Please Post something about Plebe Summer that is Positive

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Patriots47, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Bwah-ha-ha.

    Those whiteworks will have that special fragrance of aged sweat, new garment sizing, other miscellaneous umami bio-odors, multiplied by 1100+ bodies in relatively confined spaces for PS.

    I reported for duty as a USNA BattO in mid-July. I walked into those un-air-conditioned p-ways in Bancroft Hall, and blurted out “what is that awful smell?!” I was used to sewage-y odors at pierside, industrial odors on ship, sweaty bodies at PT or in tight working spaces, old building musty smells, but that whiteworks aroma is in a class by itself.
     
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  2. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Damn you. I had to look up umami. ;)
     
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  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Oh my. Would it help you to know I started working crosswords and puzzles and logic problems of all kinds with my mother from an early age, and still do them regularly, including running Scrabble battles on my iPhone with random opponents? Scrabble and word games of all kinds were always part of family get-togethers, as were 1000 piece no-picture-on-box jigsaw puzzles, on competing tables. I was definitely a nerdy, introvert kid who also liked contact sports. My mom played half-court basketball (look that up!) and was on a state HS championship team. Full-court was deemed too physically demanding and harmful...
    You will also appreciate that I was called into my first department head’s office, an LDO LCDR bosun mate, who told me I really couldn’t use the word “draconian” when writing enlisted evals.
    I hope to keep my brain oiled and cognitively able as long as I can.
    Ok, back to Plebe story focus.
     
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  4. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    Shoot! In today’s first Plebe Summer phone call, DD emphatically requested air freshener. I sent her the “umami” scent. Oops.
     
  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    The Yankee Candle “Car Jars” - Beach Walk or Clean Cotton. Easy pack, not sickly floral, can be stuck all kinds of places.

    Pretty hilarious she asked for air freshener while I was describing Plebe Smell.
     
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Umami in and of itself is not bad - it was the not-like-anything-else “savory” aspect I was recalling.
     
  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Plebe Smell is the worst smell ever. And I have gone 6 weeks in combat gear with no shower. It’s 1200+ people sweating in a confined space, all using the same soap, detergent, shampoo and deodorant. The few times I have been back on the Yard during Plebe Summer that smell just snaps you back into Plebe Summer immediately.
     
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  8. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    There you are, confirmation from a grad that some traditions don’t disappear. That first month living on the Yard over on Worden Field, we’d be walking the dogs behind Bancroft, and if the wind was just right, we’d get a whiff. My DH recognized it right away.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  9. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    Question: can the plebes request their same roommates for the academic year? Actually can they request any roommates?

    DS was in great spirits. Learned a new word myself...AQUAROCK bahahaha
     
  10. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Aquarock - completes all swim tests by walking across bottom of pool due to tendency to sink rather than swim!

    Roommate situation is something done in company. He may be able to stay with same, but due to company plebe attrition, or number and type of ac year rooms set aside for plebes in his regular company area, there might be some directed swapping. This is one of many things to stay very flexible about.
     
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  11. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    > I recall a number of times when the Detailer's just couldn't hold it in...actually showed that they were human.

    > Summer in Annapolis = Sweat, no matter where and what you are doing. When I was back at USNA for BGO training a ways back (15 years ?), the AC in Bancroft was woefully inadequate. It was like being a Plebe again, we'd go from the Hall, sweat our way across the Yard, then go into one of the Ac Buildings and freeze. We attended PEP with the Plebes one morning, and I never stopped sweating the whole day.
     
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  12. falconchic88

    falconchic88 5-Year Member

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    This depends on the Company. For my 2014er they told them not to bother requesting, because they were mixing them all up. For my 2016er, they had them rank top 3 they wanted to room with , getting their hopes up, then they didn't let anyone room with their number 1 request lol. For my 2019er, they actually let them pick and did their best to honor their requests.
     
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  13. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    DD had the same two roommates for all four years even though she spent a semester in China and other spent semester in France. They can work it out.
     
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  14. bub6

    bub6 Member

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    “If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.” ~ Winnie the Pooh Plebes figure this out!!
     
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  15. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER 5-Year Member

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    My S (2014) always remembered Plebe summer as "A summer camp with really weird rules. If you follow them, you're fine, if you fight them, you'll have problems."

    S also had same 2 roommates for 4 years.
     
  16. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    DD called home from USNA last night, her block #2 assignment has her living in Bancroft at the moment. It's a little lonely there in summer if you are not doing PS stuff, so she tends to stay on the phone longer. Just talking, I asked about 'Plebe-Smell'. DD offered an observation from her own 2016 PS and her current accommodations, very close to PS, but not "in it"). She said:

    "Yup they smell pretty bad". She thought for a moment. "But the thing that makes Plebe-Smell unique is that every year I've been here, right before the start of PS they redo the floors of Bancroft Hall. Its that mix of dirty stinking human smell from 400 plebes and a generous and lingering floor wax/floor sealer that makes Plebe-Smell so special and unique in the world. They are right Dad, I will never forget it."

    NOTE TO PLEBE PARENTS---- Per my DD:
    1) SEND dry shampoo if you have a female Mid!! Clean hair (kinda) with no drying time!!!

    2) In one of your letters to DD/DS tell them to remember that the people reading his/her 'Thoughts of the Day' are 2cs and 1cs who may be in their chain of command next year. "None of PS is personal, tell-em (your plebe) not to personalize their negative observations--and try not to be exclusively negative in 'Thoughts of the Day'
    "Tell them to look for a positive"

    Note: Odds are 95% that your DD/DS doesn't really need this admonition but maybe your plebe passes it on to a fellow Plebe who is disgruntled and struggling through PS. DD tells a story re: a talented plebe who left the USNA. DD felt that this plebe started the year with a hangover in his Company Chain of Command from some of the stuff this plebe said in 'Thoughts of the Day' during PS. You could draw the conclusion that the plebe in question didn't belong at USNA in the first place. That said, there are some 17-18yr old kids in each class who struggle through PS, and aren't that jazzed about the place by PPW. Most of them learn to like/love the place and ultimately take their place in the fleet. Just passing on advice that I know DD has offered to a few plebes in Care-packages she sent to some Plebes from our State, and her regret that she screwed up the address on one package in particular.

    3)In 2016 I copied and sent the attached article to my DD, for some perspective.
    https://jorules.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/some-words-for-the-cadre/ . Sorry for the redundancy but if it makes a parent feel better or gets passed along to a plebe who could use some perspective; s-ok.

    Ramblings about PS:
    A couple of years back 247sports network, did a series following a couple of USNA athletes/detailers thru Plebe Summer. It was a 4 installment piece, (pretty long for a sports article).

    One thread in the story begins in the first installment with the reporter asking why a Plebe had two detailers shouting at him? Answ: " The guy is having trouble marching" so the detailers are giving him some extra help"

    Second installment
    , Question (reference to a platoon holding an unending push-up) "what are they doing?"" Answ: "Oh, they are at Leaning-Rest.--- They are lending moral support to that guy who can't march" --the reporter then notices four detailers shouting at a plebe as they "march" with him (same Plebe as installment #1)

    Next Installment #4 (I've been unable to find installment 3 on the net)
    Question: (referencing a large group of detailers in a circle around something/someone who can't be seen for all the shouting detailers around him/her) Answ: "Oh we've given up on teaching trying to get the plebe to march, they are teaching him to walk"----struck me as funny.

    My own kid could never hold bearing, (something I like about her BTW). Second letter home reads: "I just can't keep from laughing; so now I am on "Double Sirs whenever I speak to a Detailer and I am kind-of a target". Next letter home: "Crap, I can't hold bearing! They have me on Quadruple Sirs now". Plebe parent weekend I asked how the "holding Bearing" thing was going. DD said " Oh, I've been on Octuple Sirs for two weeks now---- its great! When you chop past detailers they can stop you, but I am way past them before I finish the last Sir; and nobody really wants to talk with you when you begin and end each sentence with 8sirs. ----------Made me chuckle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  17. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Some things your Plebes may hear, during Plebe Summer;

    "Motivate Your Socks!"
    "Execute!"
    "Align and Cover!"
    "Hit A Bulkhead!"
    "Drop on your Face!"
    "Figure It Out!"
    "What Is Your Malfunction?"
    "Please Explain To Me Why....Shut Your Hole!"
    "Gear Accountability"
    "Embrace The Suck"
    "Ahhhh...F*** !"
    "Eyes In The Boat!"
    "Kill, Kill, Kill!"
    "If We're Going To Be Stupid, Be Strong!"
    "Does Anybody Actually Know Their Rates?"

    Maybe not so much the "Kill, Kill, Kill" thing, but if they end up at TBS after graduation, they will be admonished to live, learn, and love that one, a lot. ;)
    To the average person looking in, these things don't conjure up positive thoughts, but I assure you that the Plebes will learn to make many things a positive in one way or another.

    At this - the 16th day of Plebe Summer - the ratio of "Wow, this really sucks!" to "Okay, this isn't bad" moments, should have already started to improve for most of them.
     
  18. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    @Just Dad @THParent you two provide really great posts. Back-to-back posts are a bonus.

    One of the best things about the USMC is the task oriented concept of the Marine Air Ground Task Force. Every job in the Marine Corps, for the most part, is meant to support the 0311. We don't have pilots so they can look cool in sunglasses or cooks because they want to be on a Gordon Ramsey show some day. We all fit in the table of organization to support the rifleman whose job is to kill.

    "Maybe not so much the "Kill, Kill, Kill" thing, but if they end up at TBS after graduation, they will be admonished to live, learn, and love that one, a lot. ;)"
    -THParent from the post above

    So when the demand to shout kill or the urge to shout kill, even though one might aspire to be a supply clerk or finance officer occurs, remember we are all part of a killing team and we support the 10 percent of the force who do that killing. A call for fire, call for medevac/casevac, or a need to fill a requisition after hours is not a disruption to our day but is the reason for our day.

    This in not directed at anybody or anybody's post. I just felt like rambling due to procrastinating on an assignment I should be working on.

    PS. Not long ago I showed my ID to the Marine at the gate at Quantico and he said, "err Doc, Kill." Then he asked, "What do you all say, save lives?"

    No, we say heal. You say kill, I say heal. Actually I've never said that as a war cry but it popped into my head and it rhymed. And he got a chuckle out of it.
     
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  19. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    Doc, Chiefs do not, I repeat do not procrastinate. They are just otherwise occupied.
     
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  20. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Absolutely. They are training to be and lead warfighters, after all.

    Most Marines will tell you that they train to be the best at what they do. They train to absolutely overcome and overrun the enemy decisively and in the most expeditious manner available to them. They train to be the tip of a very sharp spear. Most of them will make sure that they are ready at any moment to do just that, but if there is another option that leads to peace in which everyone wins, they are all for that too. I embraced the Kill, Kill, Kill mantra, but every Teufel Hunden I was close to wasn't on the edge of his seat vibrating to get let off the leash. The ones who are like that, aren't normal. The ones like that are what we used to call "bullet sponges". Uncle Sam doesn't train us to be bullet sponges.

    Okay then. Who wants cake? :)


    (Love your posts, Devil Doc & BTCS/USN !)
     
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