Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Making of A West Point Cadet, Day 1

Yesterday was R-Day, Reception Day, for the Class of 2010. Reception Day has such a pleasant, cheery, friendly ring to it, no?

No. Not if you're there, it doesn't.

I have only the vaguest of memories from my own R-Day. It's not that time has faded them--it's that the day was such a whirlwind of activity, where your only thought (if you can spare a moment to have one) is to not get lost in the maelstrom. Look at the faces of this year's new cadets on these two sites--I'm sure they look like we did back on July 1st, 1983.

Three years later it was my class wearing the white and gray uniforms with the red sashes. A picture of me, uh, welcoming a new cadet made it on the back cover of our alumni magazine, and I still have both the picture (probably taken by the public affairs unit) and the alumni magazine. The look of resignation on the kid's face--don't get lost in the maelstrom--is a classic. I love the picture, primarily because I looked so good in that uniform because I was so darn thin!

You want to see it, you say? Fine, you've talked me into it.

OK, so they got me in the act of making a strange mouth movement, but that was only because I was enunciating so clearly so the beanhead could understand me. =)

We were there for weeks before R-Day, training ourselves and making sure everything was in order. We spent a lot of time just preparing for R-Day, including at least one "dress rehearsal" with members of the local community pretending to be our new cadets to help ensure our instructions were clear, our locations clearly marked, etc. In fact, I can still recite, verbatim, the spiel I had to give to new cadets who reported to me for the first time that day (they would come back several times to be directed to new stations and events). It's conceivable that I was reciting that very spiel when the picture above was taken.

Well, enough of that little trek down memory lane. I'm sure the "kids" in the pictures in the links above will make fine additions to the Long Gray Line.

They have no idea of what lies before them....


MikeAT said...

Damned and I thought you was an ugly dork at Ft Carson in your BDUs! :)

Darren said...

"Hello, Kettle? This is Pot. You're black!"

Anonymous said...

Improcessing day is tomorrow! My window is directly above the footprints where the basics are met off the bus.....needless to say I am very excited, I bought chips, dip, and soda. I'm ready for the show.

C3C Bartlett