Dear New Parents – First off – welcome. Now, take a few deep, long breaths. You’re only stressing yourself out at this point. I graduated the USMMA on 22 JUNE 09 – and I was a Midshipman Officer in Charge during 2012’s indoc. I know what your kid is going through. Your candidate is going through a difficult time right now – they don’t need you stressing out and breathing down their necks. You will get a call when you get one—if you didn’t get in contact with your candidate, I assure you – the DIs and Midshipman Officers in Charge are going to do everything they can to ensure every candidate reaches someone. Sure, they may keep a stopwatch nearby and ensure it lasts only 5 minutes – but that’s only fair to every candidate. When you DO get that call – don’t freak out on your kid. SUPPORT THEM. They’ll cry, tell you they don’t want to be there anymore, tell you that they can’t do it – but look here. You’re no longer Mr. and Mrs. Parent – you’re their Chief Support Officer now. Your job isn’t to cry with them and freak out with them – it’s to encourage them. You’ve got to be a beacon of strength in an uncertain time of their life. BE THE ANCHOR that they need. Tell little Johnny and little Susie that they made a decision to be at the Academy, and now it’s their job to finish what they started. It’s going to be a long, tough road – saddle up. I’ll never forget my father’s words during my first phone call “Remember that decision you made, son? To go to the academy?” when I answered “Yes..?” He hung up. I guess I should thank him, huh? Here’s some of what your candidate is going through: Basic Military Drill – understanding how to march in formation, how to act in a military manner, how to be a little bit more disciplined. The purpose of drill is essentially discipline – but it also moves people around in an organized fashion. Most of indoc consists of drill. We’re going to drill, drill, and when we’ve eaten and hydrated – guess what? We’re going to drill some more. Dammit. Learning about Honor – they’re getting some education about the academy’s honor code. They’re learning what’s expected out of them as midshipmen – they’re not just civilian college students, they are officers in training. Athletics – they’re playing intramurals against their fellow candidates. Companies will face off against other companies in games like ultimate Frisbee, or relay races. These are designed to get the candidates to bond and build a sense of espirit de corps. Every morning, they’re working out in formation. There’s nothing there that a young man or woman should not be capable of – everything is doable. Basic Seamanship – they’re learning some basic knot tying, how to put out fires, etc. These are the more fun parts of indoc. And they’re also learning about what it takes to get through plebe year – how to wear a uniform, how to shine shoes, etc. Indoc’s not so bad – in fact, your candidate is going to have great memories of indoc. Everyone is capable of completing indoc – so don’t sweat the little stuff. The midshipmen in charge of your candidate? They’re taking damn good care of them. Those DI’s and OICs work VERY hard to ensure candidates are taken care of. They go to bed HOURS after your candidate lays their little head to rest, and are up AT LEAST an hour before them (which is DAMNED ungodly early.) They have been trained extremely well, and watchful eyes are always on them. I hope these words help… if you have any specific questions, just post’m here.