During Plebe Summer communication there is not much of. What there is, tends to be one way.


The Naval Academy state that the most important thing to do during Plebe Summer is to send mail. Pictures of family, family pet, etc.

Pictures are so important. I remember back in the early 1980s when I first started filming Plebe Summer, the PAO (Public Affairs Office) realized (and told me) how much I helped the Plebe's parents make it through the summer. It also helped them, as the deluge of phone calls fell sharply. Imagine the calm you would feel to see just one photo of your son/daughter--only a day or two after an event.

Plebes are "voluntold" to write letters home. "Voluntold" is a slang term to volunteer to do something but you really do not have a choice in the matter.  Voluntold means: "just do it." Usually the second night they are told to write home with the following information: Alpha Number, mailing address.

One thing I have been told time after time. Send them photos of themselves during Plebe Summer. Just print them from my website and send them. There is nothing better like receiving a photo of yourself 2-3 after you completed the evolution. Plebes often think their parents are stalking them. You are not but they are quite impressed--and uplifted with the photos. Just tell them you hired a photographer to follow them around all summer and take pictures. It makes the whole experience real.

The Plebes will post the photographs on their Con Locker. The Con Locker is their Confidential Locker with a combination lock.


Con Locker 5Con Locker 5


Packages (Plebe Summer Care Packages)

Packages are loved by Plebes but they do not always get them quickly.

If food is sent, it is typically shared by squad mates.


 Junk Food


 Power Bars, Granola Bars, Dried Fruit, Water-packed Tuna (Pop-tops only). Small Cans of Fruit or Applesauce (Pop-tops only). Cup-o-Soup, Beef Jerky, Juice boxes, Rolls of quarters for the vending machines, Mole skin for blisters, Duct Tape (just because), High-quality socks (I have to put this first, because some high-quality socks will make the toughest soldier smile with delight), Soap (shampoo, body wash, face wash, etc.), Toothpaste, toothbrush and floss.Deodorant (travel size/non-aerosol), Lip balm. Foot powder, Baby wipes, Sunscreen.

Visiting the Yard During Plebe Summer

Best advice: Don't. Last summer one mother was in the Yard, looking for her plebe. She actually found him at an event. She entered a building she was not allowed to be in and then watched a platoon of Plebes being briefed about an event. Everyone knew who she was  She was cordially escorted out of the event. When the platoon returned to Bancroft, the mother's Plebe was not punished. The whole platoon was punished.

Open to the Public

There are several events that are open to the public. They are the Formal Dress Parades. Usually held on Fridays at 0900 HRS. There are three of them during the summer--and one on Parents' Weekend.




Before the invention of the cell phone, but more importantly its ubiquity, parents were not able to talk to their son or daughter for seven weeks.

During the "O" Course (the Obstacle Course) one summer, a Detailer (A midshipman in charge) was trying to motivate his Plebes to complete the course in record time. In order to "qualify" at Parris Island a Marine has to finish the Obstacle Course in two minutes. Then do it again in two minutes. This Detailer yelled out, "Any Plebe who can make it to the end of the course in less than two minutes, you can call hone with my cell phone here. It motivated one Plebe. Lo and behold, one Plebe did. He was allowed to call home. To right is photo of the last "obstacle" on the course-climbing a rope and yelling, "Beat Army,"

Calling home is called Phone Home after the movie E.T. Plebes originally had only one phone call home a summer, and that call was for 30 seconds.

Now it is three, usually on Sundays in the early afternoon. All of the Plebes are spread out at various locations. They remain as a group.

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