Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are several questions asked by sponsors in past years. If you feel that your questions are not listed, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I become a Sponsor?
In order to become a Sponsor you must fill out the online Sponsor Application and submit it to the Sponsor Office. This allows the office ample time to process the application and match Sponsors with the best possible plebe based on similar interests.
As a Sponsor, what can I do for my Midshipmen and what is expected of me?
Sponsors have historically provided necessary friendship, understanding and encouragement to Fourth Class Midshipmen as they meet the challenges associated with a demanding plebe year. Sponsors provide a "home away from home" for Midshipmen.
What are my Midshipmen's responsibilities?
Fourth Class Midshipmen are expected to act as mature adults and future Naval and Marine Corps officers at all times. Only the highest standards of personal behavior, etiquette and accountability are acceptable. Fourth Class Midshipmen are aware of the regulations to which they are subject and should not place a Sponsor in any pressured situations regarding Midshipmen rules. Fourth Class Midshipmen are also encouraged to keep Sponsors involved in Naval Academy activities and to express their appreciation for a sponsor’s generosity.
Does the Sponsor Program only apply to Plebe year or can I sponsor my Midshipmen until graduation?
The program is designed solely for Plebes, however most families continue their relationship with their Midshipmen until graduation.
What are the rules regarding Midshipmen and alcohol?
Fourth Class Midshipmen are not permitted to consume alcoholic beverages, regardless of age, for the duration of plebe year. Maryland state law prohibits the sale to or consumption of alcoholic beverages by anyone under 21 years of age. This restriction extends to the Midshipmen within a sponsor’s home. As Sponsors, you must understand that the consequences for consumption of alcohol are severe.
What are the rules regarding transportation of Midshipmen?
Fourth Class Midshipmen are not authorized to own or operate motor vehicles. They are authorized to make use of public transportation to include taxis. They may only ride in private automobiles when accompanied or driven by a USNA staff or faculty member, their parents and/or guardians, or a registered Sponsor. (Children, extended family members, or friends of registered Sponsors who are licensed drivers should not transport midshipmen in their vehicles.) First and Second Class Midshipmen may drive Plebes directly to and from a sponsor’s home. Fourth Class may also ride in First Class or Second Class vehicles to and from authorized official functions. Exceptions may be approved by company officers on a case-by-case basis. Midshipmen of all classes are authorized to operate or ride in automobiles during a leave period (e.g., Thanksgiving and End of Semester Leave).
What are the rules regarding motorcycles and Midshipmen?
Midshipmen shall not own, operate, or ride a motorcycle, moped, or motor driven bicycle regardless of their leave status.
What is the protocol expected between a Plebe and upperclassman?
The Sponsor Program is meant for Fourth Class Midshipmen. The Naval Academy understands that Sponsors often continue to Sponsor their midshipmen throughout their four years at the Academy. Should you continue to sponsor the upperclassmen, the expectation is that Fourth Class Midshipmen will maintain a professional relationship with upperclassmen at all times and vice versa.
Are the Sponsors permitted to shop in the Naval Academy Midshipmen store?
No. Only Midshipmen, officers, faculty, staff members, their immediate families and members of the Officer's Club are permitted to shop in the United States Naval Academy Midshipmen Store.
What should I do if I have a problem with my Midshipmen?
Should you experience a problem with your Midshipmen, please contact his or her company officer. The company officer will be able to help you resolve any problems that might arise. If you need the company officer’s phone number, please call Bancroft Hall Main Office at 410-293-5001 or 5002 and they will provide you with the number. Also, you can call the Sponsor 24/7 help line, 410-320-0997.
What are the liberty regulations?
Liberty is a privilege and is granted when deemed appropriate by the Commandant of Midshipmen. While liberty tends to occur at the same times on a regularly scheduled basis, please understand that liberty schedules are subject to change with little prior notice.
There are three types of liberty for midshipmen:
- Yard Liberty – During Yard liberty, Midshipmen are authorized to participate in activities within the Yard. The Yard is the part of the Naval Academy inside the wall line and fence line that includes Gate 1 to Gate 8. Midshipmen shall not visit a sponsor’s home on the Yard. Plebes have Yard liberty from 0530 until 2000 (5:30 am to 8:00 pm).
- Town Liberty – Town liberty will commence at the discretion of the company commanders. Company commanders will publish their requirements for each class to earn town liberty during the week. Normally, liberty for plebes will be authorized on Saturday from 1200 to 2400 (12:00 noon to 12:00 a.m. midnight) and Sunday for religious services only from 0800 to 1300 (8:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.) or begin after the last military obligation is completed, whichever is later. Plebes shall remain within the tri-city metropolitan area (Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Annapolis) during town liberty.
- Weekend Liberty – With the company officer’s approval, Plebes may depart on Saturday not earlier than 12:00 noon or last military obligation and must return Sunday by first military obligation and no later than 1800 (6:00 P.M.).
Are Plebes allowed to wear civilian clothes?
No. Plebes are to be in the uniform of the day at all times during town liberty. Plebes may relax this requirement within a Sponsor’s home, but only issued USNA uniform articles may be worn. Plebes may not store civilian clothes at their Sponsor’s home.
Can I contact my Plebe's Parents?
Yes. However, we do request that you do not contact your Plebe’s parents until after you have met your Plebe. This affords the opportunity to ascertain the wishes of your assigned plebe and to accommodate any last minute changes in the assignment of a Sponsor.
What time do the Naval Academy gates close, and which one should I use when returning Midshipmen to the academy?
Sponsors are authorized to use any of the three gates when picking up and returning your Midshipmen:
- Gate 1: Open to vehicle access:
- Sunday-Thursday 0600-2200
- Friday-Saturday 0600-0100
- Visitor Access Center: Open for pedestrian access:
- Sunday-Thursday 0600-0000
- Friday-Saturday 0500-0200
- Gate 3: Open for pedestrian access:
- Sunday-Thursday 0600-1900
- Friday-Saturday 0600-2200
- Open for vehicle access:
- Monday-Friday 0600-0900 (inbound only)
- Monday-Friday 1500-1800 (outbound only)
- Gate 8: Open 24 hours a day for vehicular and pedestrian traffic
What if I want to arrange an outing or special event outside the Tri-State radius?
Requests should be made in advance by your Plebe via their chain of command. These requests will be considered and approved on a case-by-case basis.
How do I contact my Midshipmen?
There are no telephones in midshipmen rooms, but most midshipmen have cell phones. Ask your Midshipman for his/her cell number.
To contact them via e-mail, use a lower case "m", the Midshipmen’s six digit alpha code, and "@usna.edu", for example, email@example.com.
What should I do if my Midshipmen becomes injured or sick while visiting my home?
If the illness or injury is life threatening, call 911 or take your Midshipman to the nearest Emergency Room. If the illness or injury is not life threatening, but you think the Midshipman needs immediate care, bring the Midshipman to the USNA Medical Clinic. The clinic is located in Bancroft Hall Sixth Wing. If the illness or injury is not life threatening, and you are not sure whether the Midshipman needs immediate care, or if you or the midshipman wish to speak with a health care provider, call 410-293-1758, after hour medical care 410-293-2273. The clinic corpsman will connect you with the Duty Health Care Provider. The Midshipman maybe directed to report to the clinic or given other instructions regarding a time and place for further care. After 4:00 pm and weekends, the medical care number is 410-293-2273.
How do I get a package to my Midshipmen?
Packages are sent to your midshipmen’s post office box address. Also, you can send a package through a local business by addressing it to; Midshipman (Smith) Co (#),US Naval Academy, Bancroft Hall, Express Office, 7th Wing, 101 Buchanan Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21402.
How do I obtain a Sponsor ID Card (car pass)?
All Sponsors wishing to sponsor Plebes (Midshipmen from the incoming class) are required to submit their vehicle information for a Sponsor ID Card (car pass) within the Sponsor Application. Current Sponsors who only wish to renew their Sponsor ID Card must send their information to the Office of the Sponsor Coordinator. The Sponsor Coordinator will verify the sponsor's status, print the Sponsor ID Card and mail it to the sponsor's home address. Sponsor ID Cards must be renewed every year. The only person authorized to use the Sponsor ID Card is the person who has their name on the card.
Can a Sponsor co-sign a lease for a Midshipman?
No Midshipman may enter into a lease to rent a house. Except, a 1/C (senior) Midshipman may enter into a lease after Spring Break of his/her 1/C year but can not occupy the house prior to graduation/commissioning. In addition, unoccupied houses may not be rented on behalf of any Midshipman for their use.