WEST POINT – The U.S. Military Academy at West Point welcomed 1,225 cadet candidates for the Class of 2025, this week on their annual R-Day.
R-Day, or Reception Day, marks the introduction of new cadets to military life and begins their basic training as soon as they arrive on campus.
Cadets are fitted for their uniforms, issued their gear, receive their first marching training, physical evaluations, report to the Cadet in the Red Sash, and receive haircuts.
This year, cadets were selected out of a pool of approximately 14,000 applicants. Of the incoming cadets, 41 percent were minorities (504), 302 women, 10 were combat veterans and 16 were international attendees under the sponsorship of their respective countries.
Cadet Basic Training Commander (First Detail), Class of 2022’s Donovan Hinton relayed what is most important for these new cadets, called Plebes, to know upon entering the academy.
“If I was to give one piece of advice, it’s to have a growth mindset,” said Hinton. “You will have many challenges that come your way at the academy, but it’s ok to fail. The main thing to understand is whether it’s academic, physical, military, or social to have the idea that you want to be better than when you started yesterday. But also, to have the idea that it should be fun because competition is there and it’s very prevalent, but when you’re trying to influence others to do the same as you that’s what’s going to inspire to stay along the way,” he said.
Hinton added that the encouragement of an upperclassman can be crucial for new cadets and having an upperclassman explain that failure is a necessary part of the process, is something he hoped for during his first year that he will now pass along.
Cadets took their Oath of Allegiance from the Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Mark Quander after which they began six weeks of intense basic training at “Beast Barracks.”