Plebe Summer Phone Calls at the United States Naval Academy

Plebe Summer Phone Calls at the United States Naval Academy


Everyone welcome to Academy insider so
I’m coming to you actually from like the passenger seat of my car right now so
basically I do actually work as it turns out I do have a job in the Navy and I’m
actually heading out for 80 ad we call a temporary assign duty and it has me
going up to Connecticut this week and I thought I left early enough to get there
to make it to my hotel room to do this Facebook live but apparently there was a
ton of traffic so poor planning on my part but with that being said I do want
to be here for you guys and answer any questions that I can about any of the
phone calls that happen today or letters that you’ve gotten home so that’s the
main focus of this live session today is just to answer any questions that you
guys have about anything so far through plebe summer I will take the time to
talk about a little bit about the phone calls today in general but I do want
this mainly to be a question and answer session about anything that you may have
heard or seen or received at any point this part in plebe summer so that’s kind
of the plan for today it’s just to go through and and do that so before we do
that again I just wanted to for those of you who
don’t know me my name is grant Amir I’m a Naval Academy graduate from the class
of 2017 and I started Academy insider because I wanted to give back to the
Naval Academy parents meaning in just the loved one community and be a
valuable resource and guy to anyone who wants to learn more about the midshipman
journey and the hopes that it helps them better understand what their loved one
is going through at the Naval Academy so that’s my goal that’s my purpose that’s
why I do what I do and so if you do have any questions and I can help you better
understand something that you don’t understand please ask those questions
before we really get into it I’ll make my same announcements but I always make
the first thing is that I’m not an official representative of the Naval
Academy the US Navy or the Department of Defense anyway all my thoughts and
opinions and advice are my own just coming from my own perspective having
been a midshipman not too long ago, second piece is
that Academy Insider thrives on user engagement right so it really helps when
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Academy Insider community so Jen thanks so much for tuning in from Reno I
love that Colleen from Syracuse New York couple people Alabama Tennessee all over
so thank you guys so much Sarah from Atlanta Georgia thanks for tuning in
appreciate it again Academy Center thrives off this
user engagement so please continue to comment like and share these posts if
you find it helpful the third thing is that Academy insiders meant to be a
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you should never feel any judgment for any questions that you asked we just
want to do our best to help you get the information you need to better
understand what’s going on so always feel comfortable to ask
questions and then the second piece is that there will be like no tolerance for
any kind of negativity or complaining it’s not for me to do so if you want to
complain about something go somewhere else we’re here to share information
we’re here to have a good time we’re here to have fun and we’re gonna help
each other through this journey and so yeah those are the big things again
today I do want to talk just a little bit about phone calls and provide a
little bit of my general advice about phone calls home
and then go ahead and answer any questions that you have and so that’s
the first thing that I want to say is I hope all of you guys phone calls went
well speaking from historical trends and my own personal experience I don’t think
that happens all the time I don’t think everyone gets a great one
but I hope they went very well Sarah asked do they do the same thing
every day really I’m not driving I’m in the
passenger seat I’m not driving I promise I have I have friends doing that I
promise I’m being safe so yeah but in terms of we’ll talk first about do they
do the same thing every day include summer
the short answer is no they don’t they have a very similar schedule right so
every morning they wake up they have kind of a training period in the morning
before bleep summer so you generally wake up or before pet so you wake up at
like 5:30 you don’t have to be out into the pet field until 6:00 so a lot of
times they’ll often make their bed multiple times off to do a bunch of
crazy stuff whatever it is but that happens and then you have your pet
period in the morning then you eat breakfast then there are two big blocks
so there’s a period before lunch and then a period after lunch and that those
two periods are where your days can change tremendously you can have a bunch
of fun activities like you go to the rock-climbing wall you have a swimming
class you could have a sailing class there are a ton of activities that are
pre scheduled and planned for the pleads during those times however not not every
day do you have those things a lot of times if you don’t have some kind of
activity plans in that day or some kind of training opportunity in that day
there’s literally there’s literally gray space in the overall plebe summer
schedule which means you don’t have anything scheduled in grey spaces of
time for Detailers to I was trying to find like nicer to say fix deficiencies
maybe conduct tailored training to potentially things that are not doing
well which is not usually the most fun great space in my opinion is probably
the least fun part of leave summer like that’s when not-so-great things happen
in terms of like fun so that’s kind of the day there then you have your evening
the area of your sports period and then you have evening meal then after evening
meal you have what we call drill which is like so military drill like marching
learning how to do rifle movements and different things like that and that or
it’s some kind of speaker at night so we have like a character and leadership
summit series that comes and speak to include summer so you could have that
and then you go back and you have your personal time and blue
Gold and then end the night so that’s like the general structure but your day
can and very like very as in VAR y greatly depending on the day in what you
have scheduled that’s kind of the overall timeline and then a little bit
difference with Sundays is Sundays you have the ability to sleep in thinking
until 7:00 maybe instead of 5:30 so you sleep in a little bit and then you have
the opportunity to go to a religious service or if you don’t want to go to
religious service you can have just personal time in your room
can’t go anywhere you have to be in your room until noon so basically you have
personal time in the morning that it’s your time if you want to attend a
religious service or anything like that then that’s kind of a thing there but
otherwise yeah you have first time in the morning but then once you go to
lunch there you can call it a new meal once you have a new meal and then after
new meal then it’s back to normal people summer day people think Sunday’s are
like 100% low-key the whole time I remember the first time I thought that
and I went to a new meal and I was like I went to I went to mass in the morning
and then I went to like the the gathering after and ate a bunch of
doughnuts and stuff and then went to new meal and stuff in my face some more
because I thought Sunday’s was low-key and then right after noon maybe oh we
just got absolutely destroyed and that was like double not fun because that a
bunch of you know donuts in my stomach and stuff so you know Sunday’s while
they are nice in the morning it’s if it look it’s still bleep summer you’re
still going through boot camp so always expect it to hold the training value the
whole time so those those afternoons the same do they do the same thing every day
the answer’s no they have a very similar schedule and structure every day but the
things they do can vary greatly throughout the days so I hope that
answers question I know it’s not fun for plebes to ask Detailers because like
it’s scary to ask detailer stuff but if they need more PT gear than they should
ask their squad leader about how they can make that happen so they can talk to
the right people and actual official plebe summer billets to actually go and
make that happen so unfortunately that’s not an answer I
have for you directly however I would encourage if they have an opportunity to
write a letter or in the next phone call home is encourage their plebe literally
just to ask the question if you ask the question you can’t get the help
that you need look Detailers are there to train you yes but if you actually
need something they’re there to help you too
so if you actually do need newts PT here or anything then just have them ask the
question right so that way you can actually get the help that you need
so the need more PT gear they should literally ask their squad leader how
could I get more PT gear I don’t have enough PT gear what is the point of
covering clocks so that’s just to make people focus on the moment right like
you’re supposed to be in the moment it doesn’t matter what time it is it
doesn’t matter how close you’re getting to lunch or like noon meal or evening
meal or whatever it is it doesn’t matter what matters is what you’re doing in
that moment so as a plead it’s not your responsibility to know what time it is
it’s the detail and responsibility to know what time it is and get you just
where you’re supposed to go when you need to be there but and it kind of adds
just that extra sense of a like anxiety and mystery to sleep some herbs like you
never know actually what time it is and how long something could go on so
that’s kind of the piece of the training value there is hey folks on the moment
focus on what’s in your control don’t worry about any external factors right
like that is why we cover clocks that’s why they can’t have watches anything
like that you don’t need to know what time it is all you need to do is do your
job focus on your role focus on your
responsibilities and do what you can to help the people around you get through
what you’re currently going through so that’s kind of part of the reasoning
behind why why we cover clocks bloom Gold’s I wonder if you are talking about the actual blue and gold ceremony I
apologize if I kind of go off on something that’s not necessarily what
you’re asking but the blue and gold ceremony is like kind of a conclusion of
the day event it is a recap of the previous like basically day as well as
preparation for the future day so the entire company which is two whole
platoons will get together and the company commander of the ability to
address the company talk about things that I thought they did well or didn’t
do well and then their focus is and priorities for the following day at blue
and gold that’s also when you will get your mail delivered to you blue and
Goldust they will also do like foot inspections to make sure that if you
have any blisters or athlete’s foot or something that things are getting taken
care of and so bluegolds is kind of a final
recap of the day where everything happens and gets taken care of in order
to make that happen so and then it gets the name because at the conclusion of
blue gold you actually sing the navy blue and gold which is our alma mater at
the academy which is where it gets his name so those are kind of the things
with blue and gold I would love to do a more in-depth detailed discussion of
blue and gold at another time but I hope that answers your question in the
meantime what helped me memorize all the information needed
i I did I did it like at a certain point it is so much information like you’re
not gonna be able to learn all of it now with that being said this is gonna sound
like revolutionary like crazy advice but it’s actually study the things in front
of me I can’t tell you how many times I stood on the bulkhead which is like on
the walls you’re just standing there and when you’re standing there you’re
supposed to have your Reef points which is the book they actually learned all
the information add up right and they’re supposed to hold it out in front of
their face and actually like read it and study it as they’re going through it I
can’t tell you how many hours I stared blankly onto that book and didn’t learn
a single gosh darn thing like I stared in that thing and just like they dreamed
about everything else that was going on in the world and didn’t actually learn
it so my number one goodbye is to learning on the information is actually
just using your time effectively and studying I know it stinks I know it’s
not fun but like that is probably honestly the easiest thing to do because
you’re you’re always doing stuff like there’s not enough time in the day to
learn everything unless you do it while you’re like standing in those moments
but also the short answer is it you’re never gonna learn everything part of it
is learning what to prioritize part of it part of it it’s just accepting when
you mess up and then trying to focus and learn that thing and you know and
getting it done so part of the pressure and the stress of cleep summer is being
overloaded with things and that that’ll never change unfortunately it’s just
part of the process can they sleep on their personal time on Sunday no
absolutely not you get to you only get to sleep when you are authorized to
sleep as a plead so during that personal time in that room you absolutely cannot
sleep you have to be up you can write letters you can fold your clothes
you can I don’t really know you don’t really have anything fun to do but you
can’t really you know do anything that’s why I generally encourage people to go
to some kind of service or some kind of gathering just because it gets you out
of your room and you’re doing something but you do have the opportunity just
kind of like organize your things prepare write letters whatever it is but
you absolutely cannot sleep that is not accepted and if that if they found
someone sleeping it would be a really bad day for them so yes
personal time on Sundays absolutely no sleeping yeah detailer turnover so
that’s the thing and that is all the Detailers so you’re asking what about
squad leaders company commanders those squad leaders and company commanders
those are like specific titles for Detailers so Detailers like covers
everyone at large squad leaders and company commanders are both examples of
Detailers so yes everyone does change that is part of the process we call it
detailer turnover and so you will get a new set of Detailers about halfway
through which exactly correlate with the training blocks of the Naval Academy so
all the upperclassmen Chipman as one of them their block of plebe summer
training concludes and they move on to the next block they’ll turn over to the
next group who their summer training at block 1 2 & 3 so block 2 Detailers were
turned over to the block 3 Detailers and the block 3 Detailers will then do their
three and a half weeks of leave summer every company has their own culture and
every company holds different things important to them and allows different
things to happen there is overarching guidelines to make sure that like there
is a bounds within what everyone needs to stay but ever to do something
different so if some companies allow their please to talk during the
fireworks that’s great if some don’t that’s just how it is
some companies are more strict than others but that’s just the way it works
so at large military organizations at large they set a baseline of rules that
must be met now every organization within that smaller unit has the ability
to be more restrictive so if that’s being said if they want to like some
companies want to not allow their plebs to talk at all during fireworks then
they’re absolutely within their right and authority to do so so that’s just
kind of the process of military structure and organization
is you always have the ability to be more restrictive as you kind of go down
the chain of command into the smaller units all right if you’re plead was
unable to talk during fireworks but you just gotta just gotta live with that one
at this point there’s nothing you can do so our question was is there anything we
can do to help please prepare for the academic year at this point no not
really one of the things that I did want to bring up and I think this fantastic
question so thank you is that the academic year is completely different
from plebe summer and now at this point there’s nothing you can do to help your
plea prepare for the academic year but one thing that encourages a lot of times
in it and it’s it’s part of the detailing process is they try and make
in order to make plebe summer worse and harder they try and make the academic
year sound scarier right like it’s just all part of the game so it’s like it’s
at a certain point where like the academic year is just completely
different from plebe summer so you shouldn’t worry about it you shouldn’t
stress about it academic year provides and has its own
challenges for some people if academics are extremely challenging to some people
the academic year may be worse for me the academic year was such a relief
because one I do pretty well in school like I just lucked out and I’m like good
at school but the hardest part for me was the emotional piece and so when I
got my phone back and I could talk to my family everyday that academic year was
so much better than plebe summer for me so it kind of it kind of depends on
what’s going on but I would I would never want someone to kind of be
stressing out about plebes like during plebe summer about the
academic year because the academic year is just completely different until you
get to experience it I wouldn’t stress out about it because it has its own pros
and cons kind of in the academic year but I would always recommend like hey at
this point there’s nothing you can do to help your plea prepare for the academic
year but just going into it confidently and knowing that they’re meant to be
there it is always a great thing because at the end of the day the academic year
is a little bit different they’ll have their phone they have the ability to
communicate with you and the people that they want to so why
would some plebs not get a call so I don’t I don’t want to speak for like
anyone here please little leaves are guaranteed the ability to give a phone
call if they choose not to give a phone call to specific people ie they might
not give a phone call to their parents that is a decision of the plebe and I’m
not saying if they chose not to call their parents I’m not saying anything
and there may have been some mix-up or mishap so I don’t know because I’m just
speaking off my own experience but every plead should should have the ability to
give a call like regard like no matter what so III would hate to say maybe
those plead just didn’t call their parents but I think that’s probably the
most likely thing there is that they probably just called other people I
don’t know if that’s bad but yeah I hope I hope I’m wrong I hope there was some
mix-up and they’ll be able to compensate or reconcile for that but there’s no no
guarantee I just know from my time as a detailer we took phone calls extremely
seriously and like regardless no matter what we need sure everyone had the
ability to make a phone call so my plead gets s IQ so s IQ stands for
sticking quarters for a day is it held to get it son absolutely not if they are
legitimately sick they need to be s IQ so they can get healthy so they can
participate in the remainder of plebe summer if you are actually sick then you
should have to go to plebe summer sometimes people on shit or getting s IQ
can be looked frown like frowned upon when some time I’m not saying people
like teach their own but sometimes people exaggerate or sometimes won’t use
the word fake sometimes people exaggerate kind of some of the negative
symptoms of what they’re feeling to get out of stuff now that would be frowned
upon but if you were actually sick you absolutely need to go to s IQ and
absolutely not get held against you like it comes down hard from plebe summer
leadership like you will never hold anything against someone for being on
shit medically like for some kind of injury or for sickness because you need
to make sure that everyone is healthy and getting taken care of their health
and their safety our number one priorities at all times and so you will
never have that held against them but just sometimes people trying to play the
system and if that consistency or theme continues to show sometimes it’s hard to
ignore that fact but if it is if it is absolutely legitimate there was a no way
shape or form will that that be held against them yeah you need to make sure
health and safety our priorities number one absolutely my daughter’s platoon got
in trouble for being late how could I do that they don’t know what time it is
mm hashtag bleep summer no but Detailers would never say you need to be here by
like 6:15 like they would never do that they’ll never give you a time but what
Detailers can do is they say you have five minutes to do X Y & Z and if you
don’t get back in five minutes have you done X Y & Z then you’re late
so I think when when you say your daughter’s but you got in trouble for
being late I think that is more of the context of being late is that they were
given amount and amount of time to do something and they didn’t meet that
amount of time so it’s not like hey you guys need to be here at 6:15 and then
you don’t show up at 6:15 and it’s like oh you’re late well so we didn’t know
what time it was no then we’ll give you like a number of minutes they’ll be like
hey you have like seven minutes to change into this uniform and get back
out here and then if they don’t do that in seven minutes that is more of what we
consider being late in plebe summer we learned in a hurry to trust the process
absolutely a lot of this stuff that might not make sense if you don’t
understand it it is all part of the process I’m doing my best to just try
and explain what it is to you so you can like make sense of it but you absolutely
just need to trust process everything that they are doing they’re in plebe
summer is happening for a reason it might not seem to make sense but every
little detail has been thought out and coordinated in order to like I don’t
know the Friday it is just all part of the process all of it is done with a
purpose so you put positive pressure with a purpose on all of the plebes in
order to again break them down from their old habits and build them back up
in in the in a context of being a midshipman so every little personal
attribute every little fundamental leadership block
basse that needs to be built will do so through these things that might seem
ridiculous at the time but again it is just literally laying the foundation for
who we are as military leaders and military members and so a lot of it
might not make sense a lot of it you might want to complain about a lot of it
you just like you have no idea how this plays into a piece but it does and so I
would just encourage Matt thanks for the comment absolutely sweet I have about
five more minutes and that is about it I’m so sorry I do have to cut this off
here soon there are ton of questions and I’ll do my best to continue to answer
them even after this I do have some work to do tonight from an actual job
unfortunately so I might not be able to get back to them as fast as possible but
I will do my best to answer a lot of these I’m seeing more question about at
what point in my experience that I feel like it started to get better for me it
didn’t really start to get better until the end of my or like the start of my
sophomore year honestly I had a very negative outlook about everything that
was happening through the entirety of my freshman year and I held a pretty pretty
poor attitude towards everything that I was going through so it’s not going to
be an immediate process it takes a while to recognize what you’re going through
it takes a while to become appreciative and grateful for everything that you’re
going through so the best you can do as family members and loved ones is to
continue to support them and try and help provide perspective now they’re
probably not going to want to hear it from you right so you need to also
understand that is that a lot of times they don’t want it they don’t want to
hear the perspective because they’re going through the midst of the struggle
so continuing to support them while you know that their realization of the
bigger picture will happen over time is huge and that was one thing that
tremendously helped in supported me is that my dad would just provide me with a
lot of logic and a lot of realization that just matter of fact of like hey
okay it’s probably best that you just stick this out for right now because
it’ll help you do X Y or Z in the future and if you do want to leave it’ll
actually help you leave in the future so that like even for me when it when I
feel like I had another way out because I just wanted to get out because I was
so uncomfortable in the moment just knowing that I had another way out was
really helpful but but but just being supportive is kind of the big
thing that you can do because the understanding and the realization of the
big picture and everything that you’re going through will happen over time it
doesn’t just happen in the moment my please talking about being on a bulkhead
Carol great question yes a bulkhead is the term we use in the military for like
the wall so when we say being on a bulkhead it means you’re literally
standing up against the wall so this is the wall you’re like standing up against
it now your backs to the wall and you’re facing out but when we say like being on
a bulkhead it means they’re standing against the wall which usually refers to
being in Bancroft Hall so you’re standing on a bulkhead and you’re
generally doing that as you’re as you’re like getting accountability or waiting
for something to happen a lot of times when you’re getting raided you’re
getting asked questions you do that on the bulkhead so the majority of plead
summer-like gray space time happens on a bulkhead which means you’re standing
against the bulkhead with your squad all right I am unfortunately out of time so
I’m also giving directions as we’re going here now all right but thank you
guys so much for tuning in I really really appreciate it if you’re watching
on the rebroadcast continue to ask questions and I’ll do my best to get
back and answer those as best as I possibly can otherwise thank you guys so
much for tuning in I really appreciate it it means the world that you guys are
on here watching it and I hope that some of this information helps but again what
I really wanted to do is just try and help and answer some questions as best I
could hopefully to provide you guys with some reassurance and some confidence now
the last thing that I’ll add is it’s very easy to see a lot of people posting
about how positive their phone calls were so if you had a negative phone call
and you don’t feel comfortable posting about it reach out to me personally send
me a message and I’d be glad to provide you with as much information and
assurance and advice as I possibly can and I want to make sure that you know
that’s a resource for you so for all the parents that may be struggling yeah
definitely that may be struggling thank you guys for your strength in this
process and please please please reach out to me so I could put you in contact
either with me directly or my parents who went through this and went through
dealing with me them is miserable plead so if you had a great phone call
that’s awesome I’m so happy thank you got so much if you had a poor phone call
don’t worry we’ve there have been so many people that have been there before
so please reach out and let’s get the support that you need otherwise thank
you guys so much I really appreciate it continue to ask questions and we’ll make
sure to do this again next Sunday night and answer any new questions that you
have otherwise I’ll be continuing to post information throughout the week and
just continue to put out content the last thing that I will drop is that I
did a podcast episode with Sarita condi who’s a friend of mine at the Academy
and she had a completely different experience a very positive experience
during plebe summer so if you haven’t listened to that podcast episode I
highly recommend you do because a lot of my experience and my knowledge and my
advice comes from dealing with the negative side of plebe summer and what’s
great about that episode if she talks a ton about the really positive sides of
plebe summer so make sure to check those things out I think you’ll really enjoy
that episode but other than that I hope you guys all have a fantastic week and I
really look forward to doing this again in the future thanks you

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