United States Naval Academy is an undergraduate college in Annapolis, Maryland, United
States, that educates and commissions officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
often is referred to simply as "Annapolis
". It is
also called "The Academy
", "The Boat
", or "Canoe U
". Sports media refer
to the Academy as Navy
; this usage is officially
endorsed. The U.S. Naval Academy was established 10 October
The Academy's motto
is Ex Scientia
, which is Latin
" (the trident
of the Roman god Neptune
, represents seapower).
States Naval Academy's campus is located in Annapolis, Maryland, at the
confluence of the Severn River and the Chesapeake
Bancroft Hall steps leading to
Students at the Naval Academy are addressed by their military rank
. Upon graduation, most Naval Academy
Midshipmen are commissioned
in the Navy
in the Marine
and serve a minimum of five years after their
commissioning. Foreign midshipmen are commissioned into the armed
forces of their native countries. Since 1959, midshipmen have been
able to "cross-commission," or request a commission in the Air Force
, or Coast Guard
, provided they meet
that service's eligibility standards. Every year, a small number of
graduates do this, usually in a one-for-one "trade" with a
similarly inclined cadet at one of the other service
Midshipmen who resign or are expelled from the academy in their
first two years incur no military service obligation. Those who are
separated — voluntarily or involuntarily — after that time are
required to serve on active duty in an enlisted status, usually for
two to four years. Alternatively, separated former Midshipmen can
reimburse the government for their educational expenses, though the
sum is often in excess of $200,000. The decision whether to serve
enlisted time or reimburse the government is up to the Secretary of
Other Navy schools
There is no graduate school directly associated with the Naval
Academy. Instead, the Navy operates the Naval
Postgraduate School and the Naval War College separately.
The Naval Academy Preparatory
(NAPS) is the official prep school
for the Naval
Academy. The Naval Academy Foundation provides Post-Graduate high
school education for a year of preparatory school before entering
the Academy for a very limited number of applicants. There are
several preparatory schools and junior colleges throughout the
United States which host this program.
The mission statement
of the U.S.
Naval Academy is
The institution was founded as the Naval School in 1845 by Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft
. The campus was
established at Annapolis on the grounds of the former U.S.
The school opened on 10 October with 50
Midshipmen students and seven professors. The decision to establish
an academy on land may have been in part a result of the Somers
Affair, an alleged mutiny involving
the Secretary of War's son that resulted in his execution at sea.
Commodore Matthew Perry
considerable interest in naval education, supporting an apprentice
system to train new seamen, and helped establish the curriculum for
the United States Naval Academy. He was also a vocal proponent of
modernization of the Navy.
Originally a course of study for five years was prescribed. Only
the first and last were spent at the school with the other three
being passed at sea. The present name was adopted when the school
was reorganized in 1850 and placed under the supervision of the
chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography. Under the
immediate charge of the superintendent, the course of study was
extended to seven years with the first two and the last two to be
spent at the school and the intervening three years at sea. The
four years of study were made consecutive in 1851 and practice
cruises were substituted for the three consecutive years at sea.
The first class of Naval Academy students graduated on 10 June
In 1860, the Tripoli
was moved to the academy grounds. Later that year in
August, the model of the USS Somers experiment was
resurrected when the USS Constitution, now 60 years old, was pulled out of ordinary and
refurbished as a school ship for the fourth-class
She was anchored at the yard, and the plebes
lived on board the ship to immediately introduce them to shipboard
life and experiences.
The American Civil War
The Civil War
was disruptive to
the Naval Academy. Southern sympathy ran high in Maryland, home to
the US Naval Academy. Although riots broke out, Maryland did not
declare secession. The United States government planned to move the
school, when the sudden outbreak of hostilities forced a quick
departure. Almost immediately the three upper classes
were detached and ordered to sea, and the remaining elements of the
academy were transported to Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode
Island by the USS Constitution in April 1861 and setup in temporary facilities and
opened there in May.
The United States Navy
stressed by the situation as 24% of its officers resigned and
joined the Confederate States
, including 95 graduates and 59 midshipmen from USNA, as
well as many key leaders involved with the founding and
establishment of USNA. The first Superintendent, Admiral Franklin Buchanan
, joined the Confederate States Navy
as its first
and primary admiral. Captain Sidney Smith Lee, the second
Commandant of Midshipmen, and older brother of Robert E. Lee, left
Federal service in 1861 for the Confederate States Navy. Lieutenant
William Harwar Parker
class of 1848, and instructor at USNA, joined the Virginia State Navy
, and then went on to
become the Superintendent of the Confederate States Naval Academy.
Lieutenant Charles “Savez” Read may have graduated last (anchor
man) in the class of 1860, but his later service to the Confederate
States Navy included defending New Orleans, service on CSS
and CSS Florida
, and command of a series
of captured Union ships that culminated in seizing the US Revenue
Cutter Caleb Cushing
in Portland, Maine. Lieutenant
James Iredell Waddell
, CSN, a
former instructor at the US Naval Academy commanded the CSS Shenandoah
. The first
superintendent of the United States Naval
Observatory, Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury, advocate of
the creation of the United States Naval Academy, after whom Maury
Hall is named, similarly served in the Confederate States
The midshipman and faculty returned to Annapolis just after the war
in the summer of 1865.
From the Civil War to World War I
The graduating class of 1894
The Spanish-American War
greatly increased the academy's importance and the campus was
almost wholly rebuilt and much enlarged between 1899 and
In 1912, the Reina
, sunk at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba
raised and used as the "brig" ship for the Academy.
In 1914 the Midshipmen Drum and Bugle corps was formed and by 1922
it went defunct.
Many firsts for minorities occurred during this period. In 1877,
Kiro Kunitomo, a Japanese American, graduated from the academy. And
then in 1879, Robert F. Lopez
was the first Hispanic-American to
graduate from the academy.
In the late 19th century, Congress required the academy to teach a
formal course in hygiene, the only course required by Congress of
any military academy. Tradition holds that a congressman was
particularly disgusted by the appearance of a midshipman returned
World War I to World War II
rowing crew won the gold medal at 1920 Summer Olympics Games held in
In 1923 The Department of Physical Training
was established. The Naval Academy football team played the
of Washington in the Rose Bowl tying 14–14.
In 1925 the Second-class ring
dance was started. In 1925 the Midshipmen Drum and Bugle Corps was
formally reestablished. In 1926, "Navy Blue and Gold
", composed by organist
and choirmaster J. W. Crosley, was first sung in public. It became
a tradition to sing this alma mater
at the end of student and alumni gatherings such as pep rallies and
football games, and on Graduation Day. In 1926 Navy won the
National Collegiate Football Championship title. In the fall of
1929 the Secretary of the Navy
gave his approval for graduates to compete for Rhodes scholarships
. Six graduates were
selected for that honor that same year. The Association of American
. accredited the Naval Academy curriculum 30
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
signed into law an act of Congress
on 25 May 1933 providing for
the Bachelor of Science degree for Naval, Military, and Coast Guard
Academies. Four years later, Congress authorized the Superintendent
to award a Bachelor of Science degree to all living graduates.
Reserve officer training was re-established in anticipation of
World War II in 1941.
The academy was certified in 1937 by the Middle States Association
with reservations about the academic climate.
In 1939 the first Yard Patrol craft arrived. These were used to
train midshipmen in ship handling.
In 1940, the Academy stopped using the Reina Mercedes
brig for disciplined midshipmen, and restricted them to Bancroft
1941 superintendent Rear Admiral Russell Wilson refused to allow the
school's lacrosse team to play a visiting
team from Harvard
University because the Harvard team included a black player.
director ordered the player home and the game was played on April
4, as scheduled, which Navy won 12-0.
A total of 3,319 graduates were commissioned during World War II.
Dr. Chris Lambertsen
the first closed-circuit oxygen
course in the United States for the Office of Strategic Services
maritime unit at the Academy on 17 May 1943. In 1945 A Department
of Aviation was established. That year a Vice Admiral, Aubrey W. Fitch
, became superintendent. The Naval
Academy celebrated its Centennial. During the century of its
existence, roughly 18,563 midshipmen had graduated, including the
class of 1946.
World War II to present
An accelerated course was given midshipmen during the war years
which affected classes entering during the war and graduating
later. The students studied year around. This affected the class of
1948 worst of all. For the first and only time, a class was divided
by academic standing. 1948A graduated during the war, the
remainder, called 1948B, a year later.
On 3 June 1949 Wesley A. Brown
became the first African-American to
graduate. The Navy eight-man rowing crew won the
gold medal at
1952 Summer Olympics in
They were also named National
Intercollegiate Champions. In 1955, the tradition of greasing
for plebes to
climb to exchange their plebe "dixie cup" covers (hats) for a
midshipman's cover started.
In 1957, the Reina Mercedes
, ruined by a hurricane, was
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial
Stadium, funded by donations, was dedicated 26 September
(class of 1961) was awarded
the Heisman Trophy
on 22 June 1960.
In 1961 the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference was started.
of the Interior designated the U.
S. Naval Academy a
on 21 August 1961. In 1963, Roger Staubach
, class of 1965, was awarded
the Heisman Trophy.
In 1963, the Academy changed from a marking system based on 4.0 to
a letter grade. Midshipmen began referring to the statue of
Tecumseh as the "god of 2.0" instead of "the god of 2.5", the
former failing mark.
The Academy started the Trident Scholar Program in 1963. From 3 to
16 juniors are selected for independent study during their final
Professor Samuel Massie became the first African-American faculty
member in 1966. On 4 June 1969 the first designated engineering
degrees were granted to qualified graduates of the class of 1969.
During the period 1968 to 1972, the academy moved beyond
engineering to include more than 20 majors. In 1970, the James
Forrestal Lecture was created. This has resulted in various leaders
speaking to midshipmen, including Henry
, football coach Dick
, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
The 1970s brought change. In 1972 Lieutenant Commander
became the first woman officer instructor, and Dr. Rae Jean Goodman
was appointed to the faculty as the first civilian woman. Later in
1972, a decision of the United
States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
compulsory chapel attendance. In September 1973, the library
facility complex was completed and named for Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
class of 1905.
On 8 August 1975, Congress authorized women to attend service
academies. The class of 1980 was inducted with 81 women midshipmen.
In 1980 the academy included "Hispanic
" as a racial
category for demographic purposes; four women identified themselves
as Hispanic in the class of 1981, and these women become the first
Hispanic females to graduate from the academy: Carmel Gilliland
(who had the highest class rank), Lilia Ramirez (who retired with
the rank of commander
), Ina Marie Gomez,
and Trinora Pinto. In 1979 "June Week" was renamed "Commissioning
Week" because graduation had moved to May.
In May 1980, Elizabeth Anne Belzer (later Rowe) became the first
woman graduate. On 24 May 1984, Kristine Holderied became the first
woman to graduate at the head of the class. In addition, the class
of 1984 included the first naturalized Korean-American graduates,
all choosing commissions in the U.S. Navy. The four Korean-American
ensigns were Walter Lee, Thomas Kymn, Andrew Kim, and Se-Hun
On 30 July 1987, the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB)
granted accreditation for the Computer Science program. In 1991,
Midshipman Juliane Gallina, class of 1992, became the first woman
brigade commander. On 29 January 1994, the first genderless service
assignment was held. All billets were opened equally to men and
women with the exception of special warfare and submarine
The initial 150th anniversary celebration was held in Alumni Hall
on 13 January 1995. "An Evening Under the Stars." It featured a
Naval Academy Band/Glee Club concert, the premiere showing of a
documentary film, U. S. Naval Academy; 150 Years in Annapolis, and
introduction of astronauts who were academy graduates.
On 12 March 1995, Lieutenant Commander Wendy B. Lawrence
, class of 1981, became a mission
specialist in the space shuttle Endeavor. She is the first woman
USNA graduate to fly in space. A postage stamp commemorating the
Naval Academy's founding was issued on 10 October 1995. Freedom 7
. America's first space capsule was
placed on display at the visitor center as the centerpiece of the
"Grads in Space" exhibit on 23 September 1998. The late Rear
Admiral Alan Shepard
, class of 1945,
had flown Freedom 7 into space on 5 May 1961. His historic flight
marked America's first step in the space
11 September 2001, the Academy
lost 14 alumni in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center and The
Academy was placed under unprecedented high security.
In August 2007, Superintendent Vice Admiral Jeffrey Fowler changed
academy policy to limit liberty, required more squad interaction to
emphasize that "we are a nation at war."
November 2007, the Navy Football team defeated long-time rival
Dame for the first time in 43 years — 46-44 in triple
The two teams have met every year since 1926 and
continue a rivalry that became amicable when Notre Dame volunteered
to open its facilities for training of naval officers in World War
II. The Navy was credited with saving Notre Dame University after
its enrollment fell during World War II to about 250 students. The
Navy trained 12,000 men to become officers.
In November 2007, Memorial Hall was the venue for a 50-nation
Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
The student body is the Brigade of Midshipmen, and the naval
service often is called "the fleet". Midshipmen at the Academy wear
service dress uniforms
those of U.S. Navy officers, with shoulderboard and sleeve insignia
varying by school year or officer rank.
Midshipmen are not classified as freshmen, sophomores, junior, and
seniors. Instead they are classified fourth class, third class,
second class, and first class.
Fourth Class, the lowest rank of midshipmen structure, are also
known as "plebes", from the Latin "plebeian
the lowest class of Roman citizen. Because the first year at The
Academy is one of transformation from a civilian into a future
naval officer or Marine, plebes must conform to a number of rules
and regulations not placed on their seniors, the upper three
classes of Midshipmen, and have additional tasks and
responsibilities that disappear upon promotion to Midshipmen Third
Third Class Midshipmen have been assimilated into the Brigade and
are treated with more respect because they are upperclassmen. They
are commonly called "Youngsters". Because of their new stature and
rank, the youngsters are allowed such privileges as watching
television, listening to music, watching movies, and napping.
Second Class Midshipmen are charged with training plebes. They
report directly to the first class, and issue orders as necessary
to carry out their responsibilities. Second Class Midshipmen are
allowed to drive their own cars (but may not park them on campus)
and are allowed to enter or exit the Yard (campus) in civilian
First Class Midshipmen have more freedoms and liberty in the
Brigade, and the most challenging responsibilities. While they must
maintain mandatory sports activities and academics, they are also
charged with the leadership of the Brigade. They are commonly
called "Firsties". Firsties are allowed to park their cars on
campus, and have greater leave and liberties than any other
is divided into two regiments
of three battalions
each. Five companies make up each
battalion, making a total of 30 companies. The midshipmen command
structure is headed by a first class midshipman known as the
Brigade Commander, chosen for outstanding leadership performance.
He or she is responsible for much of the brigade's day-to-day
activities as well as the professional training of midshipmen.
Overseeing all brigade activities is the Commandant of Midshipmen,
Navy Captain or Marine Corps Colonel
. Working for the
commandant, experienced Navy and Marine Corps officers are assigned
as company and battalion officers.
Midshipmen at the Academy wear service dress uniforms similar to
those of U.S. Navy officers, with shoulderboard and sleeve insignia
varying by school year or midshipmen officer rank. All wear gold
anchor insignia on both lapel collars of the service jacket.
Shoulder boards have a gold anchor and a number of slanted stripes
indicating year, except for midshipman officers, whose shoulder
boards have a small gold star and horizontal stripes indicating
On the khaki service uniform shirt, a Freshman
(Midshipman Fourth Class or "Plebe") wears
no collar insignia, a Sophomore
(Midshipman Third Class or "Youngster") wears a single fouled
anchor on the right collar point, a Junior
(Midshipman Second Class) fouled
anchors on each collar point, and a Senior (Midshipman First Class
or "Firstie") wears fouled anchors with perched eagles. Midshipmen
in officer billets will replace their collar insignia with their
Midshipman officer collar insignia are a series of gold bars, from
the rank of Midshipman Ensign
or stripe) to Midshipman Captain
(six bars or stripes) in the Brigade of Midshipmen at the U.S.
Depending on the season, midshipmen wear Summer Whites or Winter
Blues. Since 2008, the First Class Midshipmen have worn Service
Khaki uniforms as their daily uniform. First Class Midshipmen may
wear their service selection uniform on second semester Fridays
(i.e.: Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officer selectees wear
flight suits, Submariner and Surface Warfare selectees wear
coveralls or Navy Work
with their new command ballcaps. Marine Selectees wear
During Commissioning Week (formerly known as "June Week"), the
Uniform is Summer Whites.
Plebes (first year students) marching
in front of Bancroft Hall
campus (or "Yard") has grown from a Army post named Fort Severn in 1845 to a , or , campus in the 21st
century. By comparison, the United States Air Force
Academy is and United States Military
Academy is .
Interior of the Naval Academy
Halls and principal buildings
- Bancroft Hall is the largest
building at the Naval Academy, and the largest college dormitory in
the world. It houses all midshipmen. Open to the public are
Memorial Hall, a midshipmen-kept memorial to graduates who have
died during military operations, and the Rotunda, the ceremonial
entrance to Bancroft Hall. The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy
resides in the Rotunda while Navy is in possession of it. Named for
the Academy's founder, Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft.
Naval Academy Chapel, at the
center of the campus, across from Herndon Monument, has a high dome
visible throughout Annapolis. The Chapel was featured on a postal-service
postage stamp in 1995. John Paul
Jones lies at rest in a crypt beneath the Chapel. From February
2009 to the late fall of 2009, the Chapel is undergoing a
restoration project, severely limiting its space, capacity and
- Commodore Uriah
P. Levy Center and
Jewish Chapel, primarily funded with private donations, was
dedicated on 23 September 2005. The Chapel is named after Commodore
Uriah P. Levy and houses a Jewish chapel, the honor
board, ethics, character learning center, officer development
spaces, a social director, and academic boards. Built featuring
Jerusalem stone, the architecture of
the exterior is consistent with nearby Bancroft Hall.
- The Nimitz Library contains the departments of Language
Studies, Economics and Political
Science, plus the library collection itself. It was named for
Chester W. Nimitz.
- Rickover Hall houses the departments of Mechanical Engineering,
Naval Ocean Engineering,
Aeronautical and Aerospace
Engineering). It was named for Hyman G. Rickover.
- Maury Hall contains the departments of Weapons and Systems Engineering plus Electrical Engineering). It was named
for Matthew Fontaine Maury.
Designed by Ernest Flagg.
- Michelson Hall, housing the departments of Computer Science and Chemistry, was named for Albert Abraham Michelson.
- Chauvenet Hall, housing the departments of Mathematics, Physics and
Oceanography, was named for William Chauvenet.
- Sampson Hall, housing the departments of English and History,
was named for William T. Sampson. Designed by Ernest Flagg.
- Luce Hall, housing the departments of Professional Development
and Leadership, Ethics, and Law, was named for Stephen Luce.
- Mahan Hall contains a theater along with the old library in the
Hart Room, which has now been converted into a lounge and meeting
room. It was named for Alfred Thayer
Mahan. Designed by Ernest Flagg.
- King Hall is the dining hall that seats the Brigade of
Midshipmen together at one time. It was named for Ernest J. King. Daily
fare ranges from eggs, to sandwiches, to prime rib and the annual
crab feast. Punch Sport Drink is
- Alumni Hall is capable of holding the entire Brigade of
Midshipmen and hosting various sporting events, such as basketball.
It is also used by alumni for reunions.
- Dahlgren Hall contains a large multipurpose room and a
restaurant area. It was once used as a armory for the Academy and
for drill purposes. It was named for John A. Dahlgren.
- Lejeune Hall was built in 1982 - home to an Olympic class
swimming pool, a mat room for wrestling and hand-to-hand martial
arts and the Athletic Hall of Fame. It was named for John A. Lejeune.
- MacDonough Hall holds a full-scale gymnastics area and two
boxing rings as well as alternate swimming pools). It was named for
- Halsey Field House contains an indoor track and assorted athletic and
workout facilities. It was the former home of Navy
basketball and the site of midshipman assemblies before
construction of Alumni Hall. It was named for William F. Halsey, Jr.
- The Officers' and Faculty Club and officers quarters spread
around the Yard.
- Ricketts Hall (Football, Lacrosse, Basketball offices) houses
the locker room for the Navy Varsity Football team. The team was
the winner of five straight Commander-in-Chief trophies. It was
also home to the Naval Academy's Varsity sport weight room, where
Midshipman athletes train.
- Preble Hall was Named for Edward
Preble. It houses the U.S. Naval Academy Museum.
Monuments and memorials
- Japanese Bell. A copy of the original bell which was brought
back to the United States by Commodore Matthew Perry following his
mission to Japan
in 1851. The bell is placed in front of Bancroft Hall and rung in a semi-annual
ceremony for each victory that Navy has registered over Army, to
include one of the nation's oldest football rivalries, the Army–Navy Game. The current bell is
an exact replica of the original, which the United States Navy
returned to the Japanese people in the 1980s.
- Tecumseh Statue. This statue is a bronze replica of the
figurehead of ship-of-the-line USS
Delaware. It was presented to the Academy by the Class
of 1891. This bust, one of the most famous relics on the campus, is
commonly known as Tecumseh. However, when
it adorned the American man-of-war, it commemorated not Tecumseh
but Tamanend, the revered Delaware chief
who welcomed William Penn to America. The original wooden
figurehead is in the Naval Academy fieldhouse. In times past, the
bronze replica was considered a good-luck "mascot" for the
midshipmen, who threw pennies at it and offered left-handed salutes
whenever they wanted a 'favor', such as a sports win over West
Point, or spiritual help for examinations. Today it is used as a
morale booster during football weeks and on special occasions when
Tecumseh is painted in themes to include super heroes, action
heroes, humorous figures, a leprechaun (before Saint Patrick's Day)
and a naval officer (during Commissioning Week).
- Battle ensigns. Famous flags of
the U.S. Navy and captured flags from enemy ships are displayed
throughout the academy. The most famous, perhaps, is the "Don't
Give Up the Ship" flag flown by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie on 10 September
1813; it bears the dying words of Captain James Lawrence, captain of the USS Chesapeake. It was
displayed in Memorial Hall, which is in the portion of Bancroft Hall open to the general public (It
is currently undergoing restoration and a replica is in its place).
The only British royal standard taken by capture was displayed in
Mahan Hall. It was taken at Toronto (then York) in the war of
- Herndon Monument. Every year as
part of the year end festivities, this monument is covered with
lard and "Plebes" (freshmen or Fourth Class Midshipmen) attempt to climb the monument, remove
a "dixie cup" (the headwear of a plebe) and put a hat ("cover") on
top. This symbolizes the successful completion of their first year.
Legend also has it that the midshipman who places the sailors cap
upon the monument will be the first member of the class to reach
the rank of Admiral. The Monument was commissioned by the Officers
of the U.S. Navy as a tribute to Commander William Lewis Herndon (1813-1857)
after his loss in the Pacific Mail Steamer Central
America during a hurricane off the North Carolina coast on
12 September 1857. Herndon had followed a long time custom of the sea that a ship's captain is
the last person to depart his ship in peril. It was erected in its
current location on 16 June 1860 and has never been moved even
though the Academy was completely rebuilt between 1899 and 1908. In
2008, both the dixie cup removed and the cover placed on Herndon to
end the climb belonged to Midshipman Kristen Dickmann, Class of
2011, who died a few days before the Herndon Climb. Midshipman
Dickmann's dixie cup and cover were the first women's caps used for
the Herndon Climb.
Cemetery and Columbarium
Supervision of the Academy
In 1850 the academy was placed under the jurisdiction of the Navy's
Bureau of Ordnance and
but was transferred to the Bureau of Navigation
that organization was established in 1862. The academy was placed
under the direct care of the Navy Department
1867, but for many years the Bureau of Navigation provided
administrative routine and financial management.
As of 2004, the Superintendent
of the Naval Academy
reports directly to the Chief of Naval Operations
current Superintendent is Vice Admiral Jeffrey Fowler
The current Commandant of Midshipmen is Captain Matthew L. Klunder
(USNA Class of 1982), a career
naval aviator and the Academy’s 83rd commandant.
Roughly 500 faculty members are evenly divided between civilian
professors and military instructors. The civilian professors nearly
all have a Ph.D.
and can be
, usually upon promotion from
to Associate Professor
. Fewer of the
military instructors have a Ph.D. but nearly all have a Master's degree
. Most of them are assigned
to the Academy for only two or three years. Additionally, there are
, hired to fill
temporary shortages in various disciplines. The Adjunct Professors
are not eligible for tenure.
Permanent Military Professors (PMP)
A small number of military instructors are designated as Permanent
Military Professors (PMP), all of whom have Ph.Ds. The PMPs remain
at the Academy until statutory retirement. Most are commanders in
; a few are captains. Like civilian
professors, they seek academic promotion to the rank of Associate
Professor and Professor. However, they are not eligible for
By an Act
of Congress passed in 1903, two appointments as Midshipmen were
allowed for each senator,
delegate in Congress, two for the District of
Columbia, and five each year at large.
member of Congress and the Vice President
five appointees attending the Naval Academy at any time. When any
appointee graduates or otherwise leaves the academy, a vacancy is
created. Candidates are nominated by their senator, representative,
or delegate in Congress, and those appointed at large are nominated
by the Vice President. The process is not political and applicants
do not have to know their Congressman to be nominated. Congressmen
generally nominate ten people per vacancy. They can nominate people
in a competitive manner, or they can have a principal nomination.
In a competitive nomination, all ten applicants are reviewed by the
academy, to see who is the most qualified. If the congressman
appoints a principal nominee, then as long as that candidate is
physically, medically, and academically found qualified by the
academy, he or she will be admitted, even if there are more
qualified applicants. The degree of difficulty in obtaining a
nomination varies greatly according to the number of applicants in
a particular state. The process of obtaining a nomination typically
consists of completing an application, completing one or more
essays, and obtaining one or more letters of recommendation and
often requires an interview either in person or over the phone.
These requirements are set by the respective senator or congressman
and are in addition to the USNA application.
The Secretary of the Navy may appoint 170 enlisted members of the
Regular and Reserve Navy and Marine Corps to the Naval Academy each
year. Additional sources of appointment are open to children of
career military personnel (100 per year); and 65 appointments are
available to children of military members who were killed in
action, or were rendered 100% disabled
due to injuries received in action, or are currently prisoners of
war or missing in action. Typically five to ten candidates are
nominated for each appointment, which are normally awarded
competitively; candidates who do not receive the appointment they
are competing for may still be admitted to the Academy as a
qualified alternate. If a candidate is considered qualified but
not picked up, they may receive an indirect admission to either a
Naval Academy Foundation prep school or the Naval Academy Preparatory
School in Newport; the following year, these candidates enlist in the
Navy Reserve (or, in the
case of prior enlisted members, remain in the Navy) and are
eligible for Secretary of the Navy
nominations, which are granted as a matter of course.
receive an appointment to the Naval Academy, students at the Naval
Academy Preparatory School must first pass with a 2.0 QPA (A mix of
GPA and Fitness Assessments), although this is waiverable. A
candidate must receive a recommendation for appointment from the
However, children of Medal of Honor
recipients are automatically appointed to the Naval Academy; they
only need to meet admission requirements.
To be admitted, candidates must be between seventeen and
twenty-three years of age upon entrance, unmarried with no
children, and of good moral character. The current process includes
a college application, personality testing, standardized testing,
and personal references. Candidates for admission must also undergo
a physical aptitude test (the CFA or Candidate Fitness Assessment
[formerly the Physical Readiness Examination]) as well as a
complete physical exam including a separate visual acuity test to
be eligible for appointment. A medical waiver will automatically be
sought on behalf of candidates with less than 20/20 vision, as well
as a range of other injuries or illnesses. The physical aptitude
test is most often administered by a high school physical education
teacher or sports team coach.
A small number of international students, usually from smaller
allied or friendly countries, are admitted into each class.
(International students from larger allies,
such as France and the
Kingdom, typically come as shorter-term exchange students
from their national naval colleges or academies.) For the class of
2009, 11 international students were admitted from 10 different
countries—two from Guyana and one each
from Honduras, Ireland, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, the
Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
The Naval Academy received accreditation as an approved
"technological institution" in 1930. In 1933, President Franklin
Roosevelt signed into law an act of Congress providing for the
Bachelor of Science Degree for the Naval, Military, and Coast Guard
Academies. The Class of 1933 was the first to receive this degree
and have it written in the diploma. In 1937, an act of Congress
extended to the Superintendent of the Naval Academy the authority
to award the Bachelor of Science degree to all living graduates.
The Academy later replaced a fixed curriculum taken by all
midshipmen with the present core curriculum plus 21 major fields of
study, a wide variety of elective courses and advanced study and
research opportunities. Currently, all 22 majors are:
Moral and ethical development is fundamental to all aspects of the
Naval Academy. From Plebe
graduation, the Officer Development Program, a four-year integrated
program, focuses on integrity, honor, and mutual respect based on
the moral values of respect for human dignity, respect for honesty
and respect for the property of others. One of the goals of the
program is to develop midshipmen to possess a sense of their own
moral beliefs and the ability to express them. Honor is emphasized
through the Honor Concept of the Brigade of Midshipmen. Brigade
Honor Committees composed of upper-class midshipmen are responsible
for the education and training of the Honor Concept, midshipmen
found in violation of the Honor Concept by their peers can be
separated from the Naval Academy.
Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC)
Since 1961, the Academy has hosted the annual Naval Academy Foreign
Affairs Conference (NAFAC), the country's largest undergraduate,
foreign-affairs conference. NAFAC provides a forum for addressing
pressing international concerns and seeks to explore current issues
from both a civilian and military perspective.
Each year a unique theme is chosen for NAFAC. Noteworthy
individuals with expertise in relevant fields are then invited to
address the conference delegates, who represent civilian and
military colleges from across the United States and around the
The entire conference is organized and run by Midshipmen, who also
serve as moderators, presenters, and delegates. The Midshipman
Director is responsible for every aspect of the conference,
including the conference theme, and is generally charged with
leading a staff of over 250 midshipmen.
Small Satellite Program
The United States Naval Academy (USNA) Small Satellite Program
(SSP) was founded in 1999 to actively pursue flight opportunities
for miniature satellites designed, constructed, tested, and
commanded or controlled by Midshipmen.
Currently under-development are the first generation MidSTAR I
and second generation MidSTAR II
satellites which stemmed from
the USNA MidSTAR Program
Midstar I was launched 8 March 2007.
The 1926 National Championship
The U.S. Naval Academy's varsity sports teams have no official name
but usually are referred to in media as "the Midshipmen" (since all
athletes are, in fact, midshipmen), or more informally as "the
Mids." The term "middies" is generally considered derogatory. The
sports teams' mascot is a goat named "Bill."
The Midshipmen participate in the NCAA
's Division I-A
as an independent (i.e., not a member of any conference) in
football and in the NCAA Division I-level Patriot League
in many other sports. The
college fields 28 varsity sports teams and 18 club sports
The most important sporting event at the academy is the annual
. The three
major service academies (Navy, Air Force, and Army) compete for the
, which is awarded to the academy that defeats the others
in football that year (or retained by the previous winner in the
event of a three-way tie).
Naval Academy sports teams have many accomplishments at the
international and national levels. In 1926, Navy's football team
won the U.S. national championship based on both the Boand and
Houlgate mathematical poll systems. and the Navy men's lacrosse
team won 21 USILL or USILA national championships and was the NCAA
Division I runner-up in 1975 and 2004. The men's fencing team won
Division I championships in 1950, 1959, and 1962 and was runner-up
in 1948, 1953, 1960, and 1963, and NCAA
championships were also earned by the 1945 men's outdoor track and
field team and the 1964 men's soccer team. In basketball, the
Navy men's team
appeared in the NCAA tournament 11 times and made regional finals
(the "Elite Eight
") in 1954 and
US Naval Academy baseball player
The college's heavyweight crew won Olympic gold medals in men's
eights in 1920 and 1952, and from 1907 to 1995 at Intercollegiate Rowing
regatta the team earned 30 championships, was
runner-up 29 times, and had 31 third-place finishes. In intercollegiate
shooting, the Naval Academy has won nine National
Rifle Association rifle team trophies, seven air pistol team
championships, and five standard pistol team titles.
addition, the men's squash team was the national nine-man team
champion in 1957, 1959, and 1967, and the women's lacrosse team was
WDIA national runner-up in 2001 and
2007. In 2007 the men's rugby team placed in the final four for the
ninth time; the men's team was the national runner-up in
Participation in athletics is, in general, mandatory at the Naval
Academy and most Midshipmen not on an intercollegiate team must
participate actively in intramural or club sports. There are
exceptions for non-athletic Brigade Support Activities such as
Squadron (a professional surface warfare training activity
providing midshipmen the opportunity to earn the Craftmaster Badge
) or the Drum and Bugle
Varsity letter winners wear a specially issued blue cardigan with a
large gold "N" patch affixed. Teams that beat Army in a year are
awarded a gold star to affix near the "N" for each such
There is an unofficial (but previous National Champion) croquet
team. Legend has it that in the early 1980s, a Mid and a Johnnie
(slang for a student enrolled at St. John's College,
), were in a bar and the Mid challenged the Johnnie by
stating that Midshipmen could beat St. John's at any sport. The St.
John's student selected croquet. Since then, thousands attend the
annual croquet match between St. John's and the 28th Company of the
Brigade of Midshipmen (originally the 34th Company before the
Brigade was reduced to 30 companies). As of 2006, the Midshipmen
had a record of 5 wins and 19 losses to the St John's team.
Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various
events such as commencement
, and athletic games is: “Anchors Aweigh
”, the United States Naval
Academy fight song
. According to “College
Fight Songs: An Annotated Anthology” published in 1998, “Anchors
Aweigh" ranks as the fifth greatest fight song of all time.
Other extra-curricular activities
A bagpiper with the U.S.
Naval Academy Pipes and Drums
Midshipmen have the opportunity to participate in a broad range of
other extracurricular activities including musical performance
groups (Naval Academy
, Drum & Bugle Corps, Men's Glee Club, Women's Glee
Club, Gospel Choir, an annual musical, and a bagpipe band, the
Pipes & Drums), religious organizations, academic honor societies
such as Omicron Delta
Epsilon (an Economics Honor Society), Campus Girl Scouts
, the National Eagle Scout
, a radio station, and Navy and Marine Corps
professional activities (diving, flying, seamanship, and the Semper
Fidelis Society for future Marines).The midshipmen theatrical
, put on one production annually
in Mahan Hall. There is an intercollegiate debate team. Colleges
from along the East Coast attend the annual U.S. Naval Academy
The Brigade began publishing a humor magazine called The
in 1913. This magazine was discontinued in 2001 but
returned to print in the fall of 2008. Among The Log's
usual features were "Salty Sam," an anonymous member of the senior
class who served as a gossip columnist, and the "Company Cuties,"
photos of male midshipmen's girlfriends. (This last was deemed
offensive to women, and despite attempts to incorporate the
boyfriends of female midshipmen in some issues, the "Company
Cuties" were dropped from The Log'
s format by 1991.)
was once featured in Playboy Magazine
for its parody of the
famous periodical, called "Playmid." "Playmid" was an issue of
in 1989 and was ordered destroyed by Rear Admiral
Virgil I. Hill
, the Academy Superintendent at the time,
but a handful of copies did survive, including the one which
later showed. Earlier Log
were much more successful, with the 18
April 1969, version as the most famous; some sections of this issue
can be seen online at an alumni website.
Midshipmen run the Academy's radio station, WRNV.
Women at the Naval Academy
The Naval Academy first accepted women as Midshipmen in 1976, when
Congress authorized the admission of women to all of the service
academies. Women comprise about 22 percent of entering plebes. They
pursue the same academic and professional training as do their male
classmates, except that certain physical aptitude standards for
women are lower than for men, mirroring the standards of the Navy
itself. Women have most recently composed about 17 percent of each
graduating class, however this number continues to rise. The first
pregnant midshipman graduated in 2009. While regulations expressly
forbade this, the female was able to receive a waiver from the
Department of the Navy.
In 2006, Michelle J. Howard
, class of 1982, became the first
female graduate of the Naval Academy to be selected for admiral;
she was also the first admiral from her class. Margaret D. Klein
, class of 1981, became the first
female Commandant of Midshipmen in December 2006.
Following the 2003 U.S.
Force Academy sexual assault scandal
and due to concern with
sexual assault in
the U.S. military
the Department of Defense was required to
establish a task force to investigate sexual harassment and assault
at the United States military academies in the law funding the
military for fiscal 2004. The report, issued 25 August 2005 showed
that during 2004 50% of the women at Annapolis reported instances
of sexual harassment
incidents of sexual assault
reported. There had been an earlier incident in 1990 which involved
male midshipmen chaining a female midshipman to a urinal after she
threw a snowball
at him and then taking
pictures of her .
Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Rodney Rempt issued a
statement: "With the benefit of the Defense Task Force's assessment
and recommendations, we will continue to strive to establish a
climate which encourages reporting of these incidents, so we can
support the victim and deal with allegations fairly and
appropriately. The very idea that any member of the Naval Academy
family could be part of an environment that fosters sexual
harassment, misconduct, or even assault is of great concern to me,
and it is contrary to all we are trying to do and achieve.
Preventing and deterring this unacceptable behavior is a leadership
issue that I and all the Academy leaders take to heart. The public
trusts that the Service Academies will adhere to the highest
standards and that we will serve as beacons that exemplify
character, dignity and respect. We will increase our efforts to
meet that trust." Superintendent Rempt has recently been criticized
for not allowing former Navy quarterback Lamar Owens
to graduate, despite his acquittal
on a rape charge. Some alumni have attributed this to an
overeagerness on Rempt's part to placate critics urging a crackdown
on sexual assault and harassment.
In 1979, James H. Webb
published a provocative essay opposing
the integration of women at the Naval Academy titled "Women Can't
Fight." Webb was an instructor at the Naval Academy in 1979 when he
wrote the article for Washingtonian magazine
critical of women in combat and of them attending the service
academies. The article, in which he referred to the dorm at the
Naval Academy that housed 4,000 men and 300 women as "a horny
woman's dream," was written three years after the Academy admitted
women. Webb said he did not write the headline.
On 7 November 2006, Webb was elected to the U.S. Senate from
Virginia. His election opponent, then senator George Allen
, raised the 1979
article as a campaign issue, depicting Webb as being opposed to
women in military service. Webb's response read in part, "I am
completely comfortable with the roles of women in today's
military.... To the extent that my writings subjected women at the
Academy or the active armed forces to undue hardship, I remain
profoundly sorry." In a political advertisement for Allen five
female graduates of the United States Naval Academy said the
foster an air of hostility and harassment towards females within
Naval Academy traditions
Some traditions have been around for a century or more. Some
traditions of the Naval Academy are handed down from class to
class. Some have been recorded over the years in academy
- "Beat Army" is a common phrase, most often said after the
singing of the Academy's Alma Mater, "Blue and Gold." The phrase is
commonly said by plebes while squaring corners. Furthermore, if one
is said to have a Beat Army, it means the person drank a
stomach-turning concoction of any number of condiments and food at
that particular meal. Most often done by plebes to impress
upperclass, they scream "BEAT ARMY!" when they are done drinking
the beverage, usually to applause.
- "Blue and Gold" is the name of Naval Academy's Alma Mater. The
song is sung at the conclusion of every sporting event, at the end
of pep rallies and at alumni gatherings. It is also sung in most
companies by the plebes at the conclusion of the day; this event is
also referred to as "Blue and Gold," which is a short gathering to
review the day for better or worse with the upperclass Midshipmen.
The traditional (not current) lyrics are:
- The second verse is sung at each graduation and commissioning
ceremony and is often performed by the Glee Clubs.
- The current lyrics sung today are:
- Anchors Aweigh — written by 2nd Lieutenant Zimmerman, USMC,
bandmaster of the Naval Academy Band starting in 1887, wrote the
song "Anchors Aweigh" and dedicated it to the Naval Academy Class
of 1907. The song is sung during sporting events, pep rallies, and
played by the Drum and Bugle Corps during noon meal formations.
Members of the Navy and Marine Corps, unless marching, are supposed
to come to attention while it is playing. The first verse (quoted
below) is most commonly sung on campus. The second verse is most
commonly sung in the fleet:
- Cover Toss — Midshipmen who graduate to become Ensigns in the
Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps toss their
Midshipmen covers (hats) at graduation in a farewell bid to the
three classes below them. Various traditions have been used
regarding something to put into the cover, such as putting a small
sum of money inside the cover so children attending can collect the
covers and money, or putting your name and address inside to
receive a letter and cake. Today, the most common tradition is
simply leaving a small sum of money for the recipient of the cover.
The Cover Toss tradition started in 1912.
- Goat Court refers to two completely enclosed square sections
inside the third and fourth wings of Bancroft, composed of five
stories of room windows. The bottom of the courts are composed of
the roof of the basement level. The rooms are commonly assigned to
Plebes or short-straw drawing Youngsters, since they lack the
otherwise lovely view that many other rooms have. The bottom of the
courts are composed of the roof of the basement level. The air is
stagnant, and the large HVAC units on the basement roof enhance the
ambiance. The function of goat court is to hold routine goat
court sessions on the Second classmen.
- Herndon Monument Climb (ee above, under "Monuments and
Memorials") — the official end of plebe year at the Naval Academy
when the plebes raise a classmate to replace a dixie cup sailor
cover with the combination cover traditional to Midshipmen.
- The Jimmy Legs were the civilian patrolmen or masters-at-arms
who provided security for the Naval Academy grounds, and were
referred to by that name as far back as an entry in the 1923 Lucky
Bag. The name stems from old 19th century Navy use of calling the
shipboard master-at-arms by that name, since they often yelled out
"shake a leg" or "clear the deck" to maintain discipline and
prevent unwanted gatherings on board the ship. Not to be confused
with the Jimmy Legs, the U.S. Marines have had brief periods of
duty guarding the Yard.
- The Laws of the Navy – a poem of wise advice in the form of
twenty-seven laws, often memorized and less often applied, composed
by Rear Admiral Ronald Hopwood, Royal Navy, and originally
appearing in the Army and Navy Gazette, 23 July 1896. By
the mid-1920s the poem began appearing in the USNA's Reef
- Red Beach — the red tiled plaza behind Memorial Hall on top of
the wardroom in between 5th and 6th wings of Bancroft Hall, used as
a place of formation for part of the Brigade. It also serves as a
place for restrictees to march tours.
- Ring Dance — held in May, this event is when the Second Class
Midshipmen receive their class rings at a formal dance complete
with fireworks. In years past, the event was held in Dahlgren Hall,
it is now normally held on Hospital Point with Dahlgren Hall as a
weather alternate site. Traditionally, the Midshipman's date wears
the ring around her/his neck, and the couple dips the ring in water
from all seven seas.
- Salty Sam — is the personification of the reformation movement
in the United States Navy through her Naval Academy graduates.
Spiritually the first Salty Sam was perhaps the "natural leader of
the navy's Young Turks" William Sims
(Class of 1880), who became the leading reformer of the Navy,
retiring as a full admiral.
- In later years Salty Sam led the enlightenment of Sims through
The Log at USNA. Salty Sam reflects the spirit of Sims by
questioning today's paradigms to ready the Navy for the future. The
secret and anonymous tradition of Salty Sam is to teach Midshipman
to bridle criticism in the ways of Sims humor, but to seek to
inspire change and reform through the argument of the obvious.
- The Steam Tunnels, also later known as the Ho Chi Minh
trail are a network of underground brick-encased tunnels
carrying steam pipes from the old Isherwood Hall, named after
Benjamin F. Isherwood who served as the
Engineer-in-Chief of the Navy during the American Civil War. The pipes carried
steam to Bancroft Hall and Mahan Hall, primarily for heating the
buildings. Adjuncts to the tunnels lead underground to the basement
levels of Michelson Hall, Chauvenet Hall, and Rickover Hall. The
tunnels serve as a natural infiltration route for Midshipmen
pranks, especially during "Beat Army" week. The original Isherwood
Hall was located partially under the current Alumni hall and behind
Mahan Hall toward the Nimitz Library. The Steam Plant was located
under the front left of Rickover Hall and plaza, in the middle of
the current tow-tank. The Steam Tunnels were left in place after
Isherwood Hall was demolished.
Over 50 U.S. astronauts have graduated from the Naval Academy, more
than from any other undergraduate institution. Over 990 noted
scholars from a variety of academic fields are Academy graduates,
including 45 Rhodes Scholars and 16 Marshall Scholars. Additional
notable graduates include 1 President of the United States, 2 Nobel
Prize recipients, and 73 Medal of Honor recipients.
The magazine "Shipmate
" is the official magazine
of the United States
Naval Academy Alumni Association
and is distributed worldwide
to the living graduates of the United States Naval Academy.
- Conrad, p.6
- The Midshipman Culture and Educational
- ; ;
- Washington Post, June 6, 2009, page B5, Obit:"Commander of
First Vessel to Surface at North Pole"
- Capt. Gottschalk from the USNA Institutional Research office,
Retrieved 31 May 2007
- Plebes Rise To Occasion As Tradition Carries On -
- http://web.ew.usna.edu/~midstar/ MIDSTAR
- The Life and Death of the Log
- The Life and Death of the Log: Part II
- The Return of The Log
- The LOG - Subscribe
- The Log parodied a national magazine once each year
- http://www.usna.edu/Admissions/classprofile.htm According to
the Class Profiles published by the Academy, the percentage of
women upon admission for the classes of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and
2010 was 16, 16.7, 20.1, 19.3, and 22.2 percent, respectively
- "Pregnant midshipman was granted rare waiver".
- Gender experts cite academy culture
- Case Stirs Criticism of Naval Academy Chief -
- Huffington Post:
- Beach, p.387
- Beach, p. 388
- Beach, Capt. Edward L., The United States Navy, Henry
Holt and Company, 1986. ISBN 0-03-044711-9
- Conrad, James Lee, Rebel Reefers: The Organization and
Midshipmen of the Confederate States Naval Academy, Da Capo
Press, 2003, ISBN 0306812371
- Forney, Todd A. The Midshipman Culture and Educational
Reform: The U.S. Naval Academy, 1946-76. Associated
U. Press, 2004. 409 pp. Google books
- H. Michael Gelfand. Sea Change at Annapolis: The United
States Naval Academy, 1949-2000 U of North Carolina Press,
- Karsten, Peter. The Naval Aristocracy: The Golden Age of
Annapolis and the Emergence of Modern American Navalism. Free
Press, 1972. 462 pp.
- Ross MacKenzie. Brief Points: An Almanac for Parents and
Friends of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen (2004)
- Scharf, J. Thomas. History of the Confederate States Navy:
From its Organization to the Surrender of its Last Vessel. New
York: Rogers and Sherwood, 1887; repr. The Fairfax Press,
- Todorich, Charles. The Spirited Years: A History of the
Antebellum Naval Academy. Naval Institute Press, 1982. 215