my times up." :eek:

So, I guess I'm saying to expect the hard phone calls and letters, but know that WP took extremely good care of my d and all the other new cadets, while preparing them to be able to handle anything.

R-Day is just the beginning.