USMA Candidate visit


10-Year Member
My daughter recently visited West Point as a candidate for an appointment. Our visit was very similar to the experience posted by The Commissioner - I will try not to be redundant.

She was scheduled for a Day visit with a plebe to attend a class, get a tour and eat lunch in Washington Hall.
Parents were afforded a group briefing with an admissions officer and a cadet - separately, and a tour.

From my daughter's perspective - she and her Plebe really hit it off. She is 21 yrs old and was admitted from enlisted. Her story is kind of neat:
she took college courses in high school her senior year and was kind of sick of school so she enlisted after graduating - never thought of applying to West Point. She became a medic and graduated #1 in her class. She was then Posted to West Point. When she arrived she thought - wow I could go to school her and applied and was accepted.
Her plebe took her to her Chemistry class - where another plebe fell asleep and had to stand the rest of the class. They went on a tour - visited the barracks and spent time in her plebes room talking.
They went to lunch in Washington Hall - food was good. Her table was pretty relaxed because her plebe is on a club team and they don't "haze".
She learned that one of the best things a Plebe can do is join an Athletic team - either Varsity or Club. You are able to get off Post- her plebe got to go to Phoenix and has only spent about 3 weekends at West Point. You also get out of duties and get to eat meals with your team.
When we met back at admissions she met with an RO who talked to her about her options - mostly the if an appointment doesn't come this year scenario.
The conversation went very well and she has already decided to go to college for a year with her AROTC scholarship and reapply.

Parental Perspective:
Our admissions briefing was very informative - our Officer also encouraged graduating seniors to reapply if they are not appointed. He was a Major and a 1995 grad who talked about his career - he went Armor and participated in the Liberation of Iraq and also earned his MBA from Texas A & M courtesy of the Army. Very interesting speaker.
Our cadet - he is a 3rd year. He was very frank with us - even closing the door at one point to answer a question. However, his love for West Point definitely shone though. He and another cadet gave us an extensive tour - no shopping - but we saw the classrooms - only hold 18 at the most, the library (yep rubbed Abe Lincoln's shiny head), the fitness center (wow), the square where cadets march "hours" and toured Washinton Hall as they were setting up lunch. We stood on the sidewalk for the call to lunch - pretty amazing.
I agree with The Commissioner - it is apparant that fitness is a part of everyday life - many officers were out jogging (we had snow flurries).
If anyone has any questions - ask away.

The Commissioner

10-Year Member
Founding Member
Retired Staff Member
He and another cadet gave us an extensive tour - no shopping - but we saw the classrooms - only hold 18 at the most, the library (yep rubbed Abe Lincoln's shiny head), the fitness center (wow), the square where cadets march "hours" and toured Washinton Hall as they were setting up lunch. We stood on the sidewalk for the call to lunch - pretty amazing.
You received a MUCH better tour than I got. I'm jealous!


10-Year Member
Absolutely! West Point is amazing, impressive and beautiful! Like going to school in a big castle!
A parent asked our cadet tour guide what surpsised him the most and he said - that the other cadets were all "normal" kids. He had this visions that they were all superhumans!
This actually, is one thing my daughter learned on her visit - how "normal" these kids are and the feeling that she would fit in.


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
My daughter did the overnight last Tues./Wed. She was already sure that USMA is where she wants to go, so it was mainly for me to know that she was going in with her eyes wide open.

We had very similar experiences as Just a Mom. Different people, but the same experiences and tours.

D attended six classes: History, English, Chemistry, Math, Military Science and Psychology. She didn't seem particularly concerned about the level of academics; she's currently in the IB program at her school. She got along well with her cadet and cadet's roommate. Staying overnight she was able to see what life will really be like, and again, she didn't seem to be concerned. She did say that there was a search for illegal substances at 5:30 am, but it didn't seem to bother her. She and her cadet escort ate at a regular company table, but she said it was pretty relaxed. Her evening meal was buffet style. She got sushi and another fish that she didn't know what it was.

She loves the architecture. The weather may be a factor since we live in So. FL and she gets cold when it's 60 degrees out. LOL She got to see snow falling for the first time on Thursday before we flew out. She says she'll deal with it. I teased her that maybe she'll WANT to come home for spring break just to thaw out and lay in the sun. Overall, she's now very certain of her decision.

Parent Perspective:
I was very impressed. The tour and orientation were very informative. I met a few other parents, and another mom and I did our own walking tour Tuesday to take pictures, while it was sunny. All the cadets that we talked to were polite and very helpful. We did see many cadets walking to the cemetary where it looked like a funeral was being set up. We wondered if it had anything to do with the 2005 grad that was killed recently overseas that was mentioned in our orientation. It certainly reminded us of the reality of a military career.

All in all, this visit "filled in some of the gaps" for her, as she says. For me, I could tell that this really is a good decision for her and that she will do well. It looked and felt like she belongs there, which after having two older sons go away to college, is a very important aspect.


10-Year Member
Founding Member
It's an amazingly impressive place isn't it Just-A-Mom? Your account sure brings back memories!
It is an impressive place. I'm looking forward to going back for PPW when all the fall colors are out. One thing I got to see on my parent tour was the display of class rings in the library. After I told my son about it, he wanted to see it too. Son is a huge history buff (especially military history) so he loves the fact that history is everywhere you look at West Point.


10-Year Member
Founding Member
I'm so jealous reading about all of these visits. Anyone want to lend me a prospective cadet so I can get the tour again?:wink: