The Hobb's Letter


10-Year Member
Founding Member
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.

Good luck.
Simply Awesome and Inspiring....I hope to read in 4 years a similar account from my DD hopefully written with the same passion, spirit and pride exemplifed by this letter.
Wow Jamzmom, you've held onto that for a bit now. I think this is what the third or fourth year for this letter? It definately helps the soon to be plebe candidates have some insight as to what is going to come.
Yea, & I'll let it go when I see a diploma in hand next year. This letter started the journey with us & will finish with us. LOL The letter has been riding around in the hubby's briefcase since it was originally written. Inspiration for both parents & Mids alike. Bits & pieces of the letter began to make much more sense as time passed. INDOC will indeed be the easiest of times for most. The well-being of the Candidates during INDOC is pretty amazing. They'll be well cared for and pulled through it although at the time, the unknown can be a little nerve rattling.

When Hobbs wrote that no one makes it through alone, it is a fact. Asking for help along the way will be a newly acquired skill for some that go in having achieved academic gold star status in high school all on their own. I think the most pertinent inspiration from Hobbs is his description of Sea Year. Its a life altering event to be sure.

When the Plebes-to-be have simply had enough & the thought of quiting creeps to mind (& it will), keep your eye on the prize. Remember your commitment as to what brought you to KP. Take one day at a time. Know that there will be one good day for every ten bad ones. Live for that one good day & for heaven's sake, keep a sense of humor. Your adventures are about to break loose! Good luck to you all!
When Hobbs wrote that no one makes it through alone, it is a fact.

When the Plebes-to-be have simply had enough & the thought of quiting creeps to mind (& it will), keep your eye on the prize. Take one day at a time. Know that there will be one good day for every ten bad ones. Live for that one good day & for heaven's sake, keep a sense of humor. Your adventures are about to break loose! Good luck to you all!

LM: That is excellent advice for anybody reading this forum going to any of these schools- not just KP. Reality is that regardless of how hard things seem in the moment- it's mostly perception and thousands have successfully completed the journey you are embarked upon- because they kept at it, leaned on their compatriots when they needed help and gave it to others in turn. Good luck !:thumb:
I completely agree Bruno. The above relates to so many paths. These kids who have newly committed themselves to becoming officers & are taking those paths of their education through service academies, ROTC & the military colleges are in for some real self empowerment with every challenge they meet. As a bystander of sorts, it has to be one of the most amazing things to me to witness. Many many many are so proud of these young people. My favorites are all posting here of course. :wink: We've gotten to know them & have become their private little cheering section. I've got my rah-rah stick in the ready for when they all get to their prospective places. And they'd better write "home" here to check in with us when they get computer privs! And that goes for the parents as well!
Love the Hobbs Letter...I can't believe it's already been two years for the boy with only two more to go.

(especially since I'm such a young pup myself)
Many welcomes KPDad! :welcome1:

Where does the time fly to anyhow? Good thing we're still in our early 30's or the whole parent roller coaster effect would have probably killed us huh? :biggrin:

The annual tradition of the Hobbs Letter is upon us. Go forth proudly KP Candidates & parents!
I hope to take over your tradition of the Hobbs letter least until my son graduates in 2011 :) :) :)
Hobbs Letter

The letter is a must read.

As I have told my son, "A Service Academy is not a place you want to be but rather a place you want to be from". I wish I could take credit for that quote but I have taken it from another thread.
Very Nice.

When was the original letter written? Where is the graduate now?
Hobbs has gone down in KP infamy & I hope it will stay a traditional posting this time of year. Last I've heard, Hobbs was sailing the oceans blue. He probably has no idea what an icon he has become. Seriously, I will tell ya'll that when he posted his letter to the incoming INDOC class of 05, we had no idea what some of it meant. Four year later, its rock solid understanding. Words from a graduating Mid will make much more sense as you watch yours graduate. Hate to be all mushy about it but damn, its been a wild ride. Watching your kid work so hard to achieve something you find beyond incredible is extremely humbling. I pretty much feel the same about all of the academy young people. These kids do such amazing things. I have one in particular I feel lucky enough to know. He will be a great great leader some day & doesn't know it as of yet. Thank goodness for your kids, my kid, the Hobbs of the world. I sleep ok these days knowing they're there. Mush time over. Carry on. :thumb:
UNtil 2013

I can carry it on until 2013. I beleive the quote about Service Academy being a great place to be from but not be comes from a book called Nightingales Song about USNA. I don't remember the author sorry.
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:bump8ls: Its time to review the annual posting of the Hobbs letter. Good luck KP Candidates!
It's a great letter and it is very much spot on. On our watch here for the Class of 2012 it's 2 down and 2 to go....

Personnally, I think the Hobbs letter should be read by the RC to the incoming PCs the at their first lunch during Indoc.....
jamzmom said:
Last I've heard, Hobbs was sailing the oceans blue
He's flying helicopters for the navy.