Story Number: NNS140701-19Release Date: 7/1/2014 3:08:00 PM
From Naval Academy Public Affairs
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Summer vacation ends early July 1 for the 1,192 men and women being inducted into the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2018.
Induction Day, or I-Day, marks the beginning of the arduous six-week indoctrination period called Plebe Summer.
More than 17,600 students applied to the Class of 2018. The new class includes 303 women - 25 percent of the incoming class. This represents the largest number of women to be inducted at the Naval Academy since the academy was founded in 1845.
Among the new plebes are 13 international students from 12 countries: Cambodia, Cameroon, the Federated States of Micronesia, Georgia, Mexico, Montenegro, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Senegal, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.
Sixty-seven new plebes are prior-enlisted, including 57 Navy sailors and 10 Marines.
During I-Day, the plebes receive uniforms and military haircuts, undergo medical evaluations, learn to render a salute, and complete their registration.
They each receive a copy of "Reef Points," a 225-page handbook of information about the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, the Naval Academy's history and traditions, their administrative chain of command, and the general orders of a sentry. New midshipmen are required to memorize virtually all of the more than 1,000 facts outlined in the book.
I-Day concludes when the midshipmen take the oath of office in front of their family, friends and new classmates during a ceremony in Tecumseh Court at 6 p.m. After the ceremony, plebes say goodbye to their families who will not see them again until Plebe Parents Weekend, Aug. 7-10.
With the conclusion of I-Day, Plebe Summer officially begins. During this time, plebes start each day at dawn with mandatory physical training. The remainder of each day is packed with drills and instruction on the military lifestyle and more physical training. The plebes are allotted minimal leisure time.
During these six weeks, the plebes are led and trained by upperclass midshipmen. Instruction includes seamanship, boat handling, navigation and small arms training. This indoctrination period is designed to help plebes develop discipline, honor, character, self-reliance and organization, providing them with the foundation to become midshipmen and successful military leaders.
Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Mike Miller spoke to the upperclass midshipmen leading Plebe Summer June 27 about their responsibilities as leaders of the newest group of midshipmen.
"If we're doing this right, the goal will be to turn over to the next set the most prepared, the most physically fit, the most motivated group that we can possibly produce. That's the metric," said Miller. "How much can we teach them in this short period of time? It's a lot. And it will change their lives."
Miller urged the first and second class midshipmen to take advantage of what he called the first real opportunity to apply what they have learned about leadership.
"It's an enormous responsibility," he said. "It's good to learn, and it's good to continue to grow. This is great leadership laboratory we afford you. You should grow as much as they do."
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