Who has it worse?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by jwest182, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. jwest182

    jwest182 USAFA Cadet C/O 2019

    Feb 15, 2014
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    During plebe summer, is it better to:

    A. Quickly accept authority and be able to follow orders, but perhaps struggle more with the physical aspects.


    B. Be a physical stud, but let the yelling get to you.

    Obviously, it is best to a combo of the two, but, as a hypothetical question, what would you say?
  2. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

    Dec 19, 2013
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    You're going to get yelled at regardless. They WILL find something to yell at you about.
    I'd say be in good shape.
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 13, 2011
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    The detailers will find a way to get to you, don't worry about that part. You will not be perfect Plebe Summer. You will screw up... alot. Its part of the process. Don't let the mistakes compound. Learn from them, help your classmates, and try your best. Keep a sense of humor and realize it won't last forever. Get in good shape, it helps. If you are going to USNA or entering the military, you will know that you have you have accept authority immediately. If you don't, you will learn quickly that the military is not the right place for you.
  4. Joedoe

    Joedoe Member

    Mar 20, 2014
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    Try this one instead: Be in top physical shape, stay humble, accept the yelling as part of the process, know that you will screw up something, and remember you're not alone.
  5. balloonattack911

    balloonattack911 5-Year Member

    Aug 12, 2011
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    While I'd say everyone has their fair share of getting yelled at, certain people get yelled at and focused on far, far more than others. These people are usually those who have trouble staying calm under pressure... mostly those who have trouble memorizing and spitting out what they have memorized while under pressure.

    People who are very poor physically also get a lot of focus from the detailers, however, I would say it less than those who can't stand the mental pressure. Furthermore, those who are very poor at the physical aspect usually end up pretty low on self-esteem, and this in turn hurts them when it comes to the "mental" performance under pressure.

    So short answer, I'd say A is better, if you can handle the mental aspect and don't act like a fool. Also, you'll improve physically pretty quickly, however, from what I've seen those who suck under pressure stay that way.
    jwest182 likes this.
  6. Blondie1

    Blondie1 Member

    Dec 19, 2013
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    Fly under the radar as much as possible. Plebe summer you don't really want to stand out. Keep calm, be a team player, and remember it is only seven weeks--then the real pressure starts with the AC year. My plebe said he had a tough time adapting to the AC year and actually missed plebe summer.
  7. usna.hopeful19

    usna.hopeful19 Member

    Oct 22, 2014
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    Another way of looking at it is if you excel physically and mentally, yes you may be singled out more, but you will also be ranked a lot higher in your company by your detailers and they will have a better light of you compared to someone who never improved.
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 5-Year Member

    Nov 25, 2007
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    I'll throw my two cents in. It's based on my experiences as a bad swab at the Coast Guard Academy, but Swab Summer and Plebe Summer aren't THAT different.

    You will here people say "it's a big game." It's not. It didn't feel like "a game" as a swab and it certainly didn't feel like a game as a cadre. That said, you will be afraid to fail, and when you do fail (and you WILL fail) you will be corrected. Often that correction comes in the form of yelling, sometimes it's physical.

    You cadre know you'll fail. They don't want you to fail, but they have failed too. The key is, once you've failed at something learn from it. And don't keep that knowledge to yourself, teach others about your failure (and how do avoid it).

    We use to say swabs had one of two problems; a skill problem or a will problem. If it was a skill problem, it was up to us to teach them the required skills. You don't drop the kid in the middle of an academy and expect him or her to just know how to do things. You train them. Sometimes it's vocal... sometimes it's painful, but there's nothing wrong with failing at something you've never done and have no idea how to do. You fail and learn.

    The second problem, a will problem, is a much bigger problem. A swab that had a will problem didn't care. The swab thought it really was a game, or that nothing really matter, or just wanted to skate through the summer. These people either resisted training, didn't care to learn from mistakes or gave up easily.

    In my experience, people with will problems either turned it around or left.

    It's true to don't want to be a lightning rod. You don't want to be "noticed." I had the bad luck of being noticed. I did poorly on my indoc one day (I couldn't identify one of the cadre) and that was that. I was the person that would be asked questions. And sometimes, the more focus you get, the more you stumble, the more it snowballs. I went from getting yelled at about my room or shoes or creases or greeting.... to getting ITed (incentive training.... like PT.... only meant to punish), marched out to a van to pick the van that would take me home. It was pretty chilling. I wasn't resistant to the training. Maybe I approached it a little too casually, thinking "it's just something to get through" but when you screw up, it can come back to haunt you, and if you do it enough, it will be a very unpleasant summer.

    Who has it worse? Well, you should show up physically fit. Not everyone does, and if you don't it will just add to your stress. The summer is physical enough that you will be in better shape. We had swabs who stuggled physically, but they got better, it just happened.

    What would anger cadre was a swab who had an attitude. You want to feel the wrath of angry cadre? Act like your better than your classmates. Act like your better than your cadre. Act like your the smoothest, coolest kid in the world, and that this whole swab summer and academy thing is just a formality between you and your commission. I don't care how fit you are, there are plenty of tools to break you, to humble you, and to remind you that you don't have those four admiral stars just yet. I've seen and made enought physically fit kids (with will problems) cry to know that anyone can break and no one is better than anyone else. And part of the knowledge comes from my understanding of how poorly I did as a swab, and remember lessons I had learned.

    But your best bet? Be a physically fit plebe who is willing and able to learn, and willing and able to help a shipmate out. Don't do it for the show, do it because it's the right thing to do.

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