Class of 2020 Reunites With Family and Friends
POSTED ON: Friday, August 12, 2016 12:00 PM by Naval Academy Public Affairs
Thousands of family members and friends anxiously scan the ranks of the noon meal formation, in hopes of spotting the class of 2020 plebe that belongs to them. It has been six weeks since these loved ones said goodbye to their sons and daughters and turned them over to the upperclass midshipman detailers for Plebe Summer training. Plebe Parents’ Weekend, August 11-14, provides an opportunity for parents to reunite with their plebes after the intensive six weeks of Plebe Summer that paves the way to a midshipman's freshman year at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Plebe Summer, which began with Induction Day July 1, is a fast-paced, boot camp-style orientation that begins four years of preparing midshipmen to become commissioned naval officers. It challenges the new midshipmen to develop leadership ability, motivation, moral courage, teamwork and physical strength.
Even through the rigors of Plebe Summer, the class of 2020 has maintained a positive attitude and has already made an impression on their leadership.
“The personality of the brigade, to me, is driven by the senior class, and sometimes more importantly, by the plebe class,” said Vice Adm. Ted E. Carter Jr., superintendent of USNA. “The class of 2020 might be the most exuberant class that we have seen here in recent memory.”
The Class of 2020 is composed of men and women from all over the United States and includes 12 international students from around the globe. Only approximately two thirds of the class came directly from high school; the remainder came from four-year colleges or universities, directly from the fleet, or one of the preparatory schools around the country.
“This is the first class in any service academy history where congressmen and senators have made a nomination from every single voting district in the country,” said Carter.
For the family and friends reuniting with their plebes, it can be shocking to see how much they have changed. Parents say that the new mannerisms their plebes have adopted make them seem almost unrecognizable. They stand taller and straighter, pivot around corners, address everyone as “sir" or "ma'am," and say things like “where is the head?”
"Seeing him leave for Plebe Summer was exciting. It was heartbreaking and came with a lot of anxiety, but I’ve never been more proud,” said Tracy McClure, mother of Midshipman 4th Class Kyran McClure. “I’m just so excited to get my arms around him.”
During the four-day weekend, parents are able to see a formal parade, tour the dorms at Bancroft Hall, and meet with faculty and staff members to get a glimpse of life at the academy and what to expect during the upcoming year.
The Class of 2020 is scheduled to join the Brigade of Midshipmen during reform Aug. 18-20. At that point, the plebes will move to their permanent company spaces in preparation for the academic school year.
See more photos from Plebe Parents Weekend on the USNA Flickr page.