Sending Letters Home


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Oct 16, 2007
When can plebes send letters home? What are the restrictions during plebe summer and the academic year?
During Plebe Summer, you will have to send at minimum one letter home (typically by I-Day +1). In that letter, the detailers will probably instruct you to say something along the lines that you are alright. I remember mine being like one sentance. After that, its all on your own. There are no limits or requirements. Mail to be sent is collected everything night and mail delivery is about every other day. Your only problem will probably be finding time to write those letters. You are so busy all day for most of the week that I only had time to write letters home on Sundays when they gave us a few hours of personal time.

During the school year, you are given you own P.O. box for mail, so one can just go to the post office at much or little as they want when they have time. No restrictions at all.
So, is the only personal time on Sundays? And also, what are the calling limitations?
Every night you'll have personal time (say 30-45 minutes), but that time goes by fast as you are showering, finishing up writing assignments, preping uniforms, shining shoes, cleaning your room, etc. On Sunday mornings, you actually get about 4 or so hours of free time (for church, and whatever else you need to do - but no sleeping!).

You will make 2-3 phone calls total over the summer. They are regulated by the detailers. They will give you back your cell phone for 10 min for you to make a call and then take is back after you're done. That's it.
I guess that kind of stinks to only get to make 2 calls home during the (what is it 7-week?) summer. Especially if your parents are divorced. Maybe I could get them to agree to not bite eachothers heads off for 10 minutes and I could 3-way call. Just trying to think how I could make that work. I assume that the limited calling is to kind of make you less dependent on your parents? Or is it really that there isn't enough time?
Welcome to the military. At least we allow you to call home. That's 2-3 more phone calls than what you get in regular boot camp.

If you don't think that you can handle that time without calling home, what are you going to do when you're on a six month deployment on a ship or sub or on a tour in Iraq? E-mail is pretty good nowadays, but phone calls are limited.
I think everyone gets used to it after a while. But the fast separation can be shocking to many (and deservingly so).

Of course, when I was at NASS, I didn't really notice the lack of contact after the first night. Too much to do, and I assume that when time demands are multiplied by 5, the phone calls can even become a chore.
Mine wrote 6 letters home. The ones written Sunday morning were a bit longer than those he wrote at other times. He also wrote one after he gave up on one of the validation tests.

The first was written on a Sunday morning and it was rather informative - the rest were send me this or that, tell grandmother she needs to write better no time to decipher her hand writing, and don't send anymore of this or that!
During this past plebe summer, several families on the USNA Parents' ListServ talked about the challenges of plebes phoning divorced parents, because there really isn't time for calls to two destinations. If you try a 3-way call, be sure both parents practice beforehand -- it's not always straightforward for everyone. Also, "scheduled calls" don't always happen on schedule -- or at all -- so it can be frustrating to have a group sitting around a phone waiting for it to ring (especially if group members don't get along).

Sounds cheesy, but I sent my plebe some stamped, pre-addressed "multiple choice" self-mailers. He inserted a few jokes among his check marks -- it was great to know he could still ridicule himself, and his mother.

By the way, I think it's wonderful that pre-plebes are thinking about this, especially if parents don't get along. Maybe you can think of some clever version of drawing straws re: the first call, w/ the agreement that both will promptly email each other re: content of your conversation.
As a detailer, we loved it when Plebes actually cut their phonecalls short with their parents to call their boyfriend/girlfriend. Hilarious.

My parents were not too thrilled when my brother did that too!