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[25 Dec 2005|04:13pm]
[ mood | chipper ]

Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day, New Year, Kwanzaa, Birthday, Chinese New Year, Winter Solstice, Saturnalia, and whatever else you may celebrate.

My parents are throwing our annual Boxing Day party again. Everyone is invited. There will be tons of food (and alcohol if you are into that) as well as blackjack. And bahumbug to you if you don't come. I hope Santa left you a piece of coal (and not high quality Welsh coal, no you are not even worth the soot of coal from the British Isles).

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[13 Dec 2005|10:39pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

TEE's (Term End Examinations, known to civilians as finals, because everything in the army needs an acronym) are almost done. I have just three left. This is what my grades look like this semester.

Advanced Physics: A+
Russian: A+
Military Science: A+
French Civilization: A/A+ (this depends on the TEE tomorrow)
French Literature: A
Advanced Statistics: A
Comparative Politics: A
Fitness Leader: A

I am putting grades based on how I feel I did on the TEE's, won't get the real grades until about Christmas time, but besides the French Civ grade, I am pretty certain this is how they will look (I may even be able to boast the French Lit grade to an A if I do exceptionally well on the TEE). It looks like studying all day night and weekend does pay off. It is very mentally draining though. I will be home on Friday; I hope to spend time with some of you guys. If you don't have my cell number it is 818 321 9302.

Whoever invented the A+ was a devious bastard.

I will put in some more pictures of West Point's great Christmas dinner and other stuff here when TEE's are done. Other things of note: I met the Honorable Jimmy Carter last week(the cadet hostesses, the ladies in charge of etiquette, made a big deal about how you do not call former presidents, President such and such), and I saw an enchanting performance of the Nutcracker Ballet.

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[10 Dec 2005|08:56pm]
ESPN made a movie about West Point thats on tonight at 9PM Eastern time.
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ARMY NAVY GAME [03 Dec 2005|05:38am]
[ mood | hopeful ]


You all better watch it, because I will be freezing to death out there in Philadelphia. Its on CBS at 1430 (2:30 PM) Eastern Time.

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[27 Nov 2005|10:47pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

There were two stories about West Pointers in the LA Times today:

This first one is about the Class of 2004:


This second one is about COL Westhusing who was a full professor teaching English and Philosophy but volunteered to go to Iraq last year; he committed suicide because of what he saw as moral abuses he felt powerless to control. It is an interesting read about a mentally troubled but amazingly moral man:


And on Thanksgiving day a man carjacked my family at gun point, while we were walking the new puppy in the park because my mum said it needed to "socialize" with the other dogs (he is a scaredy cat). Well the criminal took the 2 week old car and proceeded to go on a grand theft auto style rampage, ramming it into motorcycles and other cars until eventually crashing it outside a Jerry's Famous Deli, running inside and stabbing people in there but getting swarmed in the process. I got to do the whole witness thing to identify him (through the night of Thanksgiving). Bad year for my parents, pub is firebombed, car is stolen (They must account for half of Woodland Hills' crime figures this year), and I know it is upsetting that I am so far away, at least my brother is relatively close. But by no means all that bad, no one has been seriously hurt, and no one has taken away the enjoyment of a good cup of tea. And after all, we get to live in the United States and not Darfur.

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[23 Nov 2005|08:10am]
Here is a great West Point moment for you, it is called the "compressed" schedule. To give cadets enough time to travel home for thanksgiving, we get a compressed schedule on Wednesday. Now at many schools this would mean cutting the length of classes in half let say. Oh no, but not here. At West Point they cut off 5 wonderful minutes, and then proceed to have breakfast formation and start classes before the sun is even thinking about rising. Oh yes, and a Captain needs to do an in depth inspection of your room before you can leave, no dust anywhere, and everything must be in accordance with the crazy SOP that is about as long as all of Nigeria's constitutions over the last 50 years combined.
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[05 Oct 2005|10:05pm]
[ mood | bored ]

I have been on Guard Duty from 0550 until 2400... I got bored... I looked up revolutionary communist songs.

Now I am blasting dozens of communist songs, echoing down the halls, and rousing up the proletariat of West Point. The revolution starts today.

Sean Hannity infuriates me sometimes. For all my supposed republican/conservative leanings; I cannot stand this guy. I was doing a tutor session in a study room for the plebes in my company, and after it was done one of my friends starts messing with the TV to see if it would work (We are not allowed them here). Well we get it working, and he puts Fox News on. And here is Sean Hannity out in California, and there is a big headline saying "Illegal Immigrants Caught in San Diego" and it shows a video of some boarder patrol guys armed with m-4s (many Army units still are using m16's and not m4's, including us) arresting some immigrants. Then, it cuts to some footage of three "immigrants" doing drugs. And here is were it got awful, it played the same video over and over while he talked about what a big problem illegal immigration is. There was some random footage of three dark skinned guys doing drugs, and thus Sean Hannity proves that every single illegal immigrant does nothing but drugs. And then, he interviews some guy who caught an illegal immigrant who was a convicted for beating a mentally ill woman, and Hannity says something to the degree that these are the sort of criminals that cross our border everyday... great so illegal immigrants are all druggies and beat mentally ill women. Were was the story about the illegal immigrant working 14 hours a day so his children could grow up in the land of the free.

And most importantly, I just got the scores sent to me from my first Advanced Physics WPR (what you guys would call a midterm). Now this is the dreaded department of PAIN (well actually it is spelled PANE, physics and nuclear engineering), but I just dished them out a nice whopping. I got a 101%. I am so joyful; I wish there was some way to celebrate... or maybe my CO will go and make me do some heavy labor as is happening right now. Have a good night.

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[29 Sep 2005|07:38pm]
[ mood | infuriated ]

Oh it's on...

The Corps is up in arms on this one http://touchstone.movies.go.com/index.html?dlink=annapolis (yeah that trailer is completely accurate...)
Hardest military academy in the nation??? Even the midshipmen on exchange here admit that the Naval Academy is easy as cake compared to here.

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[23 Sep 2005|09:25am]
[ mood | awake ]

Watch ESPN 2 tonight for the Army vs Ohio State game. It is mandatory for all 4000 of us to be there so therefore you should all face the same punishment. But if you want to see a West Point football game it is a pretty cool experience with the Corps of Cadets traditional antics to keep ourselves amused when we are losing 0-66.

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[21 Sep 2005|10:21pm]
[ mood | amused ]

It appears Dubya has lost the Mandate of Heaven.

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[01 Sep 2005|08:45pm]
[ mood | pleased ]

I have $100,000 worth of radio equipment on my bed right now.
So do I sell it to the Chinese (North Koreans/Terrorists/enter desired, evil, bad guy here), for tons of money, because the equipment also contains top secret encoding devices? Then, I will drop out, go to a regular college, and have this thing called "fun" I have heard so much about.

Or, do I stay here.

Staying here does let me win gold stars. It's a bit like kindergarten. In a ceremony, with a band playing chamber music, I got to shake some hands of multiple generals and I received a nice blinging gold star to put on my uniform, because I am a "Distinguished" Cadet. I feel very... distinguished.

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Let Hammurabi Rejoice [30 Aug 2005|07:57am]
[ mood | enthralled ]

The Preamble

In the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate
{We have honored the sons of Adam}

We, the people of the land between two rivers, the homeland of the apostles and prophets, abode of the virtuous imams, pioneers of civilization, crafters of writing and cradle of numeration, upon our land the first law made by man was passed, the most ancient just pact for homelands policy was inscribed, and upon our soil, companions of the Prophet and saints prayed, philosophers and scientists theorized and writers and poets excelled, acknowledging God’s due over us, and in fulfillment of the call of our homeland and citizens, and [in a response to the call] of our religious and national leaderships and the determination of our great references and our leaders and reformers, and our national strengths and our politicians, and in the midst of an international support from our friends and those who love us, marched for the first time in our history towards the ballot boxes by the millions, men and women, young and old, on the 30th of January 2005, invoking the pains of sectarian oppression sufferings inflicted by the autocratic clique and inspired by the tragedies of Iraq’s martyrs, Shiite and Sunni, Arabs and Kurds and Turkmen and along with the remainder of their brothers from all the other components and recollecting the darkness of the ravage of the holy cities and the South in the Sha’abaniyya uprising and burnt by the flames of grief of the mass graves, the marshes, Al-Dujail and others and articulating the sufferings of racial oppression in the massacres of Halabcha, Barzan, Anfal and the Fayli Kurds and inspired by the ordeals of the Turkmen in Basheer and as is the case in the remaining areas of Iraq where the people of the west suffered from the assassinations of their leaders, symbols and elderly and from the displacement of their skilled individuals and from the drying out of their cultural and intellectual wells, so we sought hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder to create our new Iraq, the Iraq of the future free from sectarianism, racism, locality complex, discrimination and exclusion.

Accusations of being infidels, and terrorism did not stop us from marching forward to build a nation of law. Sectarianism and racism have not stopped us from marching together to strengthen our national unity, and to follow the path of peaceful transfer of power and adopt the course of the just distribution of resources and providing equal opportunity for all.

We the people of Iraq who have just risen from our stumble, and who are looking with confidence to the future through a republican, federal, democratic, pluralistic system, have resolved with the determination of our men, women, the elderly and youth to respect the rules of law and cast aside the politics of aggression, and tending to the concerns of women and their rights, and the elderly and their concerns, and children and their affairs and spreading a culture of diversity and defusing terrorism.

We the people of Iraq of all components and shades have taken upon ourselves to decide freely and with our choice to unite our future and to take lessons from yesterday for tomorrow, to draft, through the values and ideals of the heavenly messages and the findings of science and man’s civilization, this lasting constitution. The adherence to this constitution preserves for Iraq its free union, its people, its land and its sovereignty.

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[28 Aug 2005|02:03am]
[ mood | tired ]

I had guard duty, some community service work and a lot of homework to do today. A Saturday well spent....

For the Firsties (senors) it was a bit better. This weekend is Ring Weekend. Which means, this is the weekend when they get their class rings and have a very formal ball. Its a huge event. West Point was the first school to have class rings; they go back enarly two centuries. Every cadet buys one and many spend $1000's on them. You can see Lt. Col. Moore wearing one in "We Were Soldiers" and I was just watching the start of "Apocalypse Now" (I thought the Ride of the Valkyries scene would be a good way to start a lesson on aviation for my plebe) and the LTG in it wears one, LTC Kilgore has one, and COL Kurtz is mentioned as a West Pointer but he doesn't have one on, guess it didn't fit with the character... The Japanese used to collect them as trophies during WW2. This event is very important in a cadet's life. It is also considered by one of those girl magazines (Cosmopolitan I think) as the most prestigious date for a girl to attend in the country (there are stories of guys sending out leters to actresses and models to invite them). And so, West Point was flooded by a large number of very attractive girls.

And now for a bit of West Point fun: There is a West Point tradition, after the ring ceremony, that the plebes are allowed to stop the firsties and haze them by reciting the "Ring Poop."

Oh My Gosh, Sir/Ma'am!
What a Beautiful Ring.
What a crass mass of brass and glass.
What a bold mold of rolled gold.
What a cool jewel you got from your school.
See how it sparkles and shines?
It must have cost you a fortune.
May I touch it?
May I touch it please, Sir/Ma'am?

Now you must know that firsties are trying to rush to their rooms, change, and then get out of West Point as soon as possible to spend time with their families and dates, but Plebes will chase down and tackle firsties to say the "Ring Poop" and firsties will have to face plebe after plebe, sometimes being stuck for quite a while as the plebes purposely make mistakes (when you make a mistake on a piece of knowledge as a plebe you have to ask "May I make a correction, sir?" and then start over from the beginning). It's the one chance plebes will get to return all of the hazing they receive through the year.

Plebes getting their revengeCollapse )

Have a nice day......... oh yeah, who wants to be my Ring Weekend date?

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[20 Aug 2005|03:51pm]
[ mood | tired ]

I am back from summer training and am alive. I got a promotion to Corporal. So it is Corporal Rose now. I also have plebes to watch over and mentor. I hope to provide them with some good leadership; there are too many bad examples out there.

Example: I just got done walking hours after my Army Physical Fitness Test this morning. Hours consists of walking around in a square in formation with a rifle and parade gear for however many hours you have. There is also a grueling inspection beforehand which takes over 30 mins and any "gigs" they find means more hours. I had to walk five hours, because I was 15 min late returning to my room one night, because I was talking a person out of suicide. A good friend of mine has 60 for drinking (he wasn't even tipsy) in New York... even though he was of age... simply because he did it on a trip sponsored by West Point.

Here are some pictures from the summer. I did some amazing things including air assaulting out of helicopters and doing tank combat. I also went through the hardships of the field. Spending many days out in the field, living out of my ruck, which included a 30 pound radio, because I was a radio operator. The entire load I carried came to over 100 pounds. Sadly, those days I could not bring my camera so you could not see all the stuff we were doing and the intricate earthworks we dug. Its amazing how little sleep you actually need and how much your body can accomplish with the proper mindset.

Buckner PicturesCollapse )

And here is my class list:

French Literature
French Civilization
Advanced Physics
Advanced Statistics
Comparative Politics
Fitness Leader
The Commissioned Army Leader

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[16 Jun 2005|05:14pm]
[ mood | anxious ]

I am leaving for Cadet Field Training soon. I will have no computer or phone for the rest of the summer but you can still mail me (which I will always be very grateful for) at:

Cadet Private First Class Robert Rose
P.O. Box 3508
United States Military Academy
West Point, New York 10997 - 3508

Have a wonderful summer.

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[28 May 2005|10:32pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

This Journal now belongs to Private First Class Robert Rose, yes I was promoted! Now I am no longer the a plebeian swine. Upperclassmen now talk to me as if I am a person, they even told me their first names. I can "fall out" when i walk around now. I can have some sociability in my life.

Today was also graduation. General Richard Meyers, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces spoke. Very motivating, beautiful event. Got a CNN camera stuck right in my face as I sang "The Corps" with the choir. The United States now has 900 new second lieutenants to lead her armies. Graduation is spectacular here; it is really moving. It is far more touching than other college graduations I have attended, you just feel as if those cadets were really becoming apart of the Long Grey Line. And here are some funny little West Point things. The goat (the cadet with the lowest rank in his class) traditionally gets a dollar (at least) from all the cadets in his class and many officers contribute as well. This can be a very competitive thing as cadets strive to keep their head above the water and not get kicked out but still earn thousands of dollars and the infamy of being the goat. When the goat came onto the stage, the Corps went wild and the Superintendent handed him the bag full of money. And when the Commandant says, "Class dismissed" the firsties all throw their hats into the air, and instantly 100's of kids, (between the mandated heights of 36 and 54 inches) who have been lining up for ages, swarm onto the field to grab the hats (and the money the firsties put inside). Its great to see little children marching proudly around in service caps that engulf their entire head. There was rain throughout the night before, then a beautiful mist dispersed just in time for graduation with bright blue skies, a couple hours later, it was pouring again. God (luck? the force? whatever you want to call it) seems to be supporting us cadets.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I finally got issued and got to wear the magnificent india whites for choir during the baccalaureate church service to send off the firsties. I also found some great poems written by a cadet nearly a century ago in one of the rooms under the chapel. I will copy and post them later.

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[04 May 2005|03:54pm]
[ mood | touched ]

Two West Pointers died in Iraq together. They were class of 1998.


We have a corps wide moment of silence whenever this occurs. This one was particular solemn. It was two classmates together. Let them join their brothers of the Long Grey Line in Blue and Grey, Khaki and Olive Drab for one last Pass in Review on the plains of heaven.

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[30 Apr 2005|08:25pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

Here is a nice little update.

27 Days until my promotion and I will now longer be a apart of the plebeian salt of the Earth.

So here will be a little photo montage of the last few days.

Sandhurst and the Scottish and Jewish InvasionsCollapse )

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[10 Apr 2005|01:31am]
[ mood | sleepy ]

Well here will be the big summary of the last month or so...

Spring Leave and D.C.Collapse )

Good night and sweet dreams, I had a Sandhurst run through this morning and the team looks like it has a very good chance. So, I need some sleep. Sadly, my parent's pub was fire bombed. I am very sorry for my parents, it was such a nice hobby for them to pursue with all their children gone.

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[06 Apr 2005|10:52am]
[ mood | amused ]

Bloody hell, my roommate goes so far as to buy (downloading music for fee is considered stealing) music on iTunes (music that he himself hates) just to start blasting as soon as I enter the room. This song grates against the mind, however it does sound kind of like the music from an old school underwater Mario level...(He is using it as leverage for me to give him a pepsi I got from a Lieutenant Colonel's house I visited, yes, here pepsi is a great indulgence during the academic week)

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