USNA Class of 2020 Selects First Ships
POSTED ON: Friday, January 31, 2020 2:18 PM by MC2 Dana Legg
Two hundred and fifty-four midshipmen assigned to be surface warfare officers (SWOs) selected the first ship they will serve aboard during the U.S. Naval Academy’s annual Ship Selection Night in Alumni Hall, Jan. 30.
Ship Selection is the culmination of the service assignment process for midshipmen assigned to serve as SWOs upon graduation and commissioning. As SWOs, these midshipmen will be in charge of any number of shipboard operations while at sea, and are trained extensively to maintain and operate Navy ships and their systems, and lead a division of the ship’s crew.
Vice Adm. Rich Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, and graduate of the Class of 1985, was the evening’s guest speaker.
“Make no mistake, you all are about to join the world’s premier surface force,” said Brown. “We have the best ships, the best training, the best weapons systems, but most importantly, we have the best people.”
After selecting their ship, each midshipmen was greeted by Brown, Rear Adm. Roy Kitchener, Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, and Rear Adm. Gene Black, Director, Surface Warfare Division (N96), Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
Midshipmen select their ships based on their overall order of merit, and are only permitted to choose from the ships still available at the time their name is called.
The event was livestreamed and upper-level seating of Alumni Hall was filled with family, friends and shipmates of the future SWOs, cheering them on as they walked up to the stage to select their ship.
Red placards were available only to those midshipmen service assigned to nuclear surface warfare only (they will attend Navy nuclear power training upon earning their surface warfare pin), and green placards could be chosen only by midshipmen assigned to the information warfare community.
White ship placards were available to conventional or engineering duty officer option selectees only. Yellow placards were also available to nuclear surface warfare selectees; if no white placards were left for that specific ship, yellow placards could also be chosen by conventional or engineering duty officer option selectees.
Blue placards – known as “blue chips” – were available only to midshipmen who, based on performance during their summer cruise, were awarded a reserved spot on that specific ship by the commanding officer. If the midshipman did not pick their blue chip, the ship name was replaced with a white placard, making it available to other midshipmen who had not yet chosen.
As the undergraduate college of our country's naval service for 175 years, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
For more photos from the Class of 2020 Ship Selection, visit our Flickr site here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/unitedstatesnavalacademy.