USMMA General Advice

kpgirl22

Member
Hey guys,
I (kinda) recently received an LOA from USMMA for the Class of 2022! I'm 3Q'd as of today, all I need to do is send in my 7th Semester Grades and I'll receive an appointment (or at least that's what my coach has said). I was wondering if any past or present Midshipmen could give me any advice. I have a few questions/just general topics.
1.) How bad is Indoc really? I read somewhere on here that it's 3 days shorter than last year's so that's nice! But how is the PT, adjusting, etc? What was your experience like?
2.) Academically, how hard is it to get setback or fail a class? Is it easy to make decent/good grades as long as you try? Academics are probably my greatest concern right now. I really have to work pretty hard in math, it doesn't come naturally. If you ask me to proofread your paper though I'm pretty helpful. I plan on going Deck.
3.)Time management as an athlete
4.)Quitting/Dropping out... why?
I really want to be at KP. I really want to graduate from there. I understand that it's going to be tough, especially Plebe year. I want to do/know everything I can to prevent the "why did I come here" mindset that I've heard is so toxic.
 

kpmom2013

10-Year Member
Congratulations. My DD is class of 2021 and I also have a DS who graduated in 2013. My comments on your questions come from consistent reports by both.
1. INDOC is very easy physically. The key is to make sure you stay under the radar and not draw attention to yourself. Remember you are learning to work as a team, even with those people you don't like. Toughest thing reported by both my kids is the sleep deprivation you will experience during INDOC which will actually continue throughout your time at KP.
2. It is very easy to fail a class. Fail one and you will likely have to go to summer school to retake it. Fail two and you will either be setback or disenrolled. Because you are female you would more likely be setback because they try to keep female class numbers up. If you have regimental/disciplinary issues you are more at risk. The academics are tough. If you are not great at math you may be put into a class where you will go to math class an extra day during the week. You will be tested during INDOC for math and English placement. Your best bet is to get help from your teacher or a tutor early. Once you fall behind in math class it is hard to pass. On the plus side, if you are offered admission, you have the ability to pass. Avoid distractions, study every chance you get, seek extra help when you need it, and you will be fine.
3. Time management and sports. Both my kids were heavily involved in sports at KP and had no time management issues. At times, being involved in a sport is what helps you keep your sanity and is well worth your time. The regimental system is relaxed during practice (upperclassmen actually talk to you like you are a human being). Going to away games and getting out of the KP plebe prison is also a big bonus.
4. Complaining about life at USMMA is common. Two pieces of advice. First, try to stay away from the most negative people in your class/section/company. If you are around negativity all the time it is harder to stay positive. Second, remember your goals, and the short term BS will not bother you as much. The most successful people in life are long-term thinkers.
Good luck to you.
 

USMMA2021

USMMA Class of 2021
Hey guys,
I (kinda) recently received an LOA from USMMA for the Class of 2022! I'm 3Q'd as of today, all I need to do is send in my 7th Semester Grades and I'll receive an appointment (or at least that's what my coach has said). I was wondering if any past or present Midshipmen could give me any advice. I have a few questions/just general topics.
1.) How bad is Indoc really? I read somewhere on here that it's 3 days shorter than last year's so that's nice! But how is the PT, adjusting, etc? What was your experience like?
2.) Academically, how hard is it to get setback or fail a class? Is it easy to make decent/good grades as long as you try? Academics are probably my greatest concern right now. I really have to work pretty hard in math, it doesn't come naturally. If you ask me to proofread your paper though I'm pretty helpful. I plan on going Deck.
3.)Time management as an athlete
4.)Quitting/Dropping out... why?
I really want to be at KP. I really want to graduate from there. I understand that it's going to be tough, especially Plebe year. I want to do/know everything I can to prevent the "why did I come here" mindset that I've heard is so toxic.
Current Plebe here.

1: It is three days shorter which most of us in 2021 are quite upset at lol. Here at the Academy we follow the Navy PRT standards and take it once a trimester. In order to pass you need to achieve "good" in each of the three categories, 1.5-mile run, 2-minute pushups, and 2-minute sit-ups. You can find the minimums here http://www.navy-prt.com/. The PT during Indoc was a lot easier than I expected, it was every morning Monday-Friday and some Saturdays, none on Sundays. This was like pushups, sit-ups, running, swimming, etc. Also in the afternoons, you would have group PT with your platoon so that was more fun than the mostly individual PT in the mornings. This, at least in my opinion was team building PT. It was against another Platoon from a different company, was on the track with people running and stations on the football field, running sprints on lower Roosevelt, and relay races on upper Roosevelt. Extra PT can be added based on how bad people mess up. The hardest part of adjusting for me was waking up in the mornings, especially how they woke us up. Time wise you will get a lot of sleep but during Indoc your fight or flight instinct is in overdrive so you don't really get that good deep sleep, so your tired a lot. I really liked Indoc, I had a lot of fun with the stuff I do remember (most people block out large parts of it due to the "trauma" that you receive). You will become really close to your platoon over the course of your about three weeks on Indoc and they will be some of the best friends you have here at KP.

2: The academics are hard don't get me wrong. You can get academically set back for two different reasons. Failing two classes (calc and physics are big ones first-tri) not passing and STCW required one (Ter Nav 1). For the non-STCW classes, the passing grade is a 60% and for those STCW required ones a passing grade is a 70%. Yes, good grades come to those who try, work hard, and go to office hours. My first tri GPA was around a 3 because I got lower grades in calc and physics (passed them both) and higher grades in my other classes. I felt concerned about math too when coming here, I never took calc class in HS. I went to office hours and got help from tutors and was able to succeed. I would seriously consider exempting classes such as calc, English, physics, or chemistry if you can because those are the ones that set people back. And also FYI you can only exempt up to 12 credits of classes so if you do choose to do that, choose wisely. I am a Deckie also so if you have more questions about that I might be able to answer them. Depending on what you want to do here, if you have a high enough GPA you can qualify for the EMT program which I am in, and I really like it. It becomes quite helpful when you go out to sea and might be the highest trained medical professional on the ship.

3: I was a water polo player first-tri and really enjoyed it. With our practice schedule, I was able to balance my school work quite well. But not all sports have the same practice schedule so you could have more or less practice time per week than for example water polo. Also, most teams do team study halls to help make sure the plebes are able to pass their classes.

4: Can't really answer your last question but people have dropped out for family/significant other issues back home, not what they expected, parents forcing them to come here, and a multitude of others.

I hope that these answer your questions if you have any other questions feel free to private message me and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability. Good luck, enjoy your very short summer break from HS, and welcome to the Class of 2022!
 

kpgirl22

Member
@USMMA2021 How does testing out of a class work? I know the school doesn't accept immediate transfer credits. I actually heard you had to test to test out! For example, I feel like I could test out of English regardless of if I have the AP "credit" for it. Do I just tell the school during Indoc "Hey I wanna try and test out of ENG111 (or whatever the class would be)"?
 

MMA19kid

Banned
1: It is three days shorter which most of us in 2021 are quite upset at lol.
This is a joke, you have absolutely no idea what it was like before the administration eliminated the CTO/RTOA position and put stops on most physical punishment. There isn't even tattoo anymore. The first tri of plebe year used to involve getting destroyed at tattoo every night. There aren't even PKT's anymore. There are just knowledge tests. PKTs were never really about knowledge. The training staff would just PT us in ackerman every Sunday evening. That's all gone now. The experience you're having is much, much easier than any class of midshipmen before you.
 

MMA19kid

Banned
Hey guys,
I (kinda) recently received an LOA from USMMA for the Class of 2022! I'm 3Q'd as of today, all I need to do is send in my 7th Semester Grades and I'll receive an appointment (or at least that's what my coach has said). I was wondering if any past or present Midshipmen could give me any advice. I have a few questions/just general topics.
1.) How bad is Indoc really? I read somewhere on here that it's 3 days shorter than last year's so that's nice! But how is the PT, adjusting, etc? What was your experience like?
2.) Academically, how hard is it to get setback or fail a class? Is it easy to make decent/good grades as long as you try? Academics are probably my greatest concern right now. I really have to work pretty hard in math, it doesn't come naturally. If you ask me to proofread your paper though I'm pretty helpful. I plan on going Deck.
3.)Time management as an athlete
4.)Quitting/Dropping out... why?
I really want to be at KP. I really want to graduate from there. I understand that it's going to be tough, especially Plebe year. I want to do/know everything I can to prevent the "why did I come here" mindset that I've heard is so toxic.
1) Indoc at KP is almost all mental stuff. They aren't going to PT you that much, although you will have morning PT which is mostly aerobic and bodyweight stuff. My class will be conducting the indoc. My indoc was rough, and they PT'd me till I puked, hopefully yours will be better.
2) academically, it really depends on how smart you are and how good your prior education is. You should be fine if you pay attention.
3)Time management isn't bad since you're restricted to campus all the time.
4)Quit or drop out because you don't want the career that comes with going to KP.
 

beyond

KπΣ15'
5-Year Member
This is a joke, you have absolutely no idea what it was like before the administration eliminated the CTO/RTOA position and put stops on most physical punishment. There isn't even tattoo anymore. The first tri of plebe year used to involve getting destroyed at tattoo every night. There aren't even PKT's anymore. There are just knowledge tests. PKTs were never really about knowledge. The training staff would just PT us in ackerman every Sunday evening. That's all gone now. The experience you're having is much, much easier than any class of midshipmen before you.
Good god. Every class ever has said this and it’s just garbage. “Back in my day... blah blah blah... ships were made of wood and men were made of steel.”

Stop. Just stop. Nobody cares how much “harder” you had it. Or that you got PT’d or whatever else. Literally. No one.

I thought you were banned from SAF?

@kpgirl22 I’ll chime in on your original post later, I’m going on watch. In a fea sentences or less though: You are the kind of person that will be fine. That fact that you are worried about grades means you’ll do well. I wasn’t a genius when I walked through vickery gate, but if you keep the push up anyone can make the grade. I lived all four years with a little bit of fear of failing out, but that fear kept me running. I have some classmates that god bless them were not born with high IQs, but they were stubborn, worked harder than anyone else, and managed to make it to the blue tube. It’s doable.
 

KPEngineer

Eternal Father ...
10-Year Member
1. It will go by so fast that you won’t have to care how bad it really is. It seemed more annoying than difficult when I went through (back when ships were wood and men were steel), but once I saw it from the other side as a M/N Officer you realize that it is more of a game than anything else.

2. It’s really easy if you don’t put in the effort. That doesn’t mean you have to become a room rat and do nothing but study and stress yourself till your hair falls out. Prioritize your time, do the homework and don’t be afraid to ask for help and you will likely be fine.

3. Being an athlete can be an academic asset if you know how to make use of it. Yes you will have the additional time commitment but you will also have a stress reliever built in to your schedule, easier access to upperclassmen who have already taken that class and bus/van time for additional study or sleep as appropriate just to name a few.

4. Everyone has their reasons they leave and everyone has their reasons why they’ll never leave. I saw a kid quit literally within the first hour. We didn’t do the zero deck thing, we marched straight from the gym after signing in to the barracks. This kid quit before ever unpacking his bag. Why could he not even last a day … who knows? Some didn’t like the regiment and preferred to pay for the “normal” college experience. I had classmates who went out for sea year and decided they didn’t like the career path. Some quit before getting kicked out for a mixture of academic/behavioral issues (some funny stories on that one but NSF SAF). The first step to avoiding the “why did I come here” is knowing why you chose KP. Steps 2-5 are: One step (class) at a time, keep your eye on the prize (the blue tube), Don’t psyche yourself out, Graduate and come back to SAF and wax nostalgic about “back in my day”.
 

beyond

KπΣ15'
5-Year Member
Hey guys,
I (kinda) recently received an LOA from USMMA for the Class of 2022! I'm 3Q'd as of today, all I need to do is send in my 7th Semester Grades and I'll receive an appointment (or at least that's what my coach has said). I was wondering if any past or present Midshipmen could give me any advice. I have a few questions/just general topics.
1.) How bad is Indoc really? I read somewhere on here that it's 3 days shorter than last year's so that's nice! But how is the PT, adjusting, etc? What was your experience like?
Indoc just kind of sucks. It isn’t crazy hard. I showed up to KP in great shape so the PT wasn’t terrible (waking up early to do it was, revile still makes me ill), the regiment stuff wasn’t terrible, it just gona kind of suck, embrace it. The hardest part of me was that it never ended, there was no escape, no time to yourself, it was non stop, with every breath scripted. I lifegaurded on the beach in High School, and the training to do Ocean Resue where I grew up was far more demanding and dangerous than anything at KP, but I though indoc was worse only because you couldn’t turn it off. You’ll get through it, just know that you aren’t supposed to enjoy it.

2.) Academically, how hard is it to get setback or fail a class? Is it easy to make decent/good grades as long as you try? Academics are probably my greatest concern right now. I really have to work pretty hard in math, it doesn't come naturally. If you ask me to proofread your paper though I'm pretty helpful. I plan on going Deck.
Not hard to fail. But the road to success is pretty clear. It’s about working hard and putting the time in. I have some classmates that I don’t think are smart at all, but holy cow were they hard workers. The fact that you’re worried this early in the game means you’re gona stay worried and not get in to trouble. I heard all these horror stories about calc and physics study hard and you’ll get it done no problem.

You mention going deck. Sometimes people do this because they think it’s easier. I’ll say this: the easiest major is the one you want. Interest and passsion are what made me so successful at KP. I really wanted to be a deckie. I ate it up. Couldn’t get enough. Was down at the waterfront running boats every chance I had, and it made the academic course work interesting. Don’t pick something because it’s “easy,” everything at KP is hard, the interest in it will pull you through.

3.)Time management as an athlete
I’ll echo what others have said. Having an upperclassman support network can be huge! I don’t think being on a team makes the time management that much more difficult, being a plebe having a group that can get you out of the barracks for a few hours is important, and having a group of friends to help take care of you makes a big difference.



4.)Quitting/Dropping out... why?
I really want to be at KP. I really want to graduate from there. I understand that it's going to be tough, especially Plebe year. I want to do/know everything I can to prevent the "why did I come here" mindset that I've heard is so toxic.
That attitude “I really want to be graduate.” Is what will get you to the blue tube. You’re gona be set.

As for the mindset. KP’rs and seafarers love to be miserable. So I think it’s a kind of inflated thing. Even at the lowest point of KP I never really thought it wasn’t the place for me. People love to complain. Most of the time they don’t mean it.
 

KPEngineer

Eternal Father ...
10-Year Member
Indoc just kind of sucks. It isn’t crazy hard. I showed up to KP in great shape so the PT wasn’t terrible (waking up early to do it was, revile still makes me ill), the regiment stuff wasn’t terrible, it just gona kind of suck, embrace it. The hardest part of me was that it never ended, there was no escape, no time to yourself, it was non stop, with every breath scripted.
Embrace the suck, KPers love misery and misery loves company ... its what binds KPers together. A *****ing sailor is a happy sailor. Kind of like what beyond said ... we complain because its fashionable, not because it really sucks that bad.

You may get less sleep at KP than you did in High School but its more than you will get in the real world. I wish I got as much sleep now as I did in school

You mention going deck. Sometimes people do this because they think it’s easier. I’ll say this: the easiest major is the one you want.
I agree infinity %. I had a friend who was about to fail out as a deckie and wanted to switch to engine. They were obviously resistant but in the end won them over and she ended up graduating with pretty decent grades (better than me for sure).
 

MMA19kid

Banned
I thought you were banned from SAF?
Obviously I'm not banned since I made a post and continue to make posts.

I really wanted to be a deckie. I ate it up. Couldn’t get enough. Was down at the waterfront running boats every chance I had, and it made the academic course work interesting.
You must be one of the few, I honestly don't know anyone in deck that really loves deck.
 

NAVYCAPT93

Member
Obviously I'm not banned since I made a post and continue to make posts.



You must be one of the few, I honestly don't know anyone in deck that really loves deck.
Deck graduate - 3 years Sea time after grad (less than today’s because the jobs dried up) with another 21 years of working in Transportation and Logistics for big Fortune 500 companies, making great money, earning 2 masters degrees and having time with family, and 24 good years in Navy Reserve. Loved being a Deckie. Never questioned it. My biggest question was to go into Maritime Law or Business Logistics after sailing.

Your degree doesn’t define you. What you choose to do with it is up to you. Pick something you are passionate about.
 

kpgirl22

Member
This question goes out to everyone-- is it better to prepare yourself for the "mind games" before Indoc, or better to just let it all happen? Mentally, I get that there's no real way to prepare, unless you take everything with a grain of salt and laugh everything off... which I don't think the upperclassmen would appreciate.
 
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NAVYCAPT93

Member
@kpgirl22 - I suggest you enjoy your time between now and the start of Indoc. Thousands of men and women have made it through this process - and anxiety is expected. Have faith in yourself, and follow instructions - you will be fine!

But let me also add that, while many people call them "mind-games" or think of them as nonsense, the process serves a distinctive purpose. Learning to manage stress, learning to think clearly and not lose-your-cool in the face of adversity - these are things that are hard to simulate in the 'real world' without putting people in danger. How do you train someone to be able to react on the bridge of a ship, proceeding through the Straits of Wherever, with a dozen vessels around you with closest points of approach (CPA) closer than you want... small boats buzzing around you...and maintain your awareness of everything, calmly calling out engine and rudder orders? You don't get there overnight! You start by teaching them how to do simple things - that while they may seem nonsensical, such as learning to memorize the latitude, longitude and dimensions of the KP Flag Pole and recite them back with someone screaming in your face - are actually developing skills in you that will pay dividends later.

I used to joke that Plebe Year was actually simply preparation for being the parent of a new-born: there is never enough sleep, enough time to eat, and someone is screaming in your face all the time!

Between now and then: eat right, work-out, and finish your senior year strong! But most importantly - enjoy the time with your friends and family - since you won't have nearly as much time with them as you would like after June 29th.
 

KPEngineer

Eternal Father ...
10-Year Member
This question goes out to everyone-- is it better to prepare yourself for the "mind games" before Indoc, or better to just let it all happen? Mentally, I get that there's no real way to prepare, unless you take everything with a grain of salt and laugh everything off... which I don't think the upperclassmen would appreciate.
I would not spend any time "preparing". Relax and enjoy what little summer you will have, show up with a good attitude, be prepared roll with the punches, keep your mouth closed and ears open. It would take a pretty significant behavioural issue for indoc to have any real negative impact on your KP career. Get through it and get ready for classes to start.

I recommend the low profile approach for all of plebe year. It may seem cool to have a M/N Officer or some member of the Commandants staff know your name but then you realize "Oh crap, they know my name!" Plebe year academics are hard enough, any regimental/extracurricular encroachment on your studies should be kept to a minimum since they will not save you should you grades fall too low. Some is good for that stress outlet, but all things in moderation.
 

cmakin

5-Year Member
This question goes out to everyone-- is it better to prepare yourself for the "mind games" before Indoc, or better to just let it all happen? Mentally, I get that there's no real way to prepare, unless you take everything with a grain of salt and laugh everything off... which I don't think the upperclassmen would appreciate.
I would not spend any time "preparing". Relax and enjoy what little summer you will have, show up with a good attitude, be prepared roll with the punches, keep your mouth closed and ears open. It would take a pretty significant behavioural issue for indoc to have any real negative impact on your KP career. Get through it and get ready for classes to start.

I recommend the low profile approach for all of plebe year. It may seem cool to have a M/N Officer or some member of the Commandants staff know your name but then you realize "Oh crap, they know my name!" Plebe year academics are hard enough, any regimental/extracurricular encroachment on your studies should be kept to a minimum since they will not save you should you grades fall too low. Some is good for that stress outlet, but all things in moderation.
Yeah. . . Indoc was challenging, but not the worst thing that ever happened to me. . . I did have a bit of trouble getting my head around regimental issues. . . spent my first few weeks of Plebe Year on restriction, even missed my first Plebe Liberty (and first Plebe Hangover - drinking age was 18 back then). Once I figured it out, I was never restricted again. . . considering how much I was Over the Wall, especially 1st Class Year. . . .
 

MMA19kid

Banned
I’ll say this: the easiest major is the one you want. Interest and passsion are what made me so successful at KP. I really wanted to be a deckie. I ate it up. Couldn’t get enough. Was down at the waterfront running boats every chance I had
I hate to break it to you, but I don't think playing with small boats after school at the waterfront has anything to do with the courses in the deck major. Many of the deck majors who squeeze C-'s out of easy deck classes are on the waterfront. Definitely very little to no effect on anything.
 

MMA19kid

Banned
This question goes out to everyone-- is it better to prepare yourself for the "mind games" before Indoc, or better to just let it all happen? Mentally, I get that there's no real way to prepare, unless you take everything with a grain of salt and laugh everything off... which I don't think the upperclassmen would appreciate.
I was a part of the indoc cadre for 2021(not voluntarily)...and I'd just remember that we are getting less sleep than you. It's something that is forced on us as much as it's forced on you. Biggest piece of advice is, don't be a hero and don't be a zero. Because if you are either people will take notice and play more mind games with you. I would also say help your peers. If someone is having a hard time doing something, give them a hand. Everyone likes someone that is willing to help others.
 
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