June 29, 2000

"Cadet for a Day"

Over 250 volunteers spent the morning of June 27 helping the cadre prepare for their R-Day duties by undergoing a R-Day run through

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My 16-year old daughter and I went through Mock Cadet Rehearsal on Tuesday at West Point. It is something every parent should go through and even bring the siblings, if they are over 14 years of age. There were old grads, incoming TACS, incoming coaches, moms and dads of new cadets, moms and dads of current cadets, and even enlisted and officer personnel. Quite a variety for the upper-class cadets to try and teach. Boy, if they can put up with us for the morning and teach us how to march, salute, greet an upper-class cadet, then they can teach anyone. It is serious stuff, and the Beast I detail really appreciates us volunteering, so they can practice before the New Cadets arrive every year. They are always looking for a good turn-out and you can pre-register or sign up that day. You go through exactly what your new cadet would do on R-Day....right from saying good-bye at Michie Stadium to getting that hair-cut to reporting to the Cadet in the Red Sash (which I had to do five times) and when I made a face or rolled my eyes, boy was I in trouble. It gives you a wonderful appreciation of everything our cadets accomplish that first day.

My daughter's comment was that at least she knew if would be over in 3 hours but now realizes what her brother went through. I brought a young man with me who is hoping to enter West Point - Class of 2005. I asked him what he thought after the morning. He said, "it makes me want to come to West Point, even more". My daughter on the other hand :-) Ashley bought a copy of "Battle Dress" a book written by Amy Efaw, Class of 1989. Inside the book, she wrote R-Day, June 29, 2000 - To Ashley - Never Say Never!!

Carolyn Donnell