Induction Day -Survival Hints for Parents

 

Go, if you can! Parents are welcomed at the Academy on this occasion and there is plenty for you to learn about and do. In fact, you will be embraced as parents of incoming midshipmen.

Go to the Mid Store

You will be awed by the vast assortment of USNA merchandise in the Mid Store(which is only open to parents on these "BIG" weekends). 

Bring your credit card or checkbook, I’ll bet you can’t leave without at least one T-shirt. Remember that every item you purchase is helping increase the Midshipman’s Welfare Fund. You can do a "supermarket sweep" without "buyer’s remorse"! 

Get There Early! 

Go early to get a T-shirt with the entire Plebe class listed on the back; the supply runs out quickly. Again, be sure to go early! Popular items and sportswear disappear fast!  

All purchases are tax-free and help support the Brigade of Midshipmen.  

Get your Mid Store Cards

You will want to get your Mid Store Card which will allow you to shop at the Mid Store without having your Mid with you.   They will be ready for you at the Mid Store.  Beware – you WILL be turned away at the register if you don’t have one of these cards or your Mid present with you.

Welcoming Picnic

There will be a Welcome BBQ on Hospital Point for the Parents and their family with an Expo tent, it is a good time to connect with a Parent Club if you haven't done so already. You will be "briefed" by the Superintendent and his staff, a meeting that will leave you feeling GOOD about leaving your son or daughter under the command of these impressive role models. If it is at all humanly possible, be there for this day!

Travel Arrangements 

Be sure to allow enough time in your travel arrangements to arrive at your assigned time at Alumni Hall. 

If your candidate must travel alone to Annapolis, he or she may want to share a hotel room with other candidates from Florida. 

Candidates will be reimbursed for their travel costs according to regulations, so be sure to obtain receipts. If you are traveling by car, you will be asked to record your mileage on a form and will be reimbursed at a per/mile rate. (Check the odometer before you leave the driveway!)

Reporting to Alumni Hall 

Candidates will report to Alumni Hall at various assigned times during the morning (beginning at 0600 hrs. and every half-hour until around 0900 hrs.). 

The line will be horrendously long and will snake around the paths and back up towards T-Court. Enjoy the standing in line with your Mid. These are your last "leisure moments" together before Alumni Hall swallows them up. 

They have been divided into companies and platoons by the computer before arriving. The candidates are divided into squads led by upperclassmen (first and second class) that take them through dozens of stations. 

The "Assembly Line" 

Alumni Hall resembles a mass production factory on I-Day. The first stop in Alumni Hall is for an initial uniform issue; the candidates are issued several hundred dollars worth of uniforms. 

Other stops include medical and dental areas for shots and examinations, and the barbershop for shaved heads for the guys or a short plebe haircut for the girls. Plebes will get about one haircut a week henceforth. 

In the Front Door - Out the Back 

Civilians walk in the front door and future Midshipmen march out the back where they will walk the tunnels to Bancroft Hall.  

The candidates are dressed in partial uniform, with a bag over their shoulder, and a "dixie cup" on their head.

Company Area 

Then the candidates will walk to the area above the Mid Store, be assigned rooms, and have their first lunch in King Hall. 

It is in their company area that they have the pleasure of meeting the first and second class that will lead them through the first half of the summer (upper-class spend the other half of their summer on cruise, halfway through Plebe summer a whole new staff of "trainers" will arrive; sometimes a relief to the Plebes, sometimes a scarier experience). 

First Day Activities 

During that first day, a lot of time is devoted to the folding and refolding of clothes, and marching - a lot of marching! By this time, it is late afternoon and the candidates form up for their big swearing-in ceremony.

Don't Rush Home

Don’t rush home after you have dropped your Plebe at Alumni Hall. If you wander the campus you may get a glimpse of them being trained at some task. It is fun to try and spot your Plebe, once they all have the same uniform and that "haircut", they all look alike! You may have thought you spotted your son or daughter several times before you actually see them. 

Swearing-In Ceremony

During the swearing-in ceremony, don’t be alarmed if your Plebe marches 18 inches in front of your face and doesn’t acknowledge you. 

And try to ignore the face that looks like they are ready to burst into tears. That is part of the training for marching. Each year that goes by that face will break a little more, until by the time they are Firsties they are grinning ear to ear at you! 

Get to T-Court early (45 - 60 minutes) for the ceremony so you can get close enough to recognize your Mid (remember, they all look alike from far away). 

Time to Say Goodbye

Following the ceremony, the new plebes have about 30 minutes to say goodbye to their families before returning to Mother B.  It’s a good idea to take a few snacks and drinks for your Mid.  It’s the last junk food they’ll have for a while and they’ll appreciate it. Bring a blanket to sit on and shout wipes, you don't want to get their new uniform dirty.

Remember – Mom gets the last hug!

You're Not Alone! 

With so much to do, so much to learn, and so many upper-class to please, it is almost overwhelming. 

Most Plebes collapse into bed at night thinking, "What am I doing here? ". That continues to be a question that arises off and on all the way to graduation. Every Midshipman has wondered that at one time or another. One thing that keeps them going is that they ALL think these thoughts. 

Company mates support each other and often become best friends for life. Surviving the Academy is not an individual accomplishment. Midshipmen work together as a team to overcome their individual weaknesses. What one person cannot deal with alone, a group of roommates or company mates can work out together.