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Always in a hurry

Yearling Year

The "yearling" year begins a mere 3 weeks after the plebe year ends. CFT - Cadet Field Training is the training that cadets receive during their second summer in the corps of cadets. More military skills are taught as they learn what is involved in the different branches of the military.

When the academic year ended the Plebe class became Yearlings. Their actual promotion to Cadet Corporals will be when they complete all summer training requirements.

Camp Buckner

Reporting: Your cadet will be told exactly when they are to report to Camp Buckner. They will know the date as well as the time to report for formation. As they will be reporting during a heavy travel time plan well so your cadet has plenty of travel time to get back. If they are prone to jet-lag then reporting the day before or early in the day may be helpful. If they are flying into an airport that will require them to take a bus back to post you will need to check the bus schedule prior to making the travel arrangements. This schedule will be released in plenty of time to purchase the tickets at a discounted rate.

Life at Buckner: Metal-skinned bays, and a mess hall is about all Buckner has to offer in the way of accommodations. Cadet mail will be delivered to the camp post office and there are a few telephones in the recreation building. There is also a Cadet store, a barber shop and a place to purchase the ever popular Boodle. The camp has only limited facilities so getting laundry back will take longer than it does on post.

Packing for Buckner: As the cadet's time is spent on military training our in the field, planning well for what they will need in hot weather conditions is vital. West Point will give the cadet a packing list to help them prepare for the summer spent at Buckner.

At a minimum they should take the following items:

Bug spray
550 cord
Camo face paint
Boots - 2 pairs - they will be instructed which kind to bring - combat or jungle boots
Fan - small personal fan
Victronix Swiss tool, Gerber or other multi-use tool with carrying case
ACU's - Summer - at least 4 sets
Black or Green tape
Patrol cap - one lightweight one
Blank adapter for rifle (one was issued in Beast Barracks)
Helmet "donut"
Ear Plugs
Map protractor
West Point vicinity Military map (issued in Military Science class)
Weapon cleaning kit
Red lens flashlight
Bathing suit (military issue)
Poncho liner
Boot polish
Cigarette lighter - disposable such as "Bic"

Items that they may want to consider bringing:

Postcards with stamps
Camera - disposable is best because of the hard usage
Bug spray - with DEET
Playing cards
Gold Bond Foot Powder
Pencils & paper (note pads or notebook variety)
Plastic Bags (preferably zip-loc gallon size)these will hold maps as well as keep them

Additionally female cadets should bring the following:

Baby wipes - travel size packs
Extra bras
Individually wrapped sanitary products
Inexpensive underpants that may be thrown away

Mail: Mail is delivered daily to Camp Buckner to the camp post office. Continue to address the mail to your cadet exactly as you did during the school year. Packages sent via USPS will be delivers to the post office.


Military Training and Organization: Newly promoted Firsties fill the officer positions at Camp Buckner. New promoted Cows become Cadet non-commissioned officers. Training in actual military expertise that focuses on small-unit infantry tactics is potentially taught by Army personnel from Army units such as the 82nd Airborne Division, the 10th Mountain Division and the 101st Airborne Division.

The yearling summer training will focus specifically on Advanced Rifle Marksmanship, Bayonet Training and Assault Course, Common Core Task Training, Confidence Obstacle Course, Combat Skills, Field Preparation, Land Navigation, Mounted Maneuver Training at Fort Knox, KY), Recondo Day, Operation Highland Warrior, Fire Support and Small Unit Weapons.

Operation Highland Warrior is particularly rigorous. It is also known as Infantry Week and is a culminating exercise where an "opposing force" of two companies made up of the regular Army training unit soldiers, Cows and Firsties act as the "enemy." This "force" attacks the Yearlings, which are known as the Highland Warrior Force. The exercise involves field work so they sleep on the ground and eat MRE's as they strive to show that the previous five weeks of training during CFT have been successful. It is an exhausting and strenuous time but one that gives the Yearlings a sample of what may be involved in having a career in the Army.

Time Off: The fourth of July weekend is the only weekend when the entire Yearling class may possibly get leave from CFT. In recent years, the leadership has chosen to have an "activities day" at Camp Buckner rather than extend a leave to the class. During this activity time, the Yearlings may have visitors but are not given leave.

Camp Illumination Hop: Towards the end of CFT there will be a "hop" at Barth Hall on Camp Illumination. Cadets have traditionally worn India White Uniforms for this event and dates usually wear formal wear. A summer party is definitely the theme for the evening. This is not an event for parents.

Awards and Promotion Ceremony: On the last day of CFT at Camp Buckner there will be an awards and promotion ceremony on the camp parade grounds. It is open to the public and usually lasts around 45 minutes. Cadets are given recognition for excellence that they have exhibited in various events that have taken place during CFT. At this point the entire class is promoted militarily to the rank of Cadet Corporal and each is also given a uniform insignia of Yellow West Point Brass of the new rank .

Academy Photo: They will be on hand during CFT just as they were during CBT to take pictures of all of the training and activities occurring over the course of the summer. Your Cadet will be able to go through the pictures that are taken and get copies of any that they want. However, as we all know, Cadets are very bus so Academy Photo will not allow parents to look over the CFT photos and find the ones that they wish to have copies of.

Return to West Point: The day following the Awards and Promotion Ceremony the Yearlings finish packing up their gear and put it on trucks to be taken back to West Point. They then run back to Post lead by the platoon that had the highest cumulative Recondo score. As with the Plebes return to post after Beast Barracks, many families and West Point families stand along the way to cheer them on and welcome them back to post. Both the mood and the experience after this return are very different than after CBT. The Cadets aren't dreading their Plebe year and they got to run back in shorts and tee-shirts without carrying heavy packs.

Academic Year

Reorganization Week: After returning to post the Yearling is in the same company that he/she belonged to as a Plebe, unless they have been reassigned by the USMA Leader Team. Some classes do "scramble" after two years at West Point , some do so after the first year, and some never "scramble." You Cadet's room, roommate and telephone number all change with Reorganization just as they do at after Christmas Break. During the week Cadets retrieve their personal and military gear from where it has been stored during the summer, they set up and organize their rooms and purchase books for the upcoming academic year.

Becoming a Team Leader: The Yearling year is when Cadets start their career in Army leadership as a Team Leader. They are responsible for the military development of one of the Plebes. Yearlings are to be available to help their Plebe adjust to military life as well as to give them instruction in various military matters and to help them with any aspect of life at West Point which may be causing the Plebe concern. This experience in Team leadership is an excellent, if limited, opportunity for the Yearling and the Plebe to more effectively understand what it means to become an effective leaders. After the Christmas Break [Winter Leave] the Yearlings are assigned a different Plebe to assist.

Academic Schedule and Major Selection: The West Point core program requires that each Cadet complete 31 academic courses; four intensive, semester-long military science sessions; and eight courses in physical education. During the Yearling year this will involve taking a foreign language, American Politics, Physics, Economics, Philosophy and Math. During the Yearling year each Cadet will choose a Field of Study (FOS). For this twenty-seven total credit hours in a particular discipline or a more intensive major which requires thirty to thirty-eight total credit hours are required.Each Cadet mush also choose an Engineering Track that they wish to follow as well as decide on their specialty at West Point. If a Cadet has an interest in a particular area it is their responsibility to contact that department.

Yearlings are assigned a Company Academic Counselor (CAC). This is a faculty member who provides assistance to them in selecting an area of interest. The different departments will host presentations on their particular fields of study and the majors that are available in their department. Department Academic Counselors (DAC) will be available to assist the Cadets. By a certain date they must inform the department of their decision. When the decision has been made for their particular FOS or major the company academic counselor will reassign the Cadet to the Department Academic Counselor who will monitor grades, sequence of courses and academic progress for the remainder of their time at West Point.

Yearling Winter Weekend: This is a special time for Yearlings and their guests that is held almost immediately after the end of Winter Reorgy Week. There is a Saturday evening banquet and hop.

"Yuk" Year: It has been suggested that the term Yuk comes from the feelings of discontent that many Yearlings experience. They are really in an "in-between" time. They still do not have a great deal of clout in the area of leadership, they have many demands on their time from their academics as well as from their responsibilities of being Team Leader and they must choose if they really want to continue at West Point or if they will leave while they will incur no obligation. This is a time when Cadets still need someone to listen to them as they work through the process and make choices that will effect their lives for years to come.

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