30 June 2008

"R-Day" at West Point. June 2008.

Spent most of my day-off today back at the United States Military Academy to document their "R-Day." Reception Day is when the new class of incoming cadets report for their first official day on the post, receive their basic issue of uniforms, underwear, shoes, boots, duffle bags, BDU's or 'cammies', canteen, get that first shocking haircut, or as one longtime civilian barber put it -"personal air-conditioning unit", introduced to close order drill and formed into companies, and get their barracks assignments.
It brought back a few memories of my initiation at Parris Island, some 26 years ago; although I wasn't undergoing officer training. All I kept saying was "How young a lot of them are..." -cg

Here's a slideshow from the morning:

*(Use the arrows at the bottom of the player or click the image to scroll forward through the slideshow. Enable full screen viewing by clicking the 4-way arrow icon above the credits button at lower right of the player. )


  1. Thank you.

    My wife and I arrived at West Point with our son yesterday and drove away without him.

    Your photo essay is really quite impressive. It brought back all the emotions I felt yesterday seeing my son in his uniform, close cropped hair and military issue glasses.

    They all did look way too young to be going through that adventure. Our country is in good hands.

  2. Nice work, Chet.
    Some things haven't changed all that much since my R-day in 1958!
    USMA '62

  3. I might have seen my son in 29 and 30...could you send me the picture in a file so I could zoom in and see for sure?


  4. You perfectly captured the day and gave us plebe parents an inside view of what our cadets are going through. Thank you!

  5. Thank you for the link.

  6. Hi Chet,

    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures of R-Day. I see my daughter in your slide 33.

    God Bless!


  7. Thanks Chet, I'm a sister of a new cadet and it bothered me greatly that I didn't know what they were doing with my brother. It's like they took him away at Ike Hall and when we next saw him again at the Oath ceremony at trophy point he was somehow different. (No goofing off or joking around. So serious instead.) It's nice to have an inside look at what they were doing to our new cadets. It places my mind at ease that no where in the pictures was there some kind of brain-sucking-out station. :-) Thanks.

  8. Mr. Gordon,

    The new cadet in slide 12 is my daughter, another Gordon. Is there anyway to get a copy of the picture.

    Doug Gordon