- Jun 9, 2006
Its that time of year again you KP Candidates. Indoc is just around the corner. Time for you to read the Hobb's letter from the not so distant past.
First, in my biased opinion Kings Point has to be the hardest of the Service Academies.
The regiment is tough and it's demands are sometimes ridiculous. Athletes are hardly pampered compared to other service academies. Academically you're looking at, on average, 18 credit hours per trimester. Each trimester is 13 weeks long. Compare that to EVERY other academy who has the semester system. You spend 9 trimesters in residence at Kings Point taking academics. Other colleges, academies included only have 8. Then wrap a year of academics into 360 days at sea with no instructors.
You'll spend a year at sea, traveling around the world. You'll be in a very micro environment with different standards and different people. You'll go to foreign lands and work with some of the smartest and dumbest people ever. Basically, you'll be in the real world learning your trade which is the safe navigation of a vessel, it's crew, and the hundreds of millions of dollars of cargo across an entire ocean. I've never been an ROTC cruise or academy cruise but I suspect it's not the same. The level of responsibility between a young 22-year-old 3rd Mate, fresh out of school, standing watch, at night, in the fog, on a 95,000 ton tanker is quite different from that of a fresh Ensign who is a Division Officer on a navy frigate. To say your better trained coming from Kings Point in terms of shiphandling, navigation, seamanship, all things related to the water, when compared to your USNA/ROTC Counterparts is an understatement. You will have the opportunity to intern with a F/A-18 squadron, or spend a month on a Nuclear Carrier.
The academics here are difficult, and somewhat narrow. You're not going to find a English or History Major, but on graduation day you'll find 180 new officers who have experience that is under appreciated by them, and incomparable to their ROTC counterparts.
What does this have to do with Plebe Year? You must be ready physically, and mentally. There have been stronger athletes who have cried and failed in the first day. There have been weaker kids who've made it where that guy failed, and graduated without every approaching PT stud status. Knowing your taking on a superior challenge and knowing you'll leave here with some of the best training available will hopefully give you all something to reach down inside for when you've been brought to the edge and your ready to quit. You'll find new meaning to motivation, spirit, discipline, and pride.
Indoc is no where near the end. In fact it's the easiest time you'll have here. Guaranteed. Plebe year will test your endurance, morally, mentally, and physically. Your accountable to someone, if not several people at all times. However your only responsible for yourself. Moving through your senior year you may find yourself looking after 150 different people, their welfare, their training. At the end of the four years you'll look back and wonder how it could pass so quickly and transpire so lengthily at the same time. You'll change physically. You'll be sharpened mentally. You'll be hardened morally. And you may not realize any of this until you step out of the gate when you see the type of person you've been molded into in this 4-year crucible stacked up to your 'nasty civilian' counterpart. No, civilians aren't nasty, but you'll definitely experience something that very few people have.
Kings Point's small size produces one of the best, varied, tight-knit, and powerful alumni anywhere. Kings Point graduates have been to every war. They've been around the world and across the oceans. They've been to space. They've run companies and made millions. Anyone read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad"? They've worked for NATO, the White House, Exxon, you name it. And no one will mean more to you than the guys and girls you came here with and made it through here with. NO ONE makes it through alone.
Most importantly perhaps, Kings Point is not for everyone. Your going to find a broad variety of people here. Army and Air Force have their future 2nd Lieutenants. Navy and Coast Guard have their future Ensigns. Kings Point has 180 young men and women who came here for 180 different reasons and could be employed doing 180 different things.
Why am i telling you all this?
Four years ago i sat where you all sit wondering if i should take the leap. On the 20th of June I'll graduate. A scant 48 days away, after 4 long, sad, strange, wonderful, amazing, painful, short miserable, awesome years. The fine details about plebe year will all come and go before you know it. Enjoy your life now because if you take this journey you'll finish as a different person.