Day One at West Point
The United States Military Academy
West Point, New York
On a scorching Monday in July,
over 1,200 cadet candidates arrive at the US Military Academy for reception day.
Also known as R-Day,
it marks the beginning of their time at West Point.
All day long, the new cadets will do a transformation from their civilian status,
and at the end of the day,
take their oaths to serve our nation in the Army.
[joyful drum music]
Why did you decide to come to the West Point?
Both my brothers went here
and it’s a great school,
and I wanna join the Army afterwards
so there’s no better school to do that.
All my uncles, they served in the army
and they’re telling me that, like all about this school how great
and all the leaders that came from it.
So, I just wanna follow the footsteps.
The Academy was establighed in 1802.
West Point is located about 50 miles north of New York City.
It’s in the Hudson Highlands.
It’s called West Point
because it’s located on the western point of the Hudson River where it bends.
George Washington recognized this as a strategic point of interest
because the British had to tack as they came through the Hudson River.
It’s the longest continuously garrisoned military installation in the United States.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
I welcome you to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
After a short orientation,
the cadet candidates have 60 seconds to say goodbye to their families.
For the next six weeks, contact with family members,
if any, is extremely limited.
Once they leave Eisenhower Hall,
the cadet candidates are now called new cadets.
New cadets, move, let’s go!
新生们 动起来 快走！
Up to the tape!
You’ll move along the wall, am I understood?
– Yes, Sir. – You think you’re special?
– 是 长官 – 你觉得你很特殊？
Look straight forward!
In 2018 to be accepted at West Point,
you must be a United States citizen in good physical condition
pass a medical exam to be able to be commissioned in the Army,
and have a high academic achievement.
I am a soldier!
Tuition in West Point is free,
but the cadets commit years of service after graduation.
After their four years at West Point,
they’ve committed to five years’ active duty in the Army
with three years in the reserve component.
Hurry up you guys, get there.
伙计们 快点 到那去
The new cadets are issued physical training,
or PT uniforms.
New cadet, you‘d better close this gap!
Along with a bag that holds everything they’re allowed to carry for the next six weeks.
Their next stop, the barber shop.
Only the male new cadets are required to cut their hair.
The female new cadets get to keep their locks.
Hi, how are you?
Thinking about West Point, what do you think?
– Maybe…… – Maybe?
– 大概是······ – 大概是？
– My brother and sister are here. – Your brother and sister are here?
– 因为我兄弟姐妹都在这儿 – 你兄弟姐妹都在这儿？
West Point started admitting women in 1976.
Today more than 20% of the cadets are female.
Over 24% of the class of 2022 are women.
Close that gap new cadet, close that gap!
跟上前面 新生 跟上！
So we’ve seen a huge surge
not only in the interest in women applicants,
but also the retention of a woman cadet.
The new cadets are assigned to companies
where they learn the basics of taking orders
You wait for our command!
Do not do things on your own initiative!
and marching information.
We have upperclassmen from the junior and senior classes
that are here leading the new cadets.
Your lunch, your boots, they better be in the bag!
你们的午饭 靴子 最好放进包里！
So this is a leadership laboratory
所以 不仅对新生而言 包括高年级学员
not only for our new cadets but also for our upper class
as they work on their leadership skills.
Everything the new cadets learn on R-Day culminates in the Oath Ceremony.
Family members gather for one last look
at the class of 2022 before basic training begins.
New cadets, raise your right hand and repeat after me.
全体新生 举起你们的右手 跟着我宣誓
One of the most common traits that I see of West Point applicants
is they wanna be part of a team that’s bigger than themselves.
Those who complete the rigorous six weeks of basic training
will be formally accepted into the core of cadets.
It’s gonna be a long six weeks.
I can tell you that it’s gonna be.
I’ll get through it, take it day by day
but I know it’s gonna be long, it’s gonna be hard.
but I’m prepared for it.
I feel like it’s gonna suck,
but in the end, it’s all worth it.
All of us know what to expect really.
We just go in there, you know,
get yelled at a little bit,
get on the bus, get yelled at some more.
I think it’s gonna be fun, you know.
Everybody else talks about it’s gonna be a miserable time.
But I think if you embrace the suck, it’s gonna be…
It’s gonna be okay. You can get through it.