United States Naval Academy Induction Day
Induction Day or I-Day is the official name for the first day of Plebe Summer at the United States Naval Academy. Typically held in late June or early July, this is the day on which the members of the newest Naval Academy class arrive in Annapolis and begin the transition from civilian life to that of the military.
Induction Day activities vary slightly each year, but the overall format remains the same. Essential evolutions take place in various locations across campus, and each building utilized can be regarded as a distinct phase.
Prospective midshipmen begin the day by reporting to Alumni Hall, the Naval Academy Midshipman Activities Center, where they are welcomed to the Navy by command chaplain staff. Immediately following this, the new midshipmen received their first orders which are given quickly and sternly. Invariably, these are "From now on the first and last words out of your mouth will be 'Sir' or 'Ma'am'. Do you understand?" Midshipmen then surrender any civilian clothing or belongings they have brought with them and are sent to a makeshift barbershop for a haircut.
All new male midshipmen receive identical crew cuts and are sent for a final medical screening. During this time, blood is collected for testing and any necessary vaccinations are given. The new midshipmen must also supply a urinalysis sample for substance abuse testing and complete a Breathalyzer screening for alcohol. Finally, the new midshipmen are examined for tattoos and piercings. If any are found, they must be approved by a senior officer or the new midshipman will not be allowed to attend the USNA.
Midshipmen are fit for their new uniforms and issued a substantial portion of their necessary equipment, such as professional publications and field gear. The amount of material issued is in excess of most people's ability to carry, so it is loaded into a truck which transports the new materials to the midshipman dormitory.
During this time, midshipman must also complete significant portions of administrative paperwork. These include: arranging bank accounts and paycheck allotments, authorizing the midshipman loan for issued supplies, starting Servicemen's Group Life Insurance, and various other administrative items.
Before midshipmen depart Alumni Hall, they receive their first introduction to the Academy's Honor System and are taught basic military courtesies, such as saluting. They then board buses and are transported to the midshipman dormitory.
After arrival at Bancroft Hall, the new midshipmen meet their Plebe Summer Cadre and must transport their new gear and uniforms to their dorm rooms. They are shown how to mark and stow all equipment and spend considerable time arranging their rooms appropriately. Midshipmen must also formally sign their "Oath of Office" papers, which commit them to Naval Service.
Following lunch, midshipmen participate in a swearing-in ceremony in Tecumseh Court. Parents and families of the new Plebes are encouraged to attend this event and the Navy usually arranges for a fly by, weather permitting. Following the swearing-in, the plebes are allowed to visit with family and friends briefly, before they must return to Bancroft Hall. Plebes will not be allowed to meet with family again until the end of Plebe Summer in mid-August, so this visit on I-day is often emotional.
The schedule for I-Day 2006 as released by the Naval Academy Public Affairs Office was as follows. It is representative of the typical timetable of I-Day proceedings.
6 am - 10am Candidates check-in at Alumni Hall.
6 am - 3:30 pm Midshipmen rotate through a variety of stations in Alumni Hall including baggage drop off, vision screening, medical tests, the barbershop, uniform fitting and issue, the chaplain’s station, the Alumni Association, and checkout.
6 pm-Plebes participate in the "Oath of Office Ceremony" in Tecumseh Court and officially become Midshipmen.
6:30 pm-7:30 pm Plebes may visit their families who will not see them until Plebe Parents Weekend.
7:30pm-9:30pm- Plebes receive general military training in assigned company spaces in Bancroft Hall
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to United States Naval Academy Induction Day.|
- H. Michael Gelfand. Sea Change at Annapolis: The United States Naval Academy, 1949-2000. University of North Carolina Press, 2006
- Ross MacKenzie. Brief Points: An Almanac for Parents and Friends of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen. Naval Institute Press, 2004
- Robert Timberg. The Nightingale's Song. Naval Institute Press, 1996
- USNA Class of 2002. In the Shadow of Greatness. Naval Institute Press, 2012