Plebe Summer…How Life Begins at the USNA

Plebe Summer…How Life Begins at the USNA

How Life Begins at the USNA

Some say that life at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) is divided into three equal sections: Plebe Summer, Plebe year, and…the rest. Although Plebe Summer lasts only six weeks, it seems like an eternity. It is a time of transformation in which life-long friendships are forged. Some days students are jubilant, others filled with despair. Plebe summer is about 44 days of survival. It is how life begins at the USNA.

Where It All Begins

It all starts with Induction Day or I-Day. In 2018, June 28 is designated as Induction Day for the class of 2022. It is the official name for the first day of Plebe Summer at the USNA. Beginning on this day plebes will never say, “floor, wall, bed, and bathroom.” Instead, they will say, “deck, bulkhead, rack, and head.” From this moment on, they need to ask permission to use the head. On this day the plebes’ vision, body fat, blood, and breath will be tested (better be sober!). It is the last chance to forfeit items such as tobacco and fake ID’s, cellphones, civilian clothes, long hair, even personal underwear!

Not Your Typical Orientation

Plebe summer is a fast-paced boot camp-esque orientation that serves as the base prep for all Midshipmen for commissioning as Naval officers. The constant physical and mental demands provide development for the outstanding qualities necessary for officers of the Navy or Marine Corps:

  • leadership
  • motivation
  • moral strength
  • physical skills
  • stamina

Skill Development

Throughout the summer new midshipmen rapidly acquire the requisite skills in seamanship, navigation, and signaling. Additionally, to create a rounded and versatile individual, they all learn infantry drills, shooting skills, and sailing. The rigorous physical conditioning includes calisthenics, pull-ups, sit-ups, swimming, wrestling, boxing, and running, lots of running. Did we mention Plebes run a lot? Team spirit and camaraderie are fostered during competitive activities such as athletics to dress parades and seamanship drills.

Honor Above All Else

During this time, Plebes also receive direction and indoctrination into the Brigade of Midshipmen’s Honor Concept. This development is taken very seriously. It is a character development program the emphasizes the importance of moral courage and doing what is right, regardless of the circumstance. They also receive instruction in nurturing human relationships and the concepts of equal opportunity for all people.

Living on Purpose

Overall the purpose of Plebe Summer is laying the foundation for the next four years of the USNA’s curriculum. Upon conclusion of the summer, each member of the Plebe class possesses:

  • Indoctrination in the traditions of the Naval Service and the USNA.
  • Understanding of basic military skills and the meaning behind them.
  • Appreciation of the high standards and obligations inherent in service as a Midshipmen and Naval Officer.
  • Dedication to excellence in a competitive atmosphere that fosters leadership, teamwork, character, and a winning passion.
  • Appreciation of the importance of mental, moral, and physical stamina in all aspects of duty and service.
  • Preparation to execute the rigorous academic expectations.

Whew, Is That All?

As we said, Plebe Summer is considered the most intense portion of a Midshipman’s four years at the USNA. The mental and physical rigors of this time serve to prepare the young men and women for their journey to becoming a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. Naval Bagels  proudly supports the USNA Class of 2022. We participate in programs to help the Mids experience a little rest and relaxation. The Yard Card is one such program. It allows Mids to enjoy eateries in the Annapolis area and unwind a bit. If our bagels bring a bit of joy to the world, our duties are fulfilled!

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