07 July 2011

Tirzah in the SAM Octagonian

I just received the quarterly copy of my fraternity's publication, SAM's "Octagonian."
See below!

“Beast” Day 11 – West Point

Today was a bit of decompression for some of us. It was a busy day yesterday with Chaplain's Time. After Chaplain's Time, we had to break down, transport stuff for storage, then some of us stopped by the barracks in-between to drop off snacks for the cadre would couldn't attend.

This morning though, some of us still went out to do PT, or to march with our company to some field training. This afternoon we transported more stuff back to the Chaplain's Office, had a debriefing, and planned ahead a little bit.

I was given some NCs to look up in my company for various reasons. Please keep praying for these New Cadets. We now have 3x the number out-processing total since last night's number. The good news is, the out-processing procedure is slow, in order to give these NCs time to think about their decisions. Three of us visited their barracks today (and brought them snacks from last night's Chaplain's Time since they couldn't be there). It was a blessing to pray with them and encourage them as they make new plans for their future.

Thanks again for your prayers.
- Micah
the videos below are pretty good - if you have a few more minutes, you should check them out.

06 July 2011

“Beast” Day 10 – West Point

Chaplain's Time today!
Our uniform on Wednesdays consists of a West Point polo and khakis - a great change-up from the rest of the week. We spent a good portion of the day getting ready for Chaplain's time. We moved equipment into Robinson Auditorium, picked up thousands of cookies and drinks from the commissary, and ran little errands that needed to be run.

We knew the NCs were anticipating tonight's time with us. This is the one day a week where the cadre do not interfere (and does not participate much), and where the NCs can talk to each other and decompress for a couple of hours. Of course, this is our favorite time of the week as well - when we can pray with the NCs, worship God, and share our testimonies. Tonight was amazing!
Many church members brought hundreds of baked goods for the NCs, and we had an excellent turn-out as well. One of the professors at West Point shared a short testimony and encouragement, which I thought was absolutely wonderful. What a better example than a professor (and Major) to encourage these young men and women through the love of Christ Jesus!


I like mail! Especially goodies and treats (power bars, beef jerky, anything yummy)!
So...if you feel led to send me anything (letters, etc.), the best address is as follows:

Micah McLellan
C/O United States Military Academy
Cadet Chaplain's Office
Bldg. 745-C, Washington Hall
Brewerton Road
West Point, NY 10996

Much Love!
- Micah

05 July 2011

“Beast” Day 9 – West Point

Had PT w/ my company today - fun run up and down hills - and also MSE.
0900 - had our regular team meeting. We discussed chapel from last Sunday, and also had an AAR on our in-processing and this last week of training.
We also took a tour of Camp Buckner, as well as the various courses that the cadets train on. Our NCs will be over here in the next couple weeks as well, rappelling, climbing, and having fun!

We went to the transient barracks again (and also Keller hospital) to check in on the cadets there as well. Good day - though busy!

04 July 2011

“Beast” Day 8 – West Point

Happy Fourth of July!
Thank you so much for your continued prayers for the New Cadets, as well as the Chaplains and Candidates here at Beast. We have been asking God for continued ministry opportunities, and He has surely given them to us. This morning, CH (CC) Hurst and I went to Keller Hospital on post to visit the two injured New Cadets. It felt a little like a ghost town at the hospital, because there are only a few people there today. It was a blessing to minister and pray with these two NCs. It was also encouraging to us to see their high spirits and motivation to get back on their feet. As we were leaving, the nurse directed us to two other Cadets from Camp Buckner. One is an ROTC Cadet, while the other is a West Point Yearling. Both of these Cadets were also in high spirits – one is involved with OCF (Officer Christian Fellowship). It was a privilege to pray with these young Cadets as they continue in their education and careers as future Officers.
Next, we picked up CH (CC) Mortensen (Ryan), and drove over to the transient barracks, where three NCs are in the process of being out-processed for various reasons. Please pray for these NCs as well, as they possibly pursue other avenues for their education and leadership development.
As we were heading back to our POV, CH Hurst initiated a conversation with some civilians that were heading over to Trophy Point to set up their spot for the evening celebration. We helped them transport their items, and made several fun connections. One couple has connections with Saipan, where Ryan has been living. Another couple has roots near CH Hurst, while all of them seem to be some wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ! What a wonderful connection we made this afternoon! We were also invited to come back later this week to their place for dinner! God is good! He certainly had our day planned out for us!
As of now, I am trying to catch up on this blog, before heading back out to the transient barracks with Ryan. After that the CCs will be fellowshipping with the Mooney’s off post at their hotel (swimming and pizza), then attending a special celebration for the Chaplains at the Cadet Chapel for dessert. Our sheet cake is still holding up and looks great! Can’t wait to taste it! Check out pics and videos below!

03 July 2011

“Beast” Day 7 – West Point

It was a cloudy morning. We (the CCs) arrived to Trophy Point to begin set-up, only to realize that the bleachers that we had previously separated had been put back together! So we had a little bit of extra work to do (and in our Class Bs at that)! This ended up as a futile endeavor (though we completed our task), as the Lord decided to send rain this morning. This meant that we had to move our equipment to the Robinson Auditorium at Thayer Hall instead. This wasn’t a big issue, but we had to ensure that our companies were aware of the location change asap.
The service went very well. CH (COL ) Durham gave the message, and many of us were able to participate in some way during the service. Towards the end, the New Cadets (and Cadre) were given the option to come forward for communion and prayer. It was an overwhelming blessing to pray individually for each NC who came forward. This was certainly the highlight of my week. Please remember to keep these young men and women in your prayers as well. This is a very big transition and culture shock to these NCs – as different as day is to night.
After service, we went up to the Cadet Chapel to prepare for the next service. The service at Cadet Chapel is a little more formal and liturgical, and is usually attended by regular West Point residents and family members of Soldiers. I was blessed to participate in the benediction of this service, which required me to sit up front for the duration of the service. The cadet chapel is absolutely stunning. The organ is the LARGEST organ in the world in a church setting (I think I mentioned that before). But the most beautiful part of this chapel is the people within its walls. It was a joy and privilege to speak with one of the women of the church about her memories from years past. I learned that the writers of “Jesus Loves Me” had a ministry presence here as well, and were buried at West Point (as I mentioned in a previous post).
After chapel came a short break back to our quarters, as we regrouped our thoughts. I swung by the commissary to pick up a large sheet cake I had ordered for the Fourth of July celebration tomorrow. The bakery chef had fun with the cake, since I told her to use her creative freedom when making it! (Check out the pictures below!) The cake is so big it wouldn’t even fit in my fridge! So I currently have the A/C on a higher setting in my room, in order to keep it stable for tomorrow’s celebration.
Early this evening, I went out to find my company and to check in on them. They are staying up all night in the field! I wanted to stay with them tonight, but I won’t get any gear issued to me until after the 4th. I used this time though to meet the three Orthodox Christians in my company, who didn’t get the chance to worship today. After several phone calls, it sounds like there was a communication disconnect as to which chapel they were to attend this morning. So I promised our New Cadets that I would ensure they would be taken to the appropriate chapel next week. We prayed together, and I was able to give them some words of encouragement. One of these NCs was sick, so I’m praying that he’ll feel better by tomorrow morning.
After this, I met up w/ Ryan (CC of Bravo company), and took him to meet up w/ his company up at the ski slope. It was getting dark now, and we saw deer while driving (almost within petting distance)! We were able to spend some time with the NCs of his company, spending a majority of our time with a NC who was suffering from a broken foot. We prayed with her, and stayed with her until the cadre was able to help her find a place to stay in the field for the night. God is GOOD! He certainly gave us many opportunities to be with our companies today, and to pray with our New Cadets and Cadre. I am certainly looking forward to another full day tomorrow! Keep bringing it!
- Micah

First time in my Class Bs

our bakery chef!

Fridge Door Fit?! Really?!

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Clapping those feet!

02 July 2011

“Beast” Day 6 – West Point

Today is Saturday! But...that doesn't mean we get a day off :)
I spent some more time integrating with my company, and preparing for chapel the next day. I also went back to the tailor to pick up my dress blues (ASUs). Guess what?! It was CLOSED! Despite being told to pick up my stuff between 4pm and 6pm, the gate was down at 4pm! So I had to find the general manager of the PX, and she made some phone calls. She ended up "breaking in" to the alterations (didn't have a key), but she couldn't find my uniform! So I went in the back (heart pounding) and FOUND it! Praise God it was completed! I was so thankful that I was able to get my uniform before chapel! I know other Soldiers were ticked too, because they needed to pick up stuff as well! I've had nothing but complications with this alterations place. But - in all fairness, I know they're busy, and it's a lot of work to keep the place going. So - bless God that it all worked out eh?! I haven't even paid yet for the alterations (I should go back soon and try to see what the deal is). That would be sweet if it ended up being free because of the trouble.

I also ordered a HUGE sheet cake for tomorrow's 4th of July party at CH (COL) Durham's house (attached to the Cadet Chapel). The CCs were told to bring dessert, so I thought it best to streamline that into one big cake.

Check out the picture of Tirzah with Auntie Danielle :) Super cute!

01 July 2011

“Beast” Day 5 – West Point

It's already!
We met w/ the civilian and installation chaplain - Chaplain Wood. He has been here 19 years! I should clarify (if I haven't already) that "The Beast" is officially known as CBT (Cadet Basic Training). So if you see that acronym, you know what it means :) Another point to make is that the TAC (leadership) switches out about halfway though. The Second Detail will arrive in just a couple weeks. This second half of beast is usually focused more on land-nav, leadership courses, and spending more time living in the field while training (from what I understand). It will be interesting to see how the transition goes. I guess it sounds like there are about 250 cadre members, split into 8 companies, with about 150 cadets to each company. If I did my math right, that's about 1 Cadre per 5 New Cadets (but probably more like 1 Cadre per 8-10 NCs based on structure).
Our job as CCs is to be "married" to our company - to be the shoulder on which to cry, and to lend an ear to the weary at heart. So far, it has become a pretty good routine to do early PT with our guys, to pop in and our throughout the afternoon, and then to spend time with them in the evening at their barracks.

Camp Bucknor is not far from West Point, and is the training that first-year cadets (known as Yearlings) for about 4 weeks. There is also an Air Assault school that lasts about 10-12 days as well. So we have our work cut out for us!
Apparently, a "Firsty" (4th-year cadet) will be shadowing some of us at times to see how we function.

Let's see - what else...
Chaplain Davis is another supervisory chaplain! He has a promotion ceremony coming up (to Major). Great guy, very avid sports player (AVID!), and conducts chapel on post as well.

We were given a book called "Engage Your Strengths" by Gallop and the American Bible Society - similar to a Meir-Briggs test I suppose. I'm curious to see what I'll learn about myself through this. After completing it, I'll meet w/ Chaplain Berghaus to discuss the results.

I have learned the importance of meeting and staying in touch with the cadet counselor. Mine is great - she's a great listener, and fills me in with anything I should know (out-processing cadets to talk to, injured cadets, etc.). Great teamwork.

Oh I almost forgot! All week I've been trying to get my ASU's tailored here on post. The tailor has either been away, at home, or on break, and I kept missing him. I need everything ready to go for church, so I was told to come in anytime today to have it taken care of. FINALLY, I was able to get marked up! I have to come back tomorrow after 4pm to pick it up. Wow - almost 100 bucks to tailor this thing! :(

We went to Trophy Point today to prepare for chapel on Sunday. Trophy Point is outdoors, and one of the most beautiful locations at WP (see pics below)! I hope the weather stays like it is for Sunday!
For lunch, we all went out as a group off-post to a Mexican joint - excellent food! Highly recommended!

This afternoon we FINALLY finished our in-processing - this time with the finance guy! He was great! Very personable, and took good care of us. I also dropped off my car today to get a check-up (since everything on post is so cheap)!

We spent the evening in the barracks again, getting to know our TAC and NCs on a more personal level. A day well spent.

Sorry for the ramblings today! My mind has been all over the place as I process a lot of info.

Fun with bunny