R Day 2017

sandiego95

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Dec 20, 2016
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Does anyone know the dates for USMA R day and A day? What are the recommended hotel reservations (where, how many nights? ) Any direction would be very helpful.
 

mmb5

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Sep 1, 2009
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The official calendar has not been posted yet, but tentative dates are July 3 for R-Day and August 19 for A-Day. The Thayer is convenient, as it is on post, but expensive; the Five Star is also on post, although active duty have priority for that, so harder to get reservations. There is a Holiday Inn in Fort Montgomery a short drive away, as well as several independent motels nearby. The larger chains - Marriott, Hilton, etc. have properties in Newburgh and Fishkill, a 20-30 minute drive away. Dutchess County has a pretty good website for lodging.

The Parents section of the USMA website http://www.usma.edu/Parents/SitePages/Resources.aspx has links to many resources including last year's A-Day schedule and directions, bus and train information, lodging, etc. It also has a copy of the application for parent ID, which you may need to get on post. Also, drivers' licenses from certain states are not acceptable identification for getting on post; this has more information on that and on what you may need.

Our experience was that we came in the evening before R Day - someone organized a no-host buffet dinner for Forum members - for an early morning report time, and finished just after 6pm on R Day. Very little time with our new cadet; he enjoyed the buffet, but in retrospect would have preferred to have said his goodbyes at home and taken USMA's arrangements for airport hotel and bus up. If vacation time or finances are an issue, my suggestion would be to skip this one.

On A Day, we were on post at about 10am, took our cadet off post after the parade and acceptance ceremony, at about 1pm, brought him back for taps that night, stayed nearby for Saturday night, and picked him up and dropped our cadet off again at about 4pm on Sunday - they were free until 6pm but had lots to get done.
 
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ebbinns

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Jul 20, 2016
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Not many hotel rooms available for these dates unless you go to Fishkill. A few VRBO and AirBnB, but quite pricey.
 

Love4monsters

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Apr 29, 2016
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686
We reserved a 2 queen suite at Big Bear State Park for both R and A day. Has anyone stayed here? Tried for the 5 Star in but no availability.
 

sandiego95

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Dec 20, 2016
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41
Thanks so much for all these responses. My DS got his appointment in the first wave, Jan 17, we coincidentally had a visit scheduled at USMA to shadow a cadet . It definitely helped solidify a decision.
 

UHBlackhawk

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Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,169
I hesitate to write this.
The day after R-Day, 4th of July, the new cadets normally march out to Trophey Point for a concert given by the West Point band.
I hesitate to write this because while you can see your DD/DS march out, they will sit together and I don't think it would be a good idea to try and contact them. If you go, watch your cadet march by, but then leave them alone.
 

Mere2033

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Sep 12, 2016
Messages
220
My DD was just offered an appointment Jan. 21 and we would be coming from California. Anyone else? A day, unfortunately is a week after my younger kids start school so I will have to find someone to watch them so my husband and I can see her during this time. We are still learning this whole process so we made the big plans for R day since everyone is out of school. Grandparents are all coming too. Should we be focusing on A day instead? Flying back and forth will add up!
 

UHBlackhawk

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Sep 22, 2015
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My DD was just offered an appointment Jan. 21 and we would be coming from California. Anyone else? A day, unfortunately is a week after my younger kids start school so I will have to find someone to watch them so my husband and I can see her during this time. We are still learning this whole process so we made the big plans for R day since everyone is out of school. Grandparents are all coming too. Should we be focusing on A day instead? Flying back and forth will add up!

There's more to A-Day.
 

bookreader

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Feb 5, 2015
Messages
809
@Mere2033
There is no right or wrong answer. Here is something to consider - the two days are completely different. On Rday, you drop your cadet off (have a 60 second goodbye) and then that's all you will see of your cadet. A highlight of the day is watching the cadets march our onto the plains in their companies, take the oath and then they will march off the field. It's a very moving scene to watch.

On A day you will be able to be with your cadet all day long after the parade in the morning. You'll have to bring your cadet back to WP that night and then the following day you can again be with your cadet. Some cadets will be full of energy and want to go do things, but many are very happy just to get off post and sleep somewhere - anywhere - but in the barracks. They may not want to be surrounded by family peppering them with questions. They may prefer a more quiet time with just the parents. Or they may want to see as many people as possible. Try and get a feel for what your cadet may want.

WE invited the grandparents for Rday only. We arrived early that day and said good bye to our son. The grandparents arrived later in the day and they walked on the grounds, saw the museum and then were there for the parade in the late afternoon.
 

Mere2033

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Messages
220
@Mere2033
There is no right or wrong answer. Here is something to consider - the two days are completely different. On Rday, you drop your cadet off (have a 60 second goodbye) and then that's all you will see of your cadet. A highlight of the day is watching the cadets march our onto the plains in their companies, take the oath and then they will march off the field. It's a very moving scene to watch.

On A day you will be able to be with your cadet all day long after the parade in the morning. You'll have to bring your cadet back to WP that night and then the following day you can again be with your cadet. Some cadets will be full of energy and want to go do things, but many are very happy just to get off post and sleep somewhere - anywhere - but in the barracks. They may not want to be surrounded by family peppering them with questions. They may prefer a more quiet time with just the parents. Or they may want to see as many people as possible. Try and get a feel for what your cadet may want.

WE invited the grandparents for Rday only. We arrived early that day and said good bye to our son. The grandparents arrived later in the day and they walked on the grounds, saw the museum and then were there for the parade in the late afternoon.
Thank you very much for that info. Coming from California, I don't want to bring the entire family out twice in 6 weeks so I think R-day will be the best choice since we're saying good-bye and she won't be coming home until the holidays. Grandparents definitely want to make the trip for the first fare-well. Knowing my DD she will not want to be answering a lot of questions. Thanks for the help!
 

MidwestDad

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Feb 15, 2017
Messages
592
Thank goodness we still have family in Northern NJ to bunk with !!
If he chooses USAFA I'm up the creek . . .
 

jebdad

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Aug 19, 2013
Messages
432
We reserved a 2 queen suite at Big Bear State Park for both R and A day. Has anyone stayed here? Tried for the 5 Star in but no availability.

Have stayed there a few times - both at the Overlook lodge and in one of the cabins. For R day it will be nice and close for when you drop your child off.

For A day we stayed in one of the Cabins as we had 9 family members there. Within it were several rooms we had (4 or 5 of rooms) and a common area. It was definitely more like a cabin than a hotel room (read "not 5 star by any means") and a bit awkward sharing the common area with others we did not know who were using the other rooms in the cabin that we did not book.

The tourism season around A day at the lodge and park is extremely busy. It was a mad house with people everywhere. Not a big deal, but if NY tourists everywhere will bother you, you may want to book somewhere else. For me, the key on A day (and PPW) is to be close. Your plebe has to be back every night and when you stay 20-30 minutes away at surrounding hotels, its a total pain to do that drive late at night, drop off your cadet and then have to drive back to the hotel. My advice for plebe year hotels is to stay as close as possible - this is going to most likely have you sacrifice either $$ or quality if you are not lucky enough to have jumped on it early. After plebe year, your cadet can stay with you and you won't mind driving farther to any of the neighboring towns for a hotel.

The overlook lodge is just like the main hotel. You just have to get in your car to drive over to main hotel for breakfast. I have booked it a few times over the past couple years - reasonably priced and close.
 
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