How and Why to Sponsor a Midshipman

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How and Why to Sponsor a Midshipman

The first time away from home for college students can be both an exhilarating and challenging experience. For midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, this is compounded. The physical and academic expectations of fourth-class midshipmen, also known as Plebes, can be overwhelming at best. The Sponsor program was created to provide support and a “home away from home” for Plebes. Historically sponsors offer friendship, understanding, and encouragement to plebes dealing with the demands of their first year. Here is the 411 on how and why to sponsor a midshipman.

The Application and Process

To sponsor a midshipman, simply fill out the online application found here. The deadline to apply is usually mid-July for the current class entering the Academy that year. Sponsor assignments are based on the application, which helps match sponsors with Plebes of similar interests. Accepted Sponsors are required to attend a training session in which they learn the do’s and don’ts for aiding a Midshipmen. The program is designed solely for Plebes. However, most families continue their relationship with their Midshipmen until graduation.

Expectations of Plebe and Sponsor

Fourth Class Midshipmen are always expected to act as mature adults and future Naval and Marine Corps officers at all times. That means being courteous and respectful about personal behavior, etiquette, and accountability. It is understood that a Fourth Class Midshipmen adheres to the regulations to which they are subject. They should never place a Sponsor in any pressured situations regarding Midshipmen rules. They are also encouraged to keep Sponsors involved in Naval Academy activities. Additionally, they are expected to express their appreciation for a sponsor’s generosity. Sponsors provide a selfless, caring, supportive, and encouraging environment for their mid. The relationship between sponsor and midshipmen often lasts a lifetime.

Approved Activities

When you sponsor a midshipman, most plebes and sponsors look forward to leaving times, or Liberty. This is especially true when it grants time off The Yard. Plebes and sponsors can socialize during all times of liberty, but certain restrictions may apply. During Town Liberty, plebes may visit areas within the tri-city metropolitan area (Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Annapolis) on Saturdays, between the hours of noon and midnight. For Weekend Liberty, Plebes may leave The Yard with company officer’s approval. The time frame begins Saturday, no earlier than 12 noon, and ends on Sunday no later than 6:00 PM. These times of liberty is the perfect opportunity for Sponsors to show their Mid around town and all the tri-city has to offer. The bonds built during these moments last a lifetime!

Annapolis Loves Sponsors and Their Mids

There is no doubt that the residents of Annapolis feel a certain sense of pride and love for the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA). Many businesses around the area offer specials and discounts to Midshipmen and their sponsors. Naval Bagels is one of them. We adore everything about the USNA and jump at any opportunity to show our support. We participate in the “Yard Card” program, which allows Sponsors or parents to add credits so that their mids can dine in establishments around Annapolis. Naval Bagels is proud to offer an extra special welcome for those serving our great nation, and the folks supporting them. We invite sponsors and their mids to come on in and enjoy the best bagels in Annapolis!

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