Parents FAQs

Find answers on these topics:

 

Cadet Summer Training

Acceptance Day

R-Day

Ring Weekend

Cadet Basic Training

Family Weekend

March Back

Graduation

 

Cadet Summer Training

Cadet Summer Training takes the form of Cadet Basic Training, Cadet Field Training, or Cadet Leader Development Training.

The length of CST varies. Cadet Basic Training (CBT) lasts about 10 weeks.  Cadet Field Training (CFT) lasts 3-4 weeks. Cadet Leader Development Training (CTLT) lasts 4-5 weeks.

Families can view photos and video updated on the Cadet Summer Training web page.

R-Day

R-Day, or Reception Day, is the day the cadet candidates report to West Point. Candidates report early in the day to begin their in processing for their 47-month experience. Reporting time will be assigned to each cadet. Parents and family members are invited to explore certain areas of West Point, visit the Parent Welcome and Information area in Eisenhower Hall, check out Army equipment and vehicles, hear remarks from leadership and view the Oath Ceremony at the end of the day. Please review the reporting letter posted on the candidate portal.

All will park in the Buffalo Soldier Field parking area, just inside Thayer Gate. Guests will be directed to tables where they will present proof of vaccination or proof of negative COVID test. Once checked and cleared, all will be directed to buses with their cadet candidates. The buses will transport cadet candidates, luggage, and parents and additional guests to Eisenhower Hall where the candidates will report during their designated report time. Cadet candidates and family members will be ushered into Eisenhower Hall Theater and receive a short briefing. At the conclusion of the briefing, you will have 60 seconds to say goodbye. The cadet candidates will begin their in processing for Cadet Basic Training (CBT).

Parents and family members may travel to West Point to drop off their cadet candidate. There will be some cadet candidates who will travel on their own. Information on  travel arrangements can be found in the "Instructions" booklet on the candidate portal.

Following the briefing and saying good-bye to your cadet candidate, we invite you to visit the Parent Welcome and Information area. We will have local gift shops, parent clubs, USAA, the Red Cross, USO, representatives from all our support services, representatives from the 50-year affiliate class and more. Please allow us to show off our West Point hospitality and welcome you to the West Point family.

Once you have said your goodbyes, you will not have any direct contact with your son or daughter on R-Day. You will have an opportunity to see the new cadets participate in the Oath Ceremony on the Plain on Tuesday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m.

The ceremony is just that, a ceremony where the new cadets will march in formation out onto the Plain and repeat the oath taken earlier in the day during in processing. The oath affirms their commitment to enter West Point as a cadet. This ceremony will take place on Monday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m.

A map will be available with the approximate locations of company positions, but, they will be positioned Company A-I left to right as you are viewing the Plain from the bleachers. The cadets will be arranged by height in the formation for the Oath Ceremony. But please know, you can view the ceremony from any seat in the bleachers. This formation is more compact than many of the other parades, ceremonies or reviews.

The Parent Information and Welcome area will be available 6 a.m.- 4 p.m.  The 50-year affiliate class will offer a post-lunch break area in the Class of ’63 Lounge, also known as Benny’s Lounge, on the 3rd level of Ike Hall. The Oath Ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. Departure is recommended for all once the oath ceremony is complete. Buses will be available to transport guests back to Buffalo Soldier Field parking area as soon as the review is over.

Although R-Day is a great day to visit West Point, there is no further contact with your son/daughter once you say your goodbyes during the report time. Acceptance Day is an opportunity to see a wonderful parade, celebrate the end of summer training and spend time with your cadet. Once the parade is over, the cadets (now officially plebes), are released soon after the parade to spend time with their families. For more information please see the Acceptance Day FAQ (update coming soon).

Photos and videos will be shared from West Point Public Affairs during the summer.  This will continue during the academic via the West Point social media platforms.

The West Point home page can be found at www.westpoint.edu. The Parent Information page can be found at www.westpoint.edu/parents. Various documents are posted on this site throughout the year.

Photos are posted on Flickr. Information and links are posted on Facebook: www.facebook.com/westpointparents and www.facebook.com/westpointUSMA

Videos are posted to YouTube and linked to from the West Point website and/or Facebook.

The West Point Association of Graduates also share photos. Links can be found on its website.

Cadet Basic Training

New cadets will have an opportunity to call home 2-3 times during their training. The phone calls will be scheduled as time permits, depending on their training schedule. The timeline is often shared during CBT via social media or email to parents.

Cadets are offered the opportunity to call home at the midway point (July 17 – New Cadet Visitation Day between 1-5 p.m.). New Cadet Visitation Day is a time for the cadets to visit with staff and faculty for the afternoon. The staff and faculty offer their phones and sometime computers or other smart devices for these calls.

During CBT, contact is limited to brief phone calls or regular mail. We ask that you not visit West Point during CBT. This is a time for your sons and daughters to experience the challenges and rigors of their initial training. They will have plenty to share via their letters, phone conversations and your visit during Acceptance Day (details to follow). Please know we have staff photographers who will do their best to capture many of the training events to share with family and friends via our website and social media platforms.

New cadets are issued sunscreen and bug repellent (it's a mix of both). Their uniforms are treated prior to issue and the repellant is good for up to 25 washes.

Yes, it is very normal for a new cadet to lose weight over the summer. Their eating habits will change from grazing (while at home) to eating 3 family-style meals a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Understand that there is no soda/junk food, etc. - they drink water, juice and sports drinks almost exclusively during CBT. They are constantly on the move. They conduct physical training twice a day for the most part. It is not atypical for training to include a field exercise where they will walk well over 20 km over 3 days. They are being taken care of but the weight loss is a natural consequence to the change in lifestyle. Nutrition is paid very close attention during CBT. They are supplied with meals that have a significant amount of calories to ensure they are properly nourished and have the appropriate energy stores to complete the expected training. For all major training events, they are offered protein bars and energy drinks. A new cadet’s weight is monitored. It is a point of emphasis for all involved.

All injuries are evaluated and treated on a case by case basis. Continuation and participation in training will depend on the severity of the injury.

Information from the Chaplain’s office – New cadets have services at 8 a.m. on Sundays (various locations). The mission requirements of training may supersede scheduled worship but they are the exception.

If during CBT, call Central Guard Room (845) 938-3030 and leave a message for a member of your new cadet’s TAC team. They will call back once they receive the message. Additionally (VERY IMPORTANT), please notify the Red Cross.

The Red Cross helps with the verification so the chain of command can make a decision regarding emergency leave. For more information please see the Red Cross Emergency Communications web page . In addition to the website, the Red Cross now has a very helpful app. You can review the services provided via this site.

The information below is another way for Service members and families to start a Red Cross message through our new app. The Hero Care App is available to download for free in app stores, by texting ‘GETHEROCARE’ to 90999 or by clicking this link from a mobile device.

If an emergency occurs after CBT, you can connect directly with your cadet or via the chain of command.

If you feel they may need support, especially if delivering news of a loss in the family, you can call the TAC team via Central Guard Room, (845 938-3030) and ask for a member of the TAC team to return your call. The TAC or TAC NCO will call as soon as possible.

Additionally (VERY IMPORTANT), please notify the Red Cross. The Red Cross helps with the verification so the chain of command can make a decision regarding emergency leave. For more information please see this link.

Please know counselors and chaplains are available to support cadets as needed.

If you have further questions, please email Deb Dalton or call (845) 938-8826.

The out-processing from CBT can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks. The initial counseling process by the Chain of Command is deliberately extended over the course of a few days to give the New Cadet every opportunity to assess the situation with upperclassmen feedback. At that point they will speak with their Tactical Officer/Deputy Commander who can explain the benefits and opportunities of a career in the Army. The rest of the time is utilized processing the paperwork through the Superintendent. During this portion the new cadet transitions into Summer Garrison Regiment where they will turn in their equipment and attend regular accountability formations waiting for their paperwork to be completed.

One of the out-processing tasks at the Tactical Officer level is to contact the parents to inform them. In most cases the TAC authorizes the New Cadet a phone call home as most of the issues tend to revolve around home sickness. In some cases multiple phone calls are authorized to navigate the situation, but are not the norm as new cadets are supposed to be overcoming the challenges of CBT themselves.

March Back / Acceptance Day

The March Back is the culminating event for CBT. The new cadets, cadre, members of the staff and faculty and alumni will march (ruck march) from Lake Frederick back to the cadet area of West Point. The distance covered is approximately 12-14 miles. The movement pauses at the Victor Constant Ski Slope where they will have an opportunity to eat breakfast and take a brief rest before proceeding through Washington Gate. The formation will be joined by the West Point Band and will continue through the post finishing on the apron in front of Washington Hall. Please know you will not have any contact with your new cadet during this time, but they appreciate the support shown by those in attendance. The new cadets eat lunch on the apron. Once lunch is complete, they will join their academic companies and begin the process of reorganization in preparation for the academic year.

**Special note for parents (of the Class of 2026) who are West Point graduates – please check this site for more information.

USMA Graduates can march back with the New Cadets at the end of Cadet Basic Training. There are two options: Please check this site for more information.

Once the new cadets complete the March Back, the last event of CBT, they begin a period of approximately five days of reorganizing. This reorganization period is for the entire Corps of Cadets. New cadets will move into their academic year companies, learn their new chain of command, meet their Team Leader (a yearling assigned to help set the new cadet/plebe up for success), receive their academic schedules, pick up books, pick up computers, attend briefings, attend drill practice, learn the locations of their classrooms and more. This is a very busy time for the Corps of Cadets. New cadets will receive their cell phones during this time (if they brought on R-Day) and may be able to make calls/send texts on a limited basis. They will have access to email, usually by mid-week in the event they did not bring their cell phone.

During Reorganization Week, the new cadets are escorted to all locations.

Acceptance Day is the day the new cadets will be accepted into the Corps. The Acceptance Day Parade will take place on Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 10 a.m. on The Plain. The parade features the entire brigade of approximately 4400 cadets. Members of the Class of 2026 officially become plebes during the parade. The new cadets march out separately from the rest of their companies, but at a certain point during the parade an order will be given for the companies to open and the new cadets to join the ranks, being accepted into the Corps. If traveling with guests needing handicapped accommodations, please know handicapped accessible parking is limited in the area of the Plain. You may wish to drop off your guests near the bleachers and park in other lots or along Thayer Road. Shuttle buses will be available for your convenience.

Hats, sunscreen, and bottled water are recommended depending on the forecast. Point of etiquette for the parade -- please remain seated until all cadets have departed the Plain. Thank you!

Following the parade, cadets will be released (usually) no later than 1 p.m. to enjoy appropriate privileges. Cadets must return to the barracks by taps. Cadets are released Sunday morning (5:20 a.m.) but must return to the barracks in time for accountability. Cadets will be aware of the privileges allowed. For more information, please see the FAQ on Acceptance Day (coming soon) on the Parent Information page.

Soon after the completion of the parade and your cadet’s acceptance into the Corps of Cadets, the plebes will be afforded ‘Walking Privileges’ for the rest of the weekend. This year, we have extended the boundary of the ‘Walking Privileges’ to a 20-mile radius around West Point. These privileges will begin soon after we complete the parade so the cadets can change into their seasonal ‘White over Grey’ uniforms and sign out from their companies. For Saturday, August 13, cadets must return 30 minutes prior to taps which will be at 1 a.m. that evening. On Sunday, August 14, cadets can leave as early as 5:20 a.m., but must return to the Cadet Area in enough time to be accounted for at recall formation at 7:15 p.m.

Some local larger towns have a wide array of accommodations, as well as shopping options, such as Target and Walmart. These towns include Newburgh, Nanuet, Yorktown Heights, Wappinger's Falls, Monroe and Middletown. Click here to view a map of the area.

  • The DCA food truck will be positioned near The Plain before and after the Saturday morning parade. It too offers a wide variety of food and drink options. Other options for food and beverage include Starbucks, Subway, West Point Bowling Alley, Burger King, Bun D and West Point Club. 
  • For Ike Hall events, there will be food and beverage options available for purchase at the Ike’s Riverside Café during showtimes on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Grant Hall, which is located along the Thayer extension walk and a few feet from the Grant turnaround, will also be available from the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Grant Hall offers a wide variety of food options including subs, sandwiches, pizza, coffee, soda, candies, etc. Parents and Family members will need to be escorted by their cadet for access to Grant Hall.

Graduation

Ten tickets will be available to members of the graduating class for their families and guests. The tickets will be distributed during grad week at the Visitors Center. A ticket is required for admission into the stadium. Tickets will be distributed by section.

Babies and graduation tickets – Infants sitting on a parent’s lap do not need a ticket. However, please keep in mind if you have an infant carrier, it will require some space. In that case it would be polite to have a ticket to account for that space. Ages 2 and older do require a ticket. Strollers are allowed in the stadium, but not in the bleacher area.

For those not able to attend graduation, the ceremony will be available via livestream on either of these platforms, beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Links to follow.

Please click the link below for guidelines on Grad Week attire.

GRAD WEEK ATTIRE

 

For those guests requiring handicapped transportation to the graduation ceremony, only one family member may accompany that guest on the handicapped bus. The handicapped buses are limited in size and it is necessary to limit access in order to accommodate all those in need of special transportation. Guests will be accommodated in the Kimsey Center – 4th floor. Clinton Lot, near the Plain and Malek Tennis Courts is designated for handicapped guests on Friday and Saturday.

If you are traveling with a family member who needs a transport chair, recommend bringing it with you (if possible) or contact Home Health Pavilion (845) 569-1250 for a rental. They are located in Newburgh and have been very accommodating. For those who are able to walk, but have some challenges, a wheelchair may still be a good idea as there is a lot of walking required.

WHEELCHAIR RENTAL

 

Guests are encouraged to park in designated areas and use the shuttle bus service. On graduation day, there is no parking allowed in the immediate vicinity of the stadium. Guests will be directed to parking at Buffalo Soldier Field and shuttled to the stadium. Handicapped parking is available at Clinton Lot, near The Plain with handicapped buses available for those with mobility challenges or to accommodate guests in wheelchairs. Cart service will also be available to assist as needed.

Each of the respective chapels will host a baccalaureate service – a religious service honoring those in the graduating class. Wednesday, May 18; All services 5:30-6:45 p.m. Parking is available at the chapels. 

Guests will have an opportunity to visit Constitution Island, located just to the east of West Point in the Hudson River. Guests will step off the boat at the Constitution Island dock where they will be greeted by a guide who will share the history of the island. Travel time to the island is approximately 15 minutes. The crew will share information on the history and geography of the river while in transit. There are short hikes/walks once you are on the island – one is approximately 10-15 minutes, the other is approximately 25 minutes. Appropriate walking shoes are a must! It is recommended guests bring their own water bottles. Please park in the vicinity of the West Point Train Station at the bottom of Williams Road or along the river in the South Dock area. Tour capacity is 35 passengers. Reservations NOT accepted. First come first served – groups will be managed at the dock. All passengers must disembark upon arrival at Constitution Island. Please know this experience is not handicapped accessible. 

This event honors company achievements with the presentation of streamers for achieving excellence. The presentations will take place on The Plain.

This is an invitation-only event sponsored by the Daughters of the United States Army intended for fiancées of cadets as a “Welcome” to the Army Family. Family members are welcome to attend. An announcement is shared with cadets during spring semester inviting the “spouses to be” and up to two guests. The coffee will be held on Thursday, May 19; 12:30 – 2 p.m., Washington Ballroom in the Thayer Hotel. Light refreshments will be served. This is a a chance to meet other Army Spouses To Be and Army spouses living in the West Point community. Questions? Please email with questions.

SIGN UP FOR THE EVENT

 

Thirteen academic departments will host award ceremonies. The ceremonies are open to family and guests of those cadets who are receiving awards. Cadets receiving awards will have the appropriate information to share regarding time and place.

This is an event where the Superintendent, Academy leadership and donors will present certain members of the graduating class with awards. Not all cadets attend. Each cadet receiving an award or awards is allowed 5 guests to attend the ceremony. Cadets are allowed 2 guests to attend the reception prior to the awards ceremony. Cadets receive an invitation for the reception. 

There are no tickets required for this event. Please accommodate guests with mobility challenges when possible. Standing room is available on the sides of the Plain (along the fence) near Doubleday Field and near Thayer Statue. You are welcome to bring chairs for those areas. The fence lines are also excellent areas for those in wheelchairs. (Please do not sit in the areas to the immediate right and left of the Superintendent’s Review Box. Those areas are reserved for TAC teams and guests of the Superintendent. If there is room available, these areas will be open just prior to the start of the parade.) The parade is one event that is NOT to be missed…the parade is a time-honored tradition where the graduating class “leaves” the Corps and is honored as the rest of the Corps passes in review. Throughout the parade a narrator will describe the customs and traditions. The West Point Band will provide the music for the event. The parade will last approximately 45 minutes to an hour.

The banquet is limited to graduating cadets plus three (total of 4 seats). The banquet will begin promptly at 6 p.m. At the conclusion of the banquet, please be patient as the shuttle buses make their way around West Point transporting guests back to their cars/parking lots.

What is the attire for the banquet? Attire is formal – see attire guidance. Cadets will be dressed in India Whites, a formal summer uniform. Military personnel will wear the equivalent dress uniform, men typically wear a tuxedo or a dark suit, women – long dresses or evening pant suit. With regard to attire – you may also want to consider how you would like to be captured in photos.

Legacy Studios will be present at graduation and will photograph the cadets as they receive their diplomas.

LEGACY STUDIOS

 

In the event graduation must be moved indoors due to SEVERE weather, the following sites will be utilized for additional guests – Eisenhower Hall Theater will be the primary location for the graduating class and limited family members. Alternate locations include - Thayer Hall - Robinson Auditorium, Washington Hall (Cadet Mess), Holleder Center (Tate Rink) and possibly Mahan Hall Auditorium. (Locations are tentative.)

After the graduation ceremony, the graduates will be required to complete their clearing process. Once complete, the new graduates will change into their Army Service Uniforms in preparation for their bar pinning or commissioning ceremonies. The ceremonies are held in various places around West Point. Cadets (graduates) will often arrange to share their ceremony with friends, teammates or company mates often asking a respected instructor/mentor or family member (must be a commissioned officer active or retired) to administer the oath. The American flag is required to be present for the ceremony.

It may be prudent to discuss graduation day with your cadet ahead of time so you can plan accordingly for the attending guests. Some will plan a light picnic or possibly relocate to their hotel while waiting for the graduates to complete these tasks.