“R-Day Makes You Stupid”: West Point In The Era Of COVID
Ashley Hamilton grew up in Ft. Washington, Maryland, with her parents and younger brother. As a girl, she enjoyed reading, music, and dance. She also enjoyed traveling, remarking that her favorite trip was to Thailand. A cousin who graduated from West Point in 2015 inspired her to apply to the Military Academy, and she was accepted to the Prep School, where she had a leadership position. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, she was on Spring Break in Miami and returned home to Maryland, where she helped out with her mother’s office cleaning business. She returned to West Point for Beast Barracks, and although wearing a mask during Beast did not bother her, she notes that it made physical training more difficult. At the end of her first semester, she feels that she is doing well in the three pillars (academic, military, physical), although survival swimming was a challenge. Reflecting on her time at West Point, her advice is to be prepared to follow and lead.