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cadet blogs

R-Day 2011

(Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2015) Permanent link   All Posts
 Peter Driscoll Obviously, I cannot tell you everything that we did over Swab Summer, because it’s best to discover it for yourself. I spent hours poring over everything I could find before I came to the Academy for R-Day, but it was wasted time. There is no way words on a page can accurately describe the summer experience you choose to undergo. I went to AIM, I came to the Academy for an academic visit, I was stubborn—what could go wrong? I thought I knew everything I needed to know…

Sadly, I did not. R-Day was one of the roughest days of the summer. The moment you step off the bus, everything you do is wrong. You’re welcomed by your cadre and then rushed upstairs to change out of your unauthorized civilian clothes. I vividly remember the cadre pacing the hallway, with all of us lined up along the wall, yelling and screaming at us for simple things like not zipping a bag shut or not labeling everything. After that, you’re rushed all over the campus to get issued supplies…

There is never a moment to relax or relieve the stress during R-Day. The hardest time of that day, for me at least, was the three hours between a miserable lunch and the Oath of Office ceremony on the parade field. That was the only time I wanted to quit all summer, because I was miserable. The barbers shaved my head; I signed away my life to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” By the time I met my family after the Oath of Office, I was crying. I was scared, nervous, weak. It was the hardest decision of my life to leave everything I knew and loved—my comfort zone—to form back up in Hotel Company.

More about Peter.