Noted authors, poets, scholars, artists, entertainers and musicians perform at our cadet activity center, Eisenhower Hall. Cadets also make their own fun including one of the highlights, the 100th Night Show – a full-length comedy – written, directed and produced by members of the senior class. The title of the show signifies that there are 100 nights remaining at West Point before graduation.
Cadet Free Time
Many say cadets are the busiest college students in the country. How much free time a cadet enjoys is related to a variety of factors, but generally speaking – increases over the course of four years at West Point. Cadets always find time for fun and relaxation. There are many outlets for cadets to enjoy their free time at West Point. The Cadet Activities Office coordinates more than 100 extracurricular activities.
When cadets can enjoy some time away from West Point, they typically take advantage of West Point’s close proximity to New York City which is just 50 miles to the south, or the expansive wilds of the Hudson River Valley which surrounds West Point and extends to include the Catskill Mountains to the North and West.
When free time is limited to a few hours, Cadets can often be found haunting the mega-sized Palisades Mall just 25 minutes to the south in West Nyack.
Alternatively, there is the Central Valley commercial area located just on the other side of West Point’s Military Reservation, which is about a 15 minute drive
Cadets also enjoy the great outdoors and West Point offers a number of venues for them to get out and enjoy in addition to the hundreds of Hudson Valley hiking trails that cross the area mountains and valleys. West Point has it’s very own 18 hole golf course, camping area, swimming hole, hunting and fishing grounds and in the winter months – its own Ski Slope!
Playing college athletics at the Division I level places unique time management demands on any student-athlete. Along with their academic requirements, these athletes spend countless hours with their respective programs attending practices, workouts and team meetings, not to mention the additional time spent traveling to contests while in season.
An Army West Point Black Knight is a Cadet first, and an athlete second — and are bound to the tenets that define both! All cadet-athletes must meet the same rigorous military training standards as the rest of the Corps of Cadets. What differs is the actual timing and scheduling of those training requirements which are altered only slightly to accommodate the unique demands of athletics.
As can be expected, a cadet-athlete’s ability to take leave and have opportunities for free time are directly impacted by the training, practice and travel schedules.
That said all cadets will receive Christmas, spring, and summer leave, along with the four-day Thanksgiving break. Christmas leave is normally two weeks in length following the completion of first semester final examinations. Spring leave is about 10 days, including the weekends. Summer leave is about 3 or 4 weeks depending on a cadet’s military leadership training assignment.
When academics begin first classmen or seniors get twice as many weekend leaves as second classmen or juniors. A plebe or freshman will have only a few weekend passes.
Cadet life is immersed in a military environment that is unique to West Point. The Corps of Cadets is organized as a “brigade” under the command of a Commandant of Cadets. The commandant is a brigadier general in the U.S. Army. There is both an officer and a cadet “chain of command,” providing many opportunities to practice and develop personal leadership skills.
The bulk of “hands-on” military training occurs during the summer. Freshmen, or “plebes,” begin their West Point experience with Cadet Basic Training. This six-week program of instruction focuses on basic Soldier skills and courtesies, discipline, personal appearance, military drill and ceremonies, and physical fitness. Extensive demands are made on new cadets as a test of their emotional stability, perseverance, and ability to organize and perform under stress.
Sophomores, or “yearlings,” begin Cadet Field Training in June at nearby Camp Buckner on the West Point Military reservation. They have had a few weeks of leave following the completion of academics. Cadet Field Training consists of nearly eight weeks of rigorous military training that emphasizes crew/squad and platoon level Soldier skills. Various weapons are fired for familiarization and a week is spent at Fort Knox, Kentucky to become acquainted with armor and mechanized infantry operations and equipment.During the third summer at West Point, cadets spend time all over the world, attending specialty training such as Air Assault Training and Mountain Warfare Training. They may be assigned to regular Army units at home and abroad to gain valuable leadership experience in positions of responsibility.
A cadet earns about $600 a month or nearly $7,200 a year. A portion of that cadet pay is deposited into a personal checking account. Another portion of cadet pay is deposited to a “Cadet Account” that is used to help a cadet pay for expenses such as uniforms, books, a computer, activity fees, etc. Each cadet will pay a standard amount for laundry, dry cleaning, haircuts, tailoring services and shoe repair. A cadet’s gross salary is subject to federal and state withholding taxes and social security deductions.
ATHLETIC ACADEMIC SUPPORTThe multiple levels of support for each cadet-athlete at Army West Point is unmatched by any institution. Several groups surround each cadet-athlete including officer representatives, professors, athletic academic advisors, company academic officers, and tutors.
Center for Enhanced Performance (CEP)
CEP assists cadets in learning to:
- Develop confidence
- Summon and maintain concentration
- Develop the ability to remain calm and composed under pressure
- Manage time, organize efforts, plan for success
- Read, study, and execute tests with deliberate strategies
There are two areas within CEP:
- Academic Excellence Program – Maximizing Cadets’ Academic Success
- Performance Enhancement Program – Mental Skills for Peak Performance
Each team has one head officer representative and a team of assistant officer representatives. These official institutional representatives and senior officer role models demonstrate institutional control of the athletic program and its integration as part of the overall cadet-leader development experience and the foundation programs (academic, military, physical, and moral-ethical). They act to mentor and guide the cadet-athletes throughout their experience at West Point.