R-Day Class of 2022 is a wrap!

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by JDB, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. JDB

    JDB Member

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    Well, I just returned home from taking my son to R-Day for the Class of 2022. If I'm being honest, it was both incredibly difficult and rewarding to say goodbye (in 60 seconds) and watch my oldest son walk briskly through the doors at the back of Ike Hall. This was the culmination of about two years of research, preparation, and work that he invested in seeking and obtaining an appointment to USMA.

    We met many new cadets and their families over the weekend and on R-day as well. Each New cadet we met was impressive, and his/her parents beamed with pride. We met families from virtually every corner of America. This will truly be a unique experience for all of these exceptional young men and women.

    We met alumni from the class of 1972, the 50 year sponsor class for 2022, and found them to be inspiring, giving, and immensely capable. The two classes will make a formidable team over the next four years.

    There was a parent's briefing late in the afternoon on R-Day that was held by the new Superintendent, LTG Darryl Williams. He was self effacing, charming, and extremely well-spoken. He admitted that he had just arrived and had to get his feet under him, but it was very evident that he is up to the task. Several members of Superintendent Williams' staff also spoke at this briefing. BG Cindy Jebb, Dean of the Academic Board, stood out during her presentation, as well as when she answered questions. She displayed a remarkable command of every subject that she discussed. Finally, CBT Cadet Commander, Cadet Jessica Maddox, briefed us on the highlights of cadet basic training and what our sons and daughters would accomplish over the next six weeks. She walked up and down the aisles using a wireless, hands-free microphone and was absolutely impressive in demeanor and in the substance of her briefing.

    The R-Day parade on The Plain was awe inspiring. Watching those 1200 plus new cadets, who were civilians only hours before, march out in formation and take the oath was inspirational. We began our game of "Where's Waldo" from the stands on that Plain. With the help of binoculars, we finally found our New Cadet. Then watching them disappear behind those massive doors at Washington Hall created lump in my throat and a small pain in my heart.

    That said, being immersed among faculty, mentors, upperclassmen, and piers like those we saw this weekend will be life altering for these young men and women. If they make it through the 47 month journey, I cannot imagine how much this institution will have changed them. Truthfully, I can't wait to see my DS at A-day and witness the transformation achieved in just six weeks.

    I want to thank the fine people on this site for all great information, tough-love admonishments, and encouraging posts that helped to successfully guide my son through the appointment process.

    I can't imagine a better place to prepare him for a life well lived. Now the work really starts.

    Go Army! Beat Navy!
     
  2. Walman888

    Walman888 Member

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    We were there with you.

    Your description is eloquent and spot-on.
    I have great faith in the people caring for my DD. My wife feels the same way. So much more than grateful that my DD chose this path and was one of the select few. We have been humbled by the entire experience. The history, tradition, and the institution itself are the very heart of America.

    We are so, so, proud.

    Duty, Honor, Country.

    Godspeed Class of 2022.
     
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  3. JDB

    JDB Member

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    Hello Walman888:

    There is a truly majestic aura to West Point. The incredible history, imposing architecture, breathtaking vistas, and constant reminders of human heroism make this granite fortress an American Treasure. Equally important, maybe of more importance, is that everyone we met took great pride in being a part of the institution, and they treated us as though we were honored guests. We met several Cadets during our weekend stay, and they were all very impressive young men and women. They all looked you in the eye, spoke clearly and concisely, and had a swagger born not of arrogance but of self-confidence. I struggle to explain the remarkable nature of West Point.

    Now I'll ruin everything I just wrote above and state that it's been just over a week since I had 60 seconds to say goodbye to my oldest son. I've seen a picture of him, on Flickr, engaged in some training. The look on his face was that of utter disdain. His eyes were darkened by what I would imagine is a little sleep deprivation, and it appeared to be another swelteringly hot day in paradise. I would say that at the time the picture was taken, he would adamantly disagree with everything that I wrote above. Hopefully he's learned the mantra: one day at a time, one hour at a time.

    I suppose it's good news that I haven't heard from him, but I sure would like to get that first piece of mail. Just a, "Hey dad, I'm alive," would be a gift right now. Although I'd rather have a short talk and hear how this first week has gone, I'd take any correspondence. CBT Cadet Commander Maddox, in her parent briefing, indicated that the first phone call would be allowed sometime between the 10th and the 14th. That means some new cadets could be calling home as early as today. I would love to hear from any parents who get that call today, I will post a comment if my DS calls today...or tomorrow...or. Also, has anybody received a letter from their new cadet? The FAQ's advised that the new cadets would not receive keys to their PO Box until few days after R-Day, and the boxes are in the basement of Washington Hall, which means that Cadre must allow the NCs to go to their PO Box. Hopefully a letter will appear in my mailbox in the next couple of days. Regardless, I'll be sending another letter to my new cadet today.

    Godspeed to all of our sons and daughters. I'm praying for patience, and I'm sure many of you are as well.

    Go Army! Beat Navy!
     
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  4. Walman888

    Walman888 Member

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    When we hear something we'll let you know. The waiting is a Beast....
     
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  5. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Just an FYI @JDB , there are several FB groups that are geared to the parents of WP cadets. The parents on these groups tend to be a bit 'chattier' than what you may find on SAF.
    And good luck to your cadet. My cadet is Beast 1 cadre and I promise you that cadre is getting less sleep than the new cadets. :)
     
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  6. JDB

    JDB Member

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    Thanks bookreader:

    I got a call from my new cadet late this afternoon. He said he is doing great, loves his squad, his cadre isn't bad at all, and overall he's in a good place. The call was short but good. I am relieved by the call, and now I am ready to see him on A-day.

    I'm pretty confident that my son viewed this call as more for me than it was for him. While I was prepared to talk him off the ledge, I think that he was ready to walk me back from the cliff. I had a list of things to ask him and maybe got through half of them. It was over quickly and his last comment was to reassure us that all was good.

    He said the Cadre was learning too. They sometimes made mistakes, but when they did they admitted it and fixed it. He said most of them were tough but fair. I don't know that you could ask for much more. He also couldn't say enough good things about his squad. I asked if any of them weren't getting letters and needed us to send some encouragement their way. He said everyone was getting good support from home.

    One thing though, he said that he had sent a couple of letters, but so far I haven't received them. Is the mail at the academy a little slow?

    Last thing, he said he didn't need anything, but the laundry is running slow. They have resorted to hand washing their remaining underwear to make sure they something clean to wear. Lol, I think that was suggested in one of the books he read. I might take CBT Commander Maddox's advice and send a few extra socks and underwear to West Point. DS might have to do a few push-ups to get them, but that wouldn't be a bad trade.

    JDB
     
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  7. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    @JDB - that all sounds very positive. In two years, he may end up in a beast cadre leadership detail and he will learn all sorts of leadership lessons. Right now he is learning different lessons.

    Laundry is always slow at some point during beast (and there can be laundry challenges from time to time during the academic year) and learning how to hand wash in the sink is an excellent life skill to develop.

    My cadet also had to hand wash some things in the sink during beast. I was glad that he found a solution to his problem that didn't involve me - to me this showed maturity and I was quite happy. The new cadets do bond over solving problems.

    How new cadets get mail and send mail is a bit different during beast than during the academic year. Things go more slowing during beast because they aren't free to go to the post office very often. His letters will reach you eventually. Glad your cadet sounds well.
     
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