I was looking over the site stats for the blog Off the Base. It is fun to notice the articles that are found because people are using Google to find out information. The beginning of the school year the entries about knobs and Matriculation Day are the most frequently searched. Second to that is BVA’s and Summerall Guards.
Junior year is when cadets who want to be Summerall Guards volunteer to go through intense training. They are called Bond Volunteer Aspirants. In many ways it is like knob year, only this time it is worse. The juniors represent some of the top leadership in the Corps of Cadets. They have a heavy load of classes and duties that their advance rank brings with it.. They volunteer to go through intense physical and mental challenges. The “fun” begins first semester, but the really intense period occurs after the break at Christmas.
I mentioned in an earlier entry how anxiety producing this junior year is for parents. It is widely known on campus that the BVA training is tough. Very little information is available to parents who are anxious.
The best advice I can give parents of the BVA’s, let your cadet contact you. Do not expect to hear from them as often as you did the years before. Send them encouraging emails, and care packages. Try to understand they need all their focus to squeeze in tine time study train and get their jobs as officers completed. The waiting is the hardest part. Remember, just support your cadet. They will let you know if/when they need help getting the various required items like the high top Chuck Taylor shoes and fatigue pants.
You can find background information online. I’ll include a few tips and web links to help.
The Summerall Guard Parent and Sponsor t-shirts are sold by the Summerall Guards as a fund-raiser. Be sure to buy yours from the new Summerall Guards on Corps Day. They are usually sold at the BBQ lunch that is held as a fund-raiser.
A good explanation of the Bond Volunteer Aspirant training can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Summerall_Guards
Three different web sites for the Summerall Guards:
Merchandise can be purchased here. Log in required
The School web site link:
Videos of the BVA training:
Take Your Rifles, by Chris Florio (one of my favorites)