USNA News Article
20th Company Wins YP Color Company Competition
October 25, 2012
By Jessica Clark
In a close match with 7th Company, 20th Company emerged as the winner of the Naval Academy’s fall semester Yard Patrol (YP) Craft Color Company Competition Oct. 22.
The competition challenged the midshipmen to demonstrate their shiphandling knowledge, both in theory and on board the YP craft.
Early in the competition, all 30 companies fielded a team of midshipmen to take a written test on nautical rules of the road, general navigation and shipboard procedures. The eight teams with the highest scores went on to the quarterfinals which took place on the YPs.
The practical portion of the competition tested the midshipmen’s ability to work together as team. The mids prepared a chart and gave a navigation brief prior to getting underway, then each midshipman took on a shipboard role such as commanding officer, navigator, communications officer, helm and lookout.
“For a company to have a dozen people set aside valuable time to prepare charts, spend time on the water, and do all the things required to win, really says something about the dedication in 20th Company,” said Midshipman 1st Class Michael Smiley. “I think everyone in 20 knew we would win because of the team’s commitment.”
That commitment has contributed to 20th Company winning the YP Color Company competition two consecutive semesters.
“For them to win this the second time in a year with a different crew demonstrates their ability to lead and effectively train and pass the torch,” said Chief Engineman Rico Brantley, 20th Company senior enlisted leader. “I know they will take to the fleet the same high standards they set for each other.”
Under the supervision of officers and senior enlisted, the mids were responsible for safe operation of the YP through a series of tasks that included getting the ship underway, navigation, man overboard drills, anchoring and mooring. The overall professionalism of the teams was also taken into account.
“There are a million different scenarios that could happen on the water and there is no way to prepare for every one,” said Smiley. “All we could do was rely on teamwork and problem solving.”
The competition is part of the annual Color Company Competition that recognizes the company that most excels in academics, athletics and professional accomplishments. The winning company receives the Color Company pennant during the final formal parade of the academic year.