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As the undergraduate college of our country's naval service, 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. Naval Academy students are midshipmen on active duty in the U.S. Navy.

They attend the AcademyAcademy for four years, graduating with a bachelor of science degrees and commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Naval Academy graduates serve at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps.

"To develop Midshipmen morally, mentally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor, and loyalty in order to graduate leaders who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have the potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government."

It would be impossible to predict what four years at the Naval Academy would be like for you, but we can describe our philosophy, curriculum, and daily life. Only after you have experienced the exhausting rigors of Plebe Summer, and after you have faced the responsibility of leading other midshipmen. After you have thrown your hat into the air at graduation, will you know what the Naval Academy experience is all about. Make no mistake: the four years at Annapolis are challenging, tightly structured, and designed to push you well beyond your perceived limits.

The Navy pays 100% of the tuition, room, and board, medical and dental care costs of Naval Academy midshipmen. This means ALL students who attend the Naval Academy do so on a full scholarship in return for five years of active duty service upon graduation. Additionally, you also enjoy regular active-duty benefits, including access to military commissaries and exchanges, commercial transportation and lodging discounts, and the ability to fly space-available in military aircraft around the world. Midshipmen pay is $1,087.80 monthly, from which laundry, barber, cobbler, activities fees, yearbook, and other service charges are deducted. Actual cash pay is $100 per month in your first year, which increases each year after that.

The Midshipmen Stipend Budget Book will approximate what sorts of expenses to expect each month.

The Naval Academy's combined academic, military and physical development programs demand much effort, requiring you to spend more time on campus than the typical civilian college student. However, midshipmen enjoy Christmas and summer vacations (leave) plus shorter periods off (liberty). Free time to be away from the AcademyAcademy is based in large part on assigned military responsibilities, performance in academic and military endeavors, and class seniority. All midshipmen generally are granted leave during these periods:

  • Thanksgiving leaves.
  • End-of-semester leave.
  • Mid-term leave during the spring semester.
  • A short liberty period at the end of the spring semester and before Commissioning Week.
  • Three weeks of summer vacation.

During semesters of the academic year, off-campus privileges fall into two categories: town liberty and weekend liberty. Weekend liberty permits you to take an overnight away from the AcademyAcademy during the weekend, returning before the Sunday evening meal. You are not eligible for weekend liberty if you are assigned a military duty/watch (rotated responsibilities) or have serious difficulty in academics, conduct, or military performance. Town liberty curfews differ according to seniority. Generally, town and weekend liberty is authorized for midshipmen as follows:

  • Plebes have town liberty on Saturdays (noon to midnight) and yard liberty within the Naval Academy complex on Sundays.
  • Town liberty is granted for upper-class midshipmen following class weekends.
  • A limited number of overnight weekends are granted to upper-class midshipmen based upon class.

Restrictions apply to your use of motor vehicles as a midshipman. This is necessary because parking space is minimal at the AcademyAcademy and in Annapolis. Also, you have limited time off in the first years to make use of a private vehicle. These are the current rules:

  • Third Class midshipmen and plebes are not permitted to operate motor vehicles except when authorized leave, such as during Christmas vacation.
  • Second Class midshipmen may have a car but must maintain and operate it beyond Academy grounds.
  • First Class midshipmen may drive a car in Annapolis and on the Naval Academy.
  • No midshipman is allowed to maintain or operate a motorcycle.

As a future naval officer, you are expected not to abuse alcohol and to shun illegal drugs entirely. Plebes, regardless of age, are not allowed to consume alcoholic beverages. As an upper-class midshipman, you may drink if you are the minimum legal age for drinking (21 in Maryland). If you choose to drink alcohol, the Naval Academy will provide social occasions where responsible use of alcohol is permitted, such as at an official reception. The use of illegal drugs is strictly forbidden and results in expulsion from the AcademyAcademy. As a midshipman, you are subject to random drug testing through urinalysis, consistent with Navy-wide policies and procedures.

Almost everything you need as a midshipman is available on the Academy grounds. There is a bookstore, uniform and tailor shop, cobbler shop, snack bar, barber/beauty shop, post office, and recreation rooms. We also provide the following services:

The entire brigade eats at one time in a 55,000-square-foot dining area or wardroom, King Hall. Companies sit together, and food is served family-style during the week. Other meals are served buffet style. King Hall offers a wide variety of healthy choices to ensure midshipmen have the proper sustenance for their high metabolisms. All of the food for the 12,000 meals served daily is prepared by our food service staff in the kitchens adjacent to King Hall.

Modern facilities for medical treatment are conveniently located at the Naval Academy. Besides routine medical treatment, orthopedics/sports medicine, podiatry, physical therapy, preventive medicine, and optometry services are available—specialists in gynecology, dermatology, neurology, cardiology, and urology schedule visits to the AcademyAcademy. Consultation and treatment, including inpatient care, in all primary medical and surgical specialties, are available at several military treatment facilities, such as Bethesda and Walter Reed Medical Hospitals. Most emergency conditions are handled at nearby Anne Arundel Medical Center, a fully accredited civilian facility in Annapolis.

Comprehensive oral health care is provided by the Dental Clinic conveniently located in Bancroft Hall. The professional staff provides a full range of dental hygiene and general dentistry treatment. The specialties of Oral Surgery, Orthodontics (limited), Endodontics, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics are also available. If required, emergency dental treatment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by an on-call USNA Dental Clinic Dentist.

A wide variety of training, educational and clinical services are provided to promote and enhance the adjustment, well-being, and professional development of midshipmen, including confidential individual and group counseling.

The Office of Legal Counsel is available to assist midshipmen with personal and military legal questions.

Regular seminars offer information on savings, loans, insurance programs, investment opportunities, and tax returns. Individual financial counseling is available from a Navy Supply Corps officer who serves as midshipmen financial advisor.

When the founders of the United States Naval Academy were looking for a suitable location, it was reported that then-Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft decided to move the naval school to "the healthy and secluded" location of Annapolis in order to rescue midshipmen from "the temptations and distractions that necessarily connect with a large and populous city." The Philadelphia Naval Asylum School was its predecessor. Four of the original seven faculty members came from Philadelphia. Other small naval schools in New York City, Norfolk, Va., and Boston, Mass. also existed in the early days of the United States.

The United States Navy was born during the American Revolution when the need for a naval force to match the Royal Navy became clear. However, during the period immediately following the Revolution, the Continental Navy was demobilized in 1785 by an economy-minded Congress.

The dormancy of American seapower lasted a decade barely. In 1794, President George Washington persuaded Congress to authorize a new naval force to combat the growing menace of piracy on the high seas.

The first vessels of the new U.S. Navy were launched in 1797, among them were the United States, the Constellation, and the Constitution. In 1825, President John Quincy Adams urged Congress to establish a Naval Academy "for the formation of scientific and accomplished officers." His proposal, however, was not acted upon until 20 years later.

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