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#025-16 Naval Academy Class of 2019 to Participate in Herndon Monument Climb

  POSTED ON: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 9:51 AM by

NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS:  Media who wish to cover this event and who have not yet notified the Public Affairs Office of their intended attendance should do so by 10 a.m.  Monday, May 23. For more information about May events at the Naval Academy, visit                              

WHEN: Event begins at 1:30 pm, Monday, May 23.

WHAT: Each year, the roughly 1,000 members of the academy's plebe (freshman) class form a human pyramid around the 21-foot tall Herndon Monument to remove a plebe hat, or "dixie cup," that upperclassmen have placed on the top of the obelisk monument which is covered in vegetable shortening. The midshipman who makes it to the top then replaces the “dixie cup” with a midshipman's hat.  This event is open to the public and widely attended.

The time it takes to complete the task varies, but most typically the event takes between one to three hours to complete.  An announcement will be made to kick-off the event and to recognize the winning company of Sea Trials (held May 17), and a brief presentation and introduction of the midshipman who caps the monument will be made at the completion of the event.

WHERE: Outdoors at the Herndon Monument at the U.S. Naval Academy


  • Media Check-in Time: noon-12:30 p.m.
  • Check-in locations:
    • Vehicles/Driving - Gate 8 (off MD 450). Public Affairs staff will be at the gate to direct you to parking and event check-in. Your vehicle will not be permitted access to the yard without a public affairs representative present.  Please arrive within the allotted check-in time.
    • Pedestrians/Walking – Gate 3 (Maryland Avenue). Public Affairs staff will be at the gate to direct you to event check-in.  Please arrive within the allotted check-in time.


  • This event is a great opportunity for journalists, photographers and videographers
  • A platform will be provided for photo/videographers in two separate locations near monument.  Platforms are each approx. 100 feet from monument, and approx. 12” high.
  • You will be able to interview midshipmen and attendees about the event, but we ask that you do so with a public affairs escort who will be provided for your assistance.

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