Plebe Year or 4/C year, begins with I-Day and the seven weeks of Plebe Summer. Plebes begin their road to training and learning the skills and tools they will need as future Naval Officers. During the seven weeks of Plebe Summer all Plebes are challenged and strengthened physically, mentally, and morally as a part of the mission of the United States Naval Academy. From daily running and morning PEP to memorizing Reef Points and fulfilling their responsibilities, Plebes learn very quickly to work together and to do things the Navy way right down to folding their clothes. Many of these things may not make sense now, but everything has a rhyme and reason for being.
By design, failure becomes a part of building character and is built into Plebe Summer and the ACYear. Plebes will fail, but they must learn the lessons that failures bring – “What can I learn?” “How can I approach this differently?” The first three weeks all Plebes will be broken down. Beginning approximately at three-and-a-half weeks, the second set of Detailers will arrive, bringing with them uncertainty and new perspectives. This second set will be responsible for building hte Plebes back up – the N*avy way.
Putting Others before Self is another integral part of these seven weeks. “How can I help my squad, company, and teammates?” It is not about “me” – but about working together.
During the Academic year the physical training continues, alongside their academic studies, physical, athletic, military and professional training. Plebes learn to prioritize, manage their time effectively, and the meaning of team work – “I” does not exist anymore, it is about working as a team. After with Plebe Parent Weekend the Brigade of Midshipmen reforms and Plebes learn to juggle Chow Calls, chopping, squaring corners, learning to keep their eyes on the boat, ProQuizzes, Come Arounds, dress parades, six-week exams, 12-week exams, declaring their major, Sea Trials and the Herndon Monument climb. All of this and also their duties, keeping watch, Alpha inspections, athletic responsibilities and training, and whatever else is thrown their way, makes for an exhausting year!
Plebe year is filled with challenges but can also be very rewarding, building confidence and maturing these young men and women, on their way to becoming Youngsters.
“I-Day and Plebe Summer are one third of the USNA Journey. Hang in there – you will soon see light at the end of the tunnel!”-AN Shine