Roller coaster I: Get You (The Parents) Through Plebe Year - Class of ‘27 🎢

This is SO COMMON!

Wonderful follow up. Thanks for the circle back. Many month later, mine shared it was the hardest jetway walk in his entire life, getting back on that plane. Now he is graduating. Happy. Excited. On the cusp of amazing adventure. About to entire Real Life.

Not making emotional decisions is key.
Congratulations on your son’s graduation 🙏🏼
 
One of the highlights of my life was being the invited guest of honor and Guest Speaker at my son's company dining out
when he was a firstie. I was far from the only military or alum parent but somehow, they picked me. FWIW, much of my
speech ended up in something that the Stockdale Center makes available for all mids. *

* Yes, I'm being vague as I'm keeping my privacy.
Can you explain the Dining Out Tradition for Plebes? DS just casualy mentioned it on a call as if I am supposed to know. Which I have know clue.
 
Can you explain the Dining Out Tradition for Plebes? DS just casualy mentioned it on a call as if I am supposed to know. Which I have know clue.
Military Commands or parts of commands such as the Officers will have a formal dining out where they might wear mess dress (tuxedo uniform) or dress uniform and basically have a ceremonial meal together. There are traditions that are typically respected and generally a guest of honor.
At USNA, the dining out itself was "dry' with no alcohol but away from the training environment there can be alcohol involved.
I'll let others pick up and provide more depth here. Don't expect to see this take place very often either - maybe once per year.
Your DS can and should get details on what is expected from his upperclassmen.
 
Can you explain the Dining Out Tradition for Plebes? DS just casualy mentioned it on a call as if I am supposed to know. Which I have know clue.
Hopefully your son sent you a picture. They all look so handsome/beautiful!! One of my all time fav pics of my oldest came from his plebe year dining out.

At USNA, it’s a lot of fun (according to my guys) especially for plebes, as it’s towards the end of the year. Spring is in the air. Everyone about to move up a class-level (plebe-no-more!!) And they all interact as a company (read: plebes feel like real people).
 
My kid's NROTC did a dining out and a dining in. Dining out time depends on the unit. His was in the Fall.

He actually got to go back his Plebe year at the Academy and attend his old unit's event with his (then) GF. He wore his SDBs and she wore an evening gown. It was nice of them to invite him.
 
Hopefully your son sent you a picture. They all look so handsome/beautiful!! One of my all time fav pics of my oldest came from his plebe year dining out.

At USNA, it’s a lot of fun (according to my guys) especially for plebes, as it’s towards the end of the year. Spring is in the air. Everyone about to move up a class-level (plebe-no-more!!) And they all interact as a company (read: plebes feel like real people).
Thank you! I will ask him for a picture! Sounds like a lovely evening for all.
 
Visited my mid late Feb. Back in Jan he was struggling bad, I had never seen him in so much distress. Happy to inform that he is over the hump, and he is excited about his major. He spent spring break with us, and I was worried that he would get homesick again. Thanks God he adjusted well, (very different from right after Christmas break) - for any class of 2028 reading this, Dark Ages is real, homesickness is real even if your plebe breeze through plebe summer - they will probably struggle at some point during a/c year. I can’t believe I have just ordered Herndon Climb shirts and I’m ready to celebrate the end of Plebe year 🎉 yes, I worked hard too, mentally and emotionally my heart survived! 🤣
This sounds EXACTLY like my DS...he really struggled after Christmas break and we had a lot of late night tough conversations, but he is doing SO much better now and excited about his major as well...with none of the same struggles after spring break!!!
 
This sounds EXACTLY like my DS...he really struggled after Christmas break and we had a lot of late night tough conversations, but he is doing SO much better now and excited about his major as well...with none of the same struggles after spring break!!!
also @mspeachintexas ----These all very normal experiences. Plebe year is hard, USNA is hard, adulting is hard. My DD, current freshman at civvie school has struggled just as her brother did when he was Plebe at USNA. Maybe different circumstances or types of struggle but struggle none the less. This is part of growing up. Our jobs as parents is provide guidance (I envision curbs) and insight and instruction. Will our kids struggle? YES. Will they stumble/fail? YES. Can we stop this from happening? NO. We just need to be there to provide a safe landing spot for them to come.

DS will be a Firstie in a month (hard to believe) but I can vividly remember his ups and downs of the last three years that we were privy to witness. One memorable experince occurred after returning to the Yard after Christmas break Plebe year (Jan 2022). They went straight into ROM (went to class, no trainings, no King hall meals, etc) for two weeks to lessen impact of 4000 people returning from all over the world with fresh germs (remember COVID?). He sent home a picture of his fifth straight box meal that contained a sandwich, half rotten apple and a mint. That just about broke him :). But he persevered, found his people and is looking forward to this last summer of trainings, Firstie billets and commissioning in 13 (?) months!

Don't Give Up the Ship
 
Can you explain the Dining Out Tradition for Plebes? DS just casualy mentioned it on a call as if I am supposed to know. Which I have know clue.
@OldRetSWO covered all of the big points. A lot of random traditions that would be better explained at the event itself. Of note, alcohol is now allowed and usually upperclass of age might have a drink or two before the event. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic grogs are available too. The grog is a concoction of a gross mixture of things like mayo, pickle juice, hard liquor, etc. It is used as a punishment for protocol infractions at Dining Out.

Dining Out happens every year and the purpose is two-fold: camaraderie and etiquette training/exposure.

You also might see Dining Ins. The activities are more or less the same, but the guest list is different. For Dining Outs, people outside the command (i.e. significant others, spouses, friends... whoever you bring as your +1) are allowed to attend. Dining Ins are for command personnel only. While both can be a little irreverent, Dining Outs are typically a little more tame compared to Dining Ins.
 
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