‘Plebe’ Summer Begins At Naval Academy For New Midshipmen

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—It’s induction day at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. It’s a nice way of saying you’re not a civilian anymore– and in no uncertain terms.

Alex Demetrick has a first look at the class of 2015.

Their high school diplomas are barely dry. Now for the next seven weeks, they’ll have to survive  the summer as “plebes,” which is what first-year students are called.

If it’s hard saying goodbye, these newest midshipmen already know it’s going to be harder saying hello to life as a plebe.

Kristy and Michelle Yau applied together.

Kristy expects “lots of running, yelling and getting in order.”

“Following orders, doing crazy things,” her twin sister Michelle added. “But it’ll be worth it.”

The Navy does throw in a free haircut. It’s a tradition and it’s also practical, given the rigorous physical training during the next seven weeks.

“I think it’s going to be hard, but I think if I keep a level head it’ll be fine,” said Nishant Mohan, plebe.

Upperclassmen who endured this same greeting to the Naval Academy just a few years ago are there to instruct the finer points of what it means to be a midshipman.

A record 19,000 people applied to get into the Naval Academy; 1,230 made it.

“I’ve wanted to go since I was a really little kid,” said Susan Plunkett, plebe. “I just love everything about it like the commitment, the motivation that everyone here has.”

“The military has been my dream, and I’ve always wanted to go to college, so becoming an officer was just right down my alley,” said Victor Bowen, plebe. “The Naval Academy provides all of the opportunities that I’ve ever dreamed of”— even if it can seem a bit of a nightmare.

Plebe summer is meant to be very difficult so incoming freshman can adapt to life as midshipmen before the start of the fall semester.

Not everyone makes it through the Naval Academy, but most do. The graduation rate is currently around 85 percent.

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