Words of Wisdom - for Plebe Summer (Parts I and II)

time2

10-Year Member
^^^ The intent of the 'sticky' area is to product general information as reference material. If you want to ask a specific question about yourself, it is always better to start a new post and put it in the appropriate forum area rather than tack onto to something here.
 

BTCS/USN

Member
Great Advice from Memphis9489. These will follow you throughout your Naval career and applies to the fleet as well. Fair winds and following seas.
 
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We all have our unique experience of how we came to USNA.

I was a 19-year old E-3 halfway through my enlistment when the Senior Chief assigned to USNA Admissions called me at my command in California and asked me if I wanted to go to NAPS.

He flat out told me that I got the call because he had been stationed where I was and he remembered that he saw an application from a sailor from his old command. Had I been out of the compound that day, chances are I might not have ever gotten that call.

My unit was one of the first deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Sheild. Desert Storm kicked off while we were in Plebe Summer.

Hard work matters, but sometimes the stars align as well.

The moral of this short story is to never give up on your quest to attend USNA.
 

BTCS/USN

Member
We all have our unique experience of how we came to USNA.

I was a 19-year old E-3 halfway through my enlistment when the Senior Chief assigned to USNA Admissions called me at my command in California and asked me if I wanted to go to NAPS.

He flat out told me that I got the call because he had been stationed where I was and he remembered that he saw an application from a sailor from his old command. Had I been out of the compound that day, chances are I might not have ever gotten that call.

My unit was one of the first deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Sheild. Desert Storm kicked off while we were in Plebe Summer.

Hard work matters, but sometimes the stars align as well.

The moral of this short story is to never give up on your quest to attend USNA.
See
We all have our unique experience of how we came to USNA.

I was a 19-year old E-3 halfway through my enlistment when the Senior Chief assigned to USNA Admissions called me at my command in California and asked me if I wanted to go to NAPS.

He flat out told me that I got the call because he had been stationed where I was and he remembered that he saw an application from a sailor from his old command. Had I been out of the compound that day, chances are I might not have ever gotten that call.

My unit was one of the first deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Sheild. Desert Storm kicked off while we were in Plebe Summer.

Hard work matters, but sometimes the stars align as well.

The moral of this short story is to never give up on your quest to attend USNA.
See there. Sometimes those non-working Chiefs do actually wind up doing good regardless of the reputation.
 
BTCS,

My father is a retired ABCS; the highlight of my career was ringing the Ship's Bell when he was piped over the side. I was a MIDN 2/c at the time.

One of my CC's @ RTC Great Lakes was a crusty old BT1 (no SW qual, he was a real snipe) who served on the USS Midway. I lived in Snipes Castle while in EM "A" School and I think our CC there was a BTC even though we we all EMs.

I learned at an early age that Chiefs run the Navy!

Grilled Cheese
 

Memphis9489

10-Year Member
The moral of this short story is to never give up on your quest to attend USNA.
That's an interesting story but it seems like the original idea for you attending the Naval Academy was your Senior Chief's and not something you had considered. There's nothing wrong with that because I think a lot of young men and women do not realize that they'd be perfect for the Naval Academy until somebody steers them in that direction. Although I hear this a lot: "My son has wanted to attended the Naval Academy ever since he was 8 yrs old" - it's actually much more common for them to never really consider it until they are in high school - sometimes as late as their junior year. In your case, it seems like the idea came even later.
 
Memphis,

I wasn't academically competitive for appointment in high school; I was nominated but not appointed.

I enlisted with the intention of applying for a Fleet appointment, which I ultimately obtained via NAPS after a few years busting rust and painting.

Don't try to read too deeply into my "interesting" story; my biggest failure was not having a solid Plan B/C/D coming out of high school.

I think you misread my post...the YNCS in question was assigned to USNA Admissions and not in my chain-of-command...I was stationed in California at the time.

Grilled Cheese
 

stryker116c

New Member
:rolleyes:

Stop putting midshipmen on a pedestal and making broad generalizations. You'd be surprised at the range of experiences midshipmen have before coming to the Naval Academy. My roommate had a relatively unremarkable academic career but managed a Waffle House at age 16. Guess what? She's finishing up TBS (where she kicked ***, by the way) and doing just as well as some of the class president types. Another guy in my company flunked out of college before enlisting in the Navy, and yet another graduated from a military-style reform school. The only remarkable thing on my resume (a rather unusual summer internship) had nothing to do with me being top 10% of my class (which I wasn't), class president (which I wasn't), a varsity team captain (which I wasn't), or selfless volunteer (which I wasn't). I was genuinely shocked when I received my appointment.
There's first generation college students, vets of Iraq and Afghanistan, the children of immigrants, people who worked three jobs through high school, and people who overcame a whole host of strange hardships to get here. The Naval Academy is not solely composed of a bunch of preening, entitled, top-10% types who've "never failed at anything."

But what all of these people have in common was that they believed in themselves enough to at least take a chance. Sure, everyone's worried that the Academy or whatever commissioning source will say no, but why should that stop you?

If you don't even have the self-confidence to try doing something worth doing, then maybe it's not for you. No one here can buoy you up or give you that confidence. You have to do that yourself.
Thanks for the encouragement. I dreamed about the Naval Academy and high school, but took a different path instead. Now, I'm doing everything I can to finish my music degree to the highest level I can -- and at the same time chase an appointment. I'm encouraged that I may have a better chance than I thought.
 

FMHS-79

Parent

usma84

Member
Hello Memphis - thanks so much for the great post and insights. I'm a USMA grad, '84, but A)it's been 35 years since I trekked up for R-Day, B)USNA is a different setting and finally C) this is my first go-around as a parent. Our youngest just received an appointment last week to join the Class of 2023 - he's really looking forward to it as it's been his goal since he was about 7 years old. The really neat thing was his response when I told him about this post and recommended hit. He had already read it TWICE! Thanks again for taking the time to put it together and share it.
 

CalvinBall

Member
Thanks so much! Helpful for us Parents and our 2023 Plebe, certain to be read and re-read.

Words of Wisdom - for Plebe Summer (Part II)

Hazing

The type of silly, pointless, demeaning, and sometimes dangerous, hazing you hear about that goes on at civilian universities, contrary to popular opinion, is very rare at the Naval Academy. Technically, it’s not even allowed.

Remember these important three points:

1. They can’t hit you.
2. They can’t stop the clock. They can’t add more hours in the day or more days in the week. Every day you get by is one less day of Plebe Summer. Think of it as an hour glass. Sand is constantly falling to the bottom. They can’t flip the hour glass over and they can’t turn it on its side. When the last grain of sand hits the bottom – Plebe Summer is over! And if you’re still there – then you made it.
3. Remember that the individuals training you are also being trained themselves. They haven’t graduated from the Naval Academy yet. They’re students! Some will be better leaders than others. Some will make mistakes. Don’t expect them to be perfect. Someday you’ll get your chance to be the “perfect” Plebe Summer Detailer. The firsties are being evaluated on how well they train you. They are honing their leadership skills whereas you are learning good followership skills – a stepping stone and an essential ingredient of good leadership.

Health

Stay healthy between now and I-Day. Certain injuries can disqualify you for admission even though you have an appointment. You can’t report to I-Day with your leg in a cast, for instance.

But you also need to work to stay healthy during Plebe Summer.

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it, but you don’t want to be “the guy” who spent his entire Plebe Summer on a “chit” (approval to miss events like PEP, marching, swimming, obstacle courses, etc.)

Hunger

There may be a few dissenting opinions, but the food at the Naval Academy is both plentiful and of good quality. Eat when you get the chance – even if it’s not your favorite meal. You’re going to need it for energy.

Get used to the fact that you cannot make a midnight run to Taco Bell, Burger King, or KFC.

There is no “chow line.” You are served family style, all at once, at tables that seat 12. The food is served to you. If you have bad table manners – it will be noticed and it will be corrected.

If you are prone to late night munchies, you may want some healthy snacks included in a “care package.” PowerBars are sometimes a good option.

One of my sons actually gained weight during Plebe Summer; so much so that his squad leader tried to curtail his eating by making him chew each bite 7-times before swallowing. He liked the food!

FINAL THOUGHTS: No single thing during Plebe Summer is particularly difficult. But the overall experience is relentless. Sometimes that can start wearing you down. You can do it, though! Plebes have been doing it successfully for over 150 years; and so can you.

For the most part, you will be out of communication with your friends. No computers – no Facebook – no email – no text messaging. You’ll get to briefly use your cellphone a few times, during designated times. But, for the most part, letter writing is the primary means of communication. Letter writing is a lost art in today’s society, so don’t expect all your friends to be writing you letters. You won’t have time to be writing many, either.

You will feel uncomfortable, at first – like a fish out of water. You may even think that you’ve made an enormous mistake in deciding to attend the Naval Academy. However, in the very near future, there will come a day when Plebe Summer will be over … you’ll be strolling down Stribling Walk on a beautiful day while on your way to class … the flowers blooming … the grass will be freshly mowed … a squirrel will dart playfully at your feet … birds will be chirping … the fresh air will be blowing off the Chesapeake … tourists will be walking around taking your picture … There will be a banner hanging from a monument saying, “Beat the Terrapins!” … you’ll be surrounded by majestic buildings through which doors many great Americans have passed. You’ll take it all in and think, “This is awesome!” This is your school. You belong here. You won’t be able to imagine how you could have gone to any other school. It’s the best of everything.

Good luck 2014!
 

Academy Insider

New Member
Being a recent graduate, the entire 4-year process is still fresh on my mind. I can assure you that it will be an amazing four years and 100% worth the difficult and challenging times.

Having had the honor and privilege of getting to serve as the Regimental Commander for the second set of the class of 2020’s plebe summer, I would like to share with you all some words of advice that I hope will help you this summer.

PM me for the link, as it's against the rules to post it here.

Thank you!
 

falconchic88

10-Year Member
Being a recent graduate, the entire 4-year process is still fresh on my mind. I can assure you that it will be an amazing four years and 100% worth the difficult and challenging times.

Having had the honor and privilege of getting to serve as the Regimental Commander for the second set of the class of 2020’s plebe summer, I would like to share with you all some words of advice that I hope will help you this summer.

PM me for the link, as it's against the rules to post it here.
And Academy Insider has great PodCasts ;)
 
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