BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Naval Academy students, about 1,200 of them, reached a major milestone in their military careers today: Completing their first summer of training.
Plebe Parents’ Weekend, a long-standing naval tradition, gives loved ones their first chance to see their plebe in uniform. WJZ’s Devin Bartolotta was there for all the reunions.
She says there was a lot of celebrating going on, because parents hadn’t seen their midshipman in seven weeks!
“Relief, excitement, just seeing her for the first time after this long, it’s amazing,” one mother said.
The plebes were also excited for the three-day weekend.
“Just kind of being able to make our own decisions, going out and seeing our families, it’s a nice feeling,” said Abby Richardson.
These midshipman were selected from 16,000 applications coming from all 50 states. Many of them came from right here in Maryland.
“Over Plebe Summer you kind of look past the gate and know that you could potentially run home, but there was never a point where I wanted to do that,” said Jacob Mandish, who’s from Davidsonville.
Although they are set to enjoy the weekend, they are prepped and ready for four years of challenges ahead.
“I’m really looking forward to having these lifelong friendships because, like, we’ve been through this together, and I’m just really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” said Alexa Jacquitte.
Many of the midshipmen are athletes recruited to play for Navy.
About 92 percent of the class of 2021 played varsity sports.
Fourteen percent of the class are the first in their family to go to college, and 11 percent are first generation Americans.