Cadet’s Best Friends


Cadet Land is an interesting and challenging place to exist. Mostly challenging. From weekend labs to seemingly endless briefings, it takes its toll on cadets. There are a few things that make it bearable. These are the Cadet’s Best Friends.

(They are in no particular order because like a squad, they work best as a team. Except the single leg-over, that is literally the best part of any cadet’s day.)

Rip Its

Literally the lifeblood of training meetings/MS class. Delicious and jam packed with essential nutrients, well the only nutrient that counts: CAFFEINE. Weighing in at 160 mg per 16 ounce can, these little angels can keep even the most sleep deprived cadet awake through an all day training meeting. Or maybe two cans would be better. Most cadets, especially MSIVs (seniors), have an absurd caffeine tolerance. My personal record is 3 ROCKSTAR Zero Carbs (240 mg) in 1.5 hours, and I still managed to fall asleep on the bus ride to the field exercise. CAUTION: start off with one then assess your tolerance over time. Don’t die.

My absolute favorite, packing 240 mg of rocket fuel per can.

Physical activity can always be counted on as one of the few constants in cadet land. Cadets do PT 3 or more times a week. Good cadets go to the gym on days without PT. Great cadets practically live in the gym. In turn, they use a lot of protein, pre-workout (more caffeine), and other supplements. That sh!t gets expensive. Cadets don’t get paid that much considering all of the other expenses college has to offer. Like books and pencils and stuff. offers some of the lowest prices and is super convenient. They ship directly so you don’t need to run to GNC and use your whole stipend. READ: Save money and more nap time. Plus they have tons of great fitness and nutrition articles and reviews. Win-Win-Nap.


In the fields of Cadet Land grow beautiful plants. Godly plants. These are the Copenhagen Wintergreen trees. Cadets draw their energy from the sweet sweet fruit that this tree bears. Not only will they keep you awake in the field and give you some semblance of joy sitting in a pile of mud but it is also the savior of staff meetings. As long as you have a spitter. Never, EVER forget a spitter. Trust me, not your gut. Long cut is the champion of the land but I guess pouches can be cool too. Hah nerd. AIt also comes in a variety of flavors but lets be real; if it isn’t wintergreen is it even dip? Either way, it does the job. Well. Don’t pay attention to those sore gums, they go away.

Your HRA

Probably the most important person to you in your ROTC office. They can make dealing with the “Big Army” somewhat tolerable. Or they can let you figure it out yourself. Trust me the former is better. Unless you prefer doing your security clearance paperwork over again. Be their friend. Make them like you. Bring them coffee. Tell them their kid is cute. BE THEIR FRIEND. It will pay dividends when you have a pay issue, filling out paperwork, and most importantly, at accessions time. Most. Important. Person.

The 1st and 15th

Cadets cycle through extreme affluence and near poverty depending on how far away from the 1st and 15th of the month they are. Obviously because they’re spending their money on lots of books. All the books. Interestingly they are mostly Belgian or Craft books. Weird.

The Single Leg-Over

How does one even describe this stretch. It seems simple enough, turn one leg over your body at a time. But it is oh sooo much more. It brings you to a state of pure euphoria, like stretching on a cloud of pure bliss. This makes every cadet’s day each morning PT session. If they say it doesn’t, then they’re a dirty liar. I do this when I wake up, when I’m bored, and before I go to bed. I’ve even woken up in the single leg-over. Its the closest glimpse of heaven any cadet will ever get, aside from a big fat lip (See: Dip). I’m actually typing this in the single leg-over, imaging the combination of this and some sweet sweet Cope tabacky. Oh what a combo that would be, I’m not sure my weak mortal heart could take so much happiness.


Cadet Captain Crunch



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