Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
A History of the Navy in 100 Objects
A History of the Navy in 100 Objects

Object 13: Midshipman's Dirk Belonging to Stephen Decatur

It is relatively well-known that students at the Naval Academy are called midshipmen. But what is less-known is where that term comes from. How were officers prepared and trained prior to the founding of the Naval Academy and other, later commissioning programs like ROTC? For the month of May, we are looking at the midshipman training process at the Naval Academy, and we begin with a discussion of the origin of the term midshipman using today's object, a dirk owned by Stephen Decatur.

Midshipman's Dirk Belonging to Stephen Decatur

Multimedia

Podcast
Audio File
(right click, "Save As")