ALUMNI HALL Induction Day Processing / June 27

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It has been said by every Plebe I have ever talked to, that Plebe Summer is a BLUR. I often refer to it as "BLUR SUMMER". Even more so, Induction Day is a BLUR. Alumni Hall is the ultimate BLUR.



If all goes as it usually does, pre-COVID like


Plebes are issued an arrival time between 0600 HRS (that is, 6:00 AM non military time). The line is some times long and it does not usually pay to arrive early, unless you like waiting in line. A lot of Naval Academy personally will be there to greet you, from the Superintendent and Commandant (briefly) to Chaplains to athletic coaches. The coaches usually beam in to heir new prospective athletes and greet them. At 0600 HRS, you will hear a yell out, "0600 check in Time." It is then that anyone who had a 0600 check in time goes to the head of the line.

Parents will not be allowed a certain point. Photographs can be taken. There is a lot of anxiety, even more tears. "Say goodbye to your parents," will be said. And then off you go, entering the great doors of Alumni Hall.



Sure hope you know what a "Sir sandwich is" -- and before you approach the check in desk. A newly minted ENSIGN will say to your Plebe, "From now on, the first and last words out of your mouth will be, 'Sir, ma'am.' Do you understand?" Invariably the new Plebe says, "Yes, sir." Wrong answer. The correct answer is, "Sir/ma'am, yes, sir/ma'am." It is like a sandwich. In front of the "yes' and behind the "yes" needs to go a 'sir/ma'am'. I have seen Plebes be asked the same question multiple times, at the most, 10 times--and get it wrong. Eventually they figure it out. Sort of. If you use "sir" for a female, or "ma'am"  for a male, you are in double trouble. During the summer if you make that mistake, the Detailer (name given to all midshipman in charge of the Plebes), you may be asked to write a letter to the Detailer's parents explaining to them why they are not a "sir" or "ma'am." On one occasion the Plebe was asked to write a letter to the female Detailer's boyfriend.

You may not believe this, but they do exist, Triple Sir Sandwiches.

"Sir/Ma'am, Sir/Ma'am, Sir/Ma'am, yes, Sir Ma'am. Sir/Ma'am, Sir/Ma'am."
 Used for incorrectness during the summer.

During the late 1800s there was another form of Sir Sandwiches that has been banned. It entails a "Sir/Ma'm" after every word in your abnwer to a question from someone of higher rank.

The Three Essentials

After that first encounter, there are three things:

1) ALPHA CODE: This is a six digit code that will be your midshipman's identifying number all four years., It is used nowhere else in the Navy. M26124 is an example. "M" stands for "midshipman." "26" stands for the year he/she graduates. "1234" is the number assigned to your Plebe.

2) REEF POINTS. The "Plebe's Bible" it is called. In it is everything that the Plebe must memorize during the summer. You will see it held up in front of a Plebe at meal formations. Is the Plebe really reading it. Maybe, maybe not. The first Reef Point was issued around 1900. It had few pages. Now it is over 100. It includes: rates, ship description, Navy Chain of Command, biographies, etc.

Reef Points 2Reef Points 2


Do the Detailers know everything in Reef Points? No. Does not matter The Plebes still have to learn what is in it.

Reef Point was first published about 1900. Photograph below, which appears in the Naval Academy Lucky Bag (Yearbook) reveals the reverence, or fear, the Plebes have toward the little book.


3) NAME TAGS. The Plebes are also issued their Plebe Summer name tag. They receive, I believe, three of them. The idea is not to lose them during the summer.

Name Tags2Name Tags2


It is not good to lose even one of them. There are consequences. You will be required to wear two of them so everyone know you lost you name tag.

Name TagsName Tags

Do it again, and you wear three of them. Lose all of them, and this really happened, you take a letter addressed with your name so your name is quite visible, and you pin in to where your name tag was. I say this only once, and the Detailer asked me not to take a photograph of it. I think it was against the rules.

Even worse punishment is to wear five or six of them. Problem is you do not have 5 or 6 of them. So you have to find another Plebe with the same last name and wear theirs along with yours.

Tables and more tables

Every Plebe must present him/herself at a series of tables, including:

1) Alumni Association

2) Sponsor Table

Then there is a magic booth. The Plebe enters it, and magically, when he/she exists, all "contraband" are dropped in a bucket. Without any penalties. 

End of Civilian Life
After the table check in, all the Plebe's belongings, usually in a duffle bag, are taken from him/her until the summer is over when it is returned.
Medical area is a secure place that I have never been, understandingly so. Testing for all sorts of things are taken, eyes checked, etc.

The infamous haircut, or "famous" haircut. Sit down and in 1 minute you are no longer a civilian. We usually photograph this traumatic (for some) moment.

Haircut 2Haircut 2



Here is a link to a PDF file on Naval Academy haircuts.

Uniform Measurement

Several tailor from the Naval Academy tailor shop are on hand to measure each Plebe for a uniform. These uniforms are the FDBs (Full Dress Blues. commonly called the Parade uniform), SDB (Service Dress Blue, and Summer Whites. During the summer the uniforms are adjusted. Somehow they do not quite fit, as Plebes can put on many pounds or lose many pounds.

Here is link to Midshipmen Uniform Regulations

Sea Bag

Plebes are issued two Sea Bags into which all of their I-Day uniform issue is deposited. By the end of the day it weighs over 50 pounds, and must be carried up to the Plebe's room by the Plebe. I once saw a gentleman male Plebe offer to carry up a 5/2" female Plebe's bag to the second deck. He was immediately corrected.


Sea Bag TNSea Bag TN

Midshipmen Store Checkout
After all of the Plebe Summer issue is collected, there is the Midshipmen Store checkout. The Plebes ae advised, in no uncertain terms, that they are paying for this issue and that they have two days to be sure it all fits. Only after they test its fit, they are to write their name on each issue item. The Plebes will pay for the uniforms over item from their monthly pay.
First Orders

Finally, the Plebes are at the back entrance of Alumni Hall. Totally confused, they now learn how to salute, about face, "Plebe" a cover, etc.

Wearing their "cover" (hat)




21J30 1-30 AH LT   (260)_321J30 1-30 AH LT (260)_3



The Plebes finally leave Alumni Hall for an afternoon of sitting in their rooms, becoming m ore and more anxious all the time doing much of nothing but organize their room.

21J30 1-30 AH LT   (266)_221J30 1-30 AH LT (266)_2