At ease, new cadets
Story and photo by Kathy Eastwood
WEST POINT, N.Y. (July 24, 2014) — One of the favorite traditions of West Point, at least from a new cadet point of view, is the New Cadet Visitation Day or Ice Cream Social where community members invite new cadets to their homes or to picnic areas for food, fun, relaxation and the all important call home Sunday afternoon.
The Class of 2018 is half way through Cadet Basic Training and looks forward to a brief respite from marching, running and learning the traditions of West Point and the constant reading of the New Cadet Handbook.
The purpose of the New Cadet Visitation Day is two-fold. It not only allows the new cadets to relax, it also allows the regimental staff and cadre to formally relinquish command to a new group of cadre transitioning from CBI to CBII.
CBI teaches new cadets the history of West Point and the traditions, which they received from the New Cadet Handbook or Knowledge Book, which they need to memorize and recite verbatim.
CBII is more demanding and the new cadets will be led through progressively demanding military training that will continue until Acceptance Day when they officially become plebes.
Master Sgt. Eric Amaro-Lugo, assistant inspector general, invited two new cadets for a picnic with his family and friends near South Dock.
Amaro-Lugo is new to West Point having arrived here in December from his last duty station in Okinawa.
“I saw on Facebook they needed people to host new cadets,” Amaro-Lugo said. “It’s great to be able to offer them food, relaxation and to call home.”
Amaro-Lugo hosted new cadet Wilson and new cadet Nieves who were surrounded by the host’s friends and family and enough food to feed an Army.
Nieves is from Puerto Rico and is settling into the CBT regiment.
“There are some (cadre) that will make you do pushups and others are more understanding,” Nieves said. “I really like it though, I like the idea of the honor code.”
Marianela Millan-Burgos offers new cadets goodies from the vast array of options as she hosts two new cadets at an Ice Cream Social July 20 at a picnic area near South Dock.
Nieves said she was thinking about going to the Air Force Academy because she is interested going into aviation.
“I decided on West Point after I visited the Air Force Academy,” Nieves said. “It seemed to me that the Air Force people were all about getting better grades and higher ranks. Here, it’s all about camaraderie.”
Wilson, who hails from Chicago, said he was planning on making Army his career.
“I know we have to be in the Army for five years, but I plan to go further,” Wilson said. “I want to go into one of the combat arms. My dad was in the Army for 10 years and my sister is an Army nurse.”