SLE Question

zamlandhattit

Prospective Class of 2023
I'm hoping to go to SLE, so I was going through all the information on the SLE that I can find, and I found a packing list that includes a swimsuit. I couldn't find any information on swimming at SLE, so I didn't figure there was any swimming. However, with that packing list, I'm a bit worried, as I'm not a very confident swimmer.

Do you swim at SLE? If we don't, why would I need a swimsuit?
 

Artillery

Member
I'm hoping to go to SLE, so I was going through all the information on the SLE that I can find, and I found a packing list that includes a swimsuit. I couldn't find any information on swimming at SLE, so I didn't figure there was any swimming. However, with that packing list, I'm a bit worried, as I'm not a very confident swimmer.

Do you swim at SLE? If we don't, why would I need a swimsuit?
I remember swimming at NASS. I don't think there was any swimming at SLE; I don't even remember having had to pack one. Maybe they are saying bring one because the showers are communal, but we didn't really care about that... Don't worry though, they won't make you do anything in the sense that they won't put you in physical danger. If you're really not confident swimming and they have some kind of swimming workshop, just tell your squad leader, they'll help you out.

Where did you find this packing list? If it's not one directly from West Point, obviously take it with a grain of salt. It may be real old, and they recently phased out the swimming. It may be entirely made up. Who knows? SLE is amazing, you'll learn a lot there, just don't worry about it, it's not worth stressing over.
 

zamlandhattit

Prospective Class of 2023
I remember swimming at NASS. I don't think there was any swimming at SLE; I don't even remember having had to pack one. Maybe they are saying bring one because the showers are communal, but we didn't really care about that... Don't worry though, they won't make you do anything in the sense that they won't put you in physical danger. If you're really not confident swimming and they have some kind of swimming workshop, just tell your squad leader, they'll help you out.

Where did you find this packing list? If it's not one directly from West Point, obviously take it with a grain of salt. It may be real old, and they recently phased out the swimming. It may be entirely made up. Who knows? SLE is amazing, you'll learn a lot there, just don't worry about it, it's not worth stressing over.
Alright, thank you for your help! I feel a lot better about it now. I'm not sure about the whole communal shower thing, though. Do you recommend that I bring a swimsuit for the showers? I've never showered in any sort of communal shower before.

I don't remember where exactly I found the packing list, so I don't know if it was the official one from West Point or not. Thanks for all your help!
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
5-Year Member
Not to be harsh, @zamlandhattit, but if feel you might need a swimsuit to be comfortable in the showers, a service academy might not be for you. Also, at USMA, you will need to pass Survival Swimming during your sophomore (Yuk) year:



(Search YouTube for “West Point Survival Swimming” to find the videos for all four “gates.”)

Most get through it, but you will have to pass a basic level of drown-proofing. That said, I’m sure some applicants find the showering situation takes some getting used to and most have anxiety about passing survival swimming. You’ll all be in it together. Good luck.
 

Artillery

Member
I remember swimming at NASS. I don't think there was any swimming at SLE; I don't even remember having had to pack one. Maybe they are saying bring one because the showers are communal, but we didn't really care about that... Don't worry though, they won't make you do anything in the sense that they won't put you in physical danger. If you're really not confident swimming and they have some kind of swimming workshop, just tell your squad leader, they'll help you out.

Where did you find this packing list? If it's not one directly from West Point, obviously take it with a grain of salt. It may be real old, and they recently phased out the swimming. It may be entirely made up. Who knows? SLE is amazing, you'll learn a lot there, just don't worry about it, it's not worth stressing over.
Alright, thank you for your help! I feel a lot better about it now. I'm not sure about the whole communal shower thing, though. Do you recommend that I bring a swimsuit for the showers? I've never showered in any sort of communal shower before.

I don't remember where exactly I found the packing list, so I don't know if it was the official one from West Point or not. Thanks for all your help!
If you really want, bring the suit. I never did communal showers before either, but honestly, it's not as bad as you think. Just go in, do your business, and go out, I promise you, it'll be fine. If you're serious about USMA, you gotta be able to practice getting out of your comfort zone.

As per Velveteen's post up there, survival swimming is a thing, and apparently a lot of cadets find it difficult (as with anything at USMA though, you'll get through it if you push). I'd recommend seeing if you can gain some more confidence in the water over the summer after SLE, it'll help a lot not just for USMA.

Good Luck!
 

Goat 965

Member
Relatively certain that DD said that the female showers at SLE last year, were a big common room, but each shower was a stall, so there was a higher degree of privacy than in what we would normally consider communal showers.
 

GoArmy2022

USMA 2022
Relatively certain that DD said that the female showers at SLE last year, were a big common room, but each shower was a stall, so there was a higher degree of privacy than in what we would normally consider communal showers.
Can verify this is true as this is how they were during my candidate visit.
 

zamlandhattit

Prospective Class of 2023
Not to be harsh, @zamlandhattit, but if feel you might need a swimsuit to be comfortable in the showers, a service academy might not be for you. Also, at USMA, you will need to pass Survival Swimming during your sophomore (Yuk) year:

(Search YouTube for “West Point Survival Swimming” to find the videos for all four “gates.”)

Most get through it, but you will have to pass a basic level of drown-proofing. That said, I’m sure some applicants find the showering situation takes some getting used to and most have anxiety about passing survival swimming. You’ll all be in it together. Good luck.
Thanks for the information. I'm not saying I'm going to need a swimsuit, I'm just a bit nervous about the showering situation, but I'm sure I'll be fine!

If you really want, bring the suit. I never did communal showers before either, but honestly, it's not as bad as you think. Just go in, do your business, and go out, I promise you, it'll be fine. If you're serious about USMA, you gotta be able to practice getting out of your comfort zone.

As per Velveteen's post up there, survival swimming is a thing, and apparently a lot of cadets find it difficult (as with anything at USMA though, you'll get through it if you push). I'd recommend seeing if you can gain some more confidence in the water over the summer after SLE, it'll help a lot not just for USMA.

Good Luck!
Thank you for your help! If I get to go to SLE, I'm just going to get through it. And I'm planning on working on my swimming (in addition to my all-around fitness) in the coming year!

Relatively certain that DD said that the female showers at SLE last year, were a big common room, but each shower was a stall, so there was a higher degree of privacy than in what we would normally consider communal showers.
Can verify this is true as this is how they were during my candidate visit.
I think I would like that much more than the traditional communal showers. Do you know if that's how it is for guys too? Or is that just for females?
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
5-Year Member
Our son confirms the open/communal setup for males in his dorm, but I don’t know if he can speak to every dorm, especially the newer ones.
 

husky2018

Member
I can confirm that during SLE this past year it was the traditional open setup for the guys. However, that was in Sherman barracks so that may not be the case for the other barracks.
 
If you want to go to a device academy, you definitely will need to step out of your physical comfort zone and be prepared for living around the opposite sex/gender ( forgive me if that's not politically correct!) communal showers ( with members of your OWN gender!!).
Funny story from my DD for example: Beast Barracks during summer. Old barracks. No air conditioning. Miserably hit. Fans running up and down the halls. She is walking along the wall and passes one of her female sgt walking the same direction . A male NC, freshly out of the showers, comes walking towards her, robe on..nothing underneath ( which she wasn't aware of at that moment). Fans blow the robe up just at the right ( or wrong) moment as he is right next to the female sgt. Hello Expose! My DD said he screamed like a girl, she did her best to keep a straight face, and the Sgt kept her cool.
 
If you want to go to a device academy, you definitely will need to step out of your physical comfort zone and be prepared for living around the opposite sex/gender ( forgive me if that's not politically correct!) communal showers ( with members of your OWN gender!!).
Funny story from my DD for example: Beast Barracks during summer. Old barracks. No air conditioning. Miserably hit. Fans running up and down the halls. She is walking along the wall and passes one of her female sgt walking the same direction . A male NC, freshly out of the showers, comes walking towards her, robe on..nothing underneath ( which she wasn't aware of at that moment). Fans blow the robe up just at the right ( or wrong) moment as he is right next to the female sgt. Hello Expose! My DD said he screamed like a girl, she did her best to keep a straight face, and the Sgt kept her cool.
Device=service. I hate that I can't go back and fix after the fact!
 

shock-n-awe

Member
We had open showers and toilets where you could pass the toilet paper down the row in my old ARMY barracks when I first joined. But that was then. Times are much better in today's ARMY!
There will be many bigger and more uncomfortable challenges than the showers if you get to WP!
 
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