NStar Articles

4 min read

A Day in the Life of a Midshipman

By Bill the Goat on Oct 14, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live life on the Yard and walk (or jog, as the plebes do) inside the hallowed halls of the Naval Academy?

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5 min read

'Tis the Season for USNA Fall Sports

By Bill the Goat on Oct 7, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Hooray for fall sports! It feels great to be back on the fields, courts, pitches, you name it. And it's great to show our support with some fun REAL USNA sports merchandise from Navyonline. When you are heading to one of the many club and intramural games, matches, or meets, there are many ways to show the USNA your Navy love!

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4 min read

Visit USNA: Come Tour the Naval Academy Yard!

By Bill the Goat on Sep 23, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Do you know why the Tiffany windows in the Main Chapel glow even on cloudy days? Have you found the hushed spot where John Paul Jones lies in repose, or seen where the plebes officially become “plebes no more?” These treasures, and many more, await you on a tour of the Yard.

Topics: Insider
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5 min read

NABSD Club Spotlight: Men's and Women's Fencing

By Bill the Goat on Sep 16, 2021 8:58:34 AM

One of only four varsity sports offered at the Naval Academy at the turn of the century (along with baseball, crew and football), fencing has been an integral part of the Naval Academy sport story since 1896.

Topics: Midshipmen
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5 min read

It's Time to Tailgate!

By Bill the Goat on Sep 9, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Are you ready for some Navy football? It’s time to (finally) get back to the gridiron!

Topics: Merchandise
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4 min read

USNA Hero Highlight: Joe Bellino, Navy Football Star and Heisman Trophy Winner

By Bill the Goat on Sep 2, 2021 8:30:00 AM

The Naval Academy has many heroes, some you know well and some you may not know much about - yet.

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2 min read

Treat a Midshipman: How to Order Essentials for Your USNA Student

By Bill the Goat on Aug 26, 2021 8:30:00 AM

For so many reasons, the Naval Academy is not your average college. So it stands to reason that the USNA student supplies go beyond your typical college requests.

Topics: Midshipmen
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5 min read

Go Navy! USNA Football Products That Beat All

By Bill the Goat on Aug 19, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Go Navy, Beat Army! Go Navy, Bite Army! These are the rallying cries (at least the first one) that have propelled our legendary Naval Academy football team to victory countless times. The second rallying cry is a barking order you’ll find attached to some of our legendary and delightful pet products. Whatever your rallying cry, we’re looking forward to six exciting home games on the fall schedule.

Topics: Merchandise
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5 min read

The Wait Is Over! What to Do on Plebe Parents’ Weekend

By Bill the Goat on Aug 12, 2021 8:30:00 AM

The day is finally here! On August 12th, we kick off the Class of 2025 Plebe Parents’ Weekend and begin a whirlwind of exciting events.

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6 min read

USNA Back-to-School Is Big This Year

By Bill the Goat on Aug 4, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Can’t Wait to See You in September!

With most schools returning to in-person instruction this fall, the teacher’s refrain of “See you in September” has never sounded so sweet. We’re all glad to enjoy a more in-person summer, but that first day of “normal” school is highly anticipated by teachers, parents and students alike this year!

Topics: Merchandise
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5 min read

Brigade of Midshipmen Uniform Protocols, Explained

By Bill the Goat on Jul 27, 2021 8:30:00 AM

One of the best things about being a midshipman is having my laundry done by the amazing Naval Academy Business Services Division (NABSD) Laundry and Dry Cleaning Facility. These dedicated team members wash and dry clean over 1.5 million pounds of midshipmen clothing and linens per year, including my famous blue and gold blanket.

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8 min read

Naval Ads Through The Years

By Bill the Goat on Jul 16, 2021 8:30:00 AM

(Updated July 2021)

Naval history is rich in many ways. From the men and women who have defended our freedoms, to the ceremonies that mark long-standing traditions, to the monuments that recognize their sacrifices, there are constant reminders throughout the Naval Academy Yard of those who have contributed, in incalculable ways, to the defense of our country.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

Over the Years: The U.S. Naval Academy’s Advancement

By Bill the Goat on Jul 9, 2021 7:30:00 AM

(Updated July 2021)

The United States Naval Academy has experienced tremendous change and advancement throughout its 175 plus years. It has weathered constant transition since it was founded, from the disruptions of the Civil War, to the many modernizations the Academy made during the 20th century, to the ongoing evolution we experience today.

Topics: Insider
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4 min read

USNA Hero Highlight: Commander William Herndon

By Bill the Goat on Jul 1, 2021 2:42:21 PM

The Yard was built to create leaders. The men and women that train here are our future military leaders, forged by the unending rigor of physical, mental, and moral challenges, trained by some of the best leaders in the country, and called to serve our nation, no matter the circumstances.

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3 min read

Plebe Issue: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Monumental Quest to Outfit Incoming Midshipmen

By Bill the Goat on Jun 30, 2021 8:15:00 AM

Plebe Summer is here! That means the herculean effort of Plebe Issue, preparing the Plebes for summer and beyond in a few short hours, is also here!

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3 min read

USNA Glee Club: Made by Midshipmen, Made Possible with NABSD and You

By Bill the Goat on Jun 29, 2021 8:30:00 AM

The Women’s and Men’s Glee Clubs are just two of the 140+ activities, including club athletic, service, artistic and academic, that the Naval Academy Business Services Division (NABSD) helps to fund. Without your support, NABSD would not be able to provide the level of experience that forms the heart of the USNA extracurricular experience.

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2 min read

Welcome to the USNA!

By Bill the Goat on Jun 24, 2021 8:45:00 AM

Congratulations! Those long years of sacrifice - weekend-long competitions, sports practices and tournaments, unending theater and music rehearsals, and hours of studying, testing, working and pure perseverance - have paid off. Your Plebe has been accepted into one of the most prestigious military academies in the world. Only 8% of applicants make it to this point. We are excited to welcome them to the Yard!

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4 min read

Celebrate the Fourth With Patriotic Products That Support the USNA

By Bill the Goat on Jun 17, 2021 8:45:00 AM

Red for hardiness and valor. White for purity and innocence. Blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. These values are the makings of Old Glory.

Topics: Merchandise
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4 min read

Bring the Yard Back Home

By Bill the Goat on Jun 9, 2021 11:00:00 AM

Summer’s here! It’s a great time to rejuvenate, relax, and ready yourself for all things Navy! While enjoying the outdoors, as well as your deck, porch, or pool, take a look around. You can spice up your view with a myriad of treasures from the Naval Academy and show your pride, service, and support for the Brigade of Midshipmen at the same time.

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4 min read

The Making of a Mascot - Bill the Goat

By Bill the Goat on Jun 2, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Here’s a brief history lesson on our famous friend, Bill the Goat. Let’s learn about how he came to be the official mascot of the United States Naval Academy, and what Bill was like in the early years.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

Coming Soon to a Website Near You: A Brand New NABSD Experience!

By Bill the Goat on May 27, 2021 12:30:00 PM

It’s been amazing to have the Midshipmen Store renovated in time for Commissioning Week. I’ve been getting my fix at 1845 Coffee every day, and doing the rounds while I snap up some snacks and snag some new spring Navy gear (like a lighter blanket—this winter one is too hot).

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3 min read

Read This! Naval Academy Books We Love

By Bill the Goat on May 20, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Ah, summer is finally on the horizon. It’s time to kick back with some good reading material and finally relax. Whether you’re lounging on your patio, sunning yourself on a beach, or sitting around between baseball games with your nose in a book, you don’t need to GO to the Academy to go to the Academy this summer.

Topics: Merchandise
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4 min read

Get Your Summer Started with Fun Navy Finds

By Bill the Goat on May 13, 2021 10:32:47 AM

Did you know that, in total, Americans typically eat 7 billion hotdogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day? That’s 818 every. single. second. We are a nation that’s fond of our franks.

Topics: Merchandise
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4 min read

One of the Greatest Struggles You’ll Ever See: The Herndon Climb

By Bill the Goat on May 5, 2021 9:00:00 AM

(Updated May 2021)

The Plebes at the United States Naval Academy overcome obstacles all throughout their first year, and that year is always capped off with one last great challenge.

Topics: Midshipmen
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2 min read

Do Not Miss the Noon Meal Formation!

By Bill the Goat on Apr 14, 2021 8:30:00 AM

If you’re on the Yard just before noon, drop whatever you are doing and get to Tecumseh Court, right outside of Bancroft Hall. Join the crowd to view the impressive noon meal formation. Against the stunning backdrop of the massive Beaux Arts Bancroft Hall, you’ll see thousands of us Midshipmen marching into Tecumseh Court and then standing at perfect attention. The excitement is palpable.

Topics: Midshipmen
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3 min read

What’s Rank Got to Do With It? Everything.

By Bill the Goat on Apr 7, 2021 8:30:00 AM

As a newly minted Plebe goat, I’m still learning the ropes (and knots, and rules) of the Brigade of Midshipmen. One of the most fascinating things I’ve found here has been the ranking structure.

Topics: Midshipmen
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3 min read

Can You Handle the Midshipmen Fitness Routine?

By Bill the Goat on Apr 1, 2021 2:38:02 PM

As if the nerves of beginning Plebe Summer weren’t tingling enough, today’s the day we’re hoofing it over to the training course to prove ourselves physically ready to remain at the Academy as Midshipmen. That’s right, it's time for the PRT - Physical Readiness Test.

Topics: Midshipmen
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3 min read

Don’t Give Up the Ship!

By Bill the Goat on Mar 24, 2021 8:30:00 AM

When I hear “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” I feel the pride behind this centuries old phrase. These five words are a rallying cry, a powerful thread running through the Navy’s vast and colorful history, and a song we keep close to our hearts. They’re immortalized in the flag preserved in the USNA Museum, and they run through our blood every day. I have always wanted to know where this storied phrase came from, so I hoofed it over to the museum to look upon the actual threads. Here’s what I found out:

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2 min read

Top Reasons for Students to Apply to USNA Summer STEM

By Bill the Goat on Mar 18, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (collectively referred to as STEM) are growing fields where students can find exciting and fulfilling careers as we move into a future burgeoning with technology. The USNA enjoys a long history of preparing young adults for service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, and proudly offers an annual Summer STEM Program to give 9th-11th graders an opportunity to connect with peers and experience these fields first-hand through a variety of unique projects.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

Summer Seminar: A Look Into Naval Academy Life

By Bill the Goat on Mar 12, 2021 8:30:00 AM

(Updated for March 2021)

If you’re up for truly being challenged, a junior in high school, and have interest in attending the USNA, check out Naval Academy Summer Seminar (NASS) sessions.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2021 Summer Seminar sessions will be virtual. This seminar experience isn’t like a summer camp - it's designed for high-achieving high school students that are ready to experience the commitment, discipline, and training it would take to be a Midshipman.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

Preble Hall: A Podcast

By Bill the Goat on Mar 3, 2021 9:00:00 AM

(Updated March 2021)

Podcasts are now a popular and widespread form of communication for both information and entertainment. Their origin dates back to 2004, with Adam Curry and Dave Winer commonly credited with the invention of podcasting, a term coined in an article from The Guardian titled “Audible Revolution.” They’re the interconnected online realm’s adaptation of radio.

Topics: USNA History
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3 min read

Dark Ages at USNA

By Bill the Goat on Feb 26, 2021 8:00:00 AM

(Updated February 2021)

Mention the Dark Ages and the images conjured up frequently resemble a stark, cold, livelihood devoid of mirth and music. The official Dark Ages are defined as the Early Middle Ages, following the collapse of the Roman Empire, when the Goths and Vandals poured into Western Europe and brought violence and destruction with them.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

Oohrah!

By Bill the Goat on Feb 19, 2021 4:58:24 PM

Oohrah!

“The Few. The Proud. The Marines.” This powerful statement defines an elite fighting force. Their path is not easy. They are known for being some of the toughest men and women in the military, and in the world.

Topics: Midshipmen
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2 min read

The Navy Language

By Bill the Goat on Feb 11, 2021 4:58:15 PM

The Navy is steeped in tradition and culture. Over centuries of development, the Navy has accumulated many terms that help to keep the tradition and culture true.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

USNA and Navy Cyber Operations

By Bill the Goat on Feb 4, 2021 12:00:00 PM

The Cyber Operations field has experienced tremendous growth. We rely heavily on the web, telecommunications, and information technology infrastructures to open doors to various positions in the private sector and the government. The field of Cyber Operations is a significant component of our nation’s defense infrastructure within the Navy and Marine Corps.

Topics: Insider
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4 min read

Best USNA Outerwear Gifts

By Bill the Goat on Jan 28, 2021 9:00:00 AM

Winter is here, and the chill outside is staying for a while. Right now, people are trying to stay warm. There are lots of ways to warm up when you're inside, but when it’s time to spend extended periods of time outdoors, it’s important to have the right outerwear.

Topics: Merchandise
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2 min read

Ship Selection Night

By Bill the Goat on Jan 21, 2021 8:30:00 AM

(Updated January 2021)

Three and a half years after entering the Academy and becoming Midshipmen, prospective Surface Warfare Officers take the first step toward joining the surface fleet. Soon after graduation and commissioning, these Midshipmen report for duty, decked out in their brand-new Summer Whites or Service Dress Blues, with orders in hand. The ship each Midshipman reports to will become their first command, setting the course of their Naval careers.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

History of the Naval Academy Chapel

By Bill the Goat on Jan 13, 2021 8:30:00 AM

At the end of the nineteenth century, Colonel Robert Means Thompson commissioned Ernest Flagg, already a renowned architect, to create a design that would revitalize the Naval Academy. His ideas resulted in a Beaux-Arts style design that would make up the heart of the Naval Academy, with the Chapel serving as centerpiece of the design.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

Take Off With the History of the Blue Angels

By Bill the Goat on Jan 5, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Air shows are an opportunity for aviation enthusiasts to not only watch unbelievable aerobatics and airspeed demonstrations, but also get up close and personal with static aircraft displays and pose questions to the flight crew. Often the highlight of the event, drawing in spectators young and old, is the world-renowned Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

How USNA Prepares Midshipmen for the U.S. Navy

By Bill the Goat on Dec 21, 2020 8:30:00 AM

The United States service academies are institutions of higher learning designed to educate young men and women and also prepare them for the challenging position of serving in the U.S. Armed Forces as highly capable and effective officers.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

How the United States Navy Started

By Bill the Goat on Dec 16, 2020 8:30:00 AM

The creation and development of the U.S. Navy extended over nearly a quarter-century, from the American Revolution to the War of 1812. Despite numerous obstacles, the U.S. Navy established itself as the most powerful fleet on the high seas.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

What It Means to Be Selected as the Brigade Commander

By Bill the Goat on Dec 8, 2020 8:30:00 AM

Using familiar military terminology, the student body of the United States Naval Academy is segmented into smaller, functional groups.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

Holiday Gift Wrapping for Midshipmen

By Bill the Goat on Dec 1, 2020 8:30:00 AM

For the last several years, the United States Naval Academy has hosted a special Holiday Market event, located in Dahlgren Hall, at this time of year. A spirited and festive occasion, the Holiday Market event allowed Midshipmen to get some gift shopping done for the holiday season, and gave vendors a chance to market to the Brigade. This event will sadly be skipped this year due to safety precautions related to COVID-19.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

Who Is Buried at the Naval Academy?

By Bill the Goat on Nov 24, 2020 8:30:00 AM

Memorial buildings, structures, or statues are common sights on the grounds of many institutions. However, it may be interesting to learn, that in addition to memorials and monuments, there are a number of colleges and universities with cemeteries on campus, as well. The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is included in this list, which leads many to wonder who exactly is buried at the Naval Academy cemetery.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

Snacker-Box Spotlight

By Bill the Goat on Nov 17, 2020 8:30:00 AM

The Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy give 100%, so they need to stay fueled. Our future Navy and Marine Corps Officers deserve an occasional treat. To aid in keeping them motivated and ready, the Naval Academy Business Services Division offers care packages known as Snacker-boxes.

Topics: Merchandise
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2 min read

The History of Veterans Day

By Bill the Goat on Nov 11, 2020 8:30:00 AM

What Is Veterans Day?

Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on November 11th, 1919. It originally commemorated the armistice between the Allied forces and Germany that took place on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month."

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

"Beat Army" T-Shirt Design Contest for Midshipmen

By Bill the Goat on Nov 3, 2020 8:30:00 AM

One of the longest running and most exciting rivalries in college football is the Army-Navy game. Midshipmen and cadets come together to cheer on their respective services in a high-spirited and competitive match-up.

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3 min read

USNA Barber Shop History

By Bill the Goat on Oct 29, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The iconic USNA Barber Shop, in the basement of Bancroft Hall, was the subject of some recent renovations. Now looking more sleek and lustrous, the Barber Shop carries both a new, modern image and a rich history.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

USNA Barber Shop Reopening & Ribbon Cutting

By Bill the Goat on Oct 27, 2020 11:45:09 AM

LEFT TO RIGHT: Vice Admiral Sean Buck, Superintendent; Tammy Barber, USNA Barbershop Manager; Doug Borrebach, Director, Naval Academy Business Services Division; Rondell Williams, USNA Barbershop, Lead Barber; Jennifer Sheppard; Captain Thomas R. Buchanan, USNA Commandant; Paula Clarke, Barber; Captain Thomas M. Feeks, USN (Ret.), Director, Midshipmen Services.

Topics: Insider
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4 min read

Read This! Top 6 Books About The Naval Academy

By Bill the Goat on Oct 14, 2020 8:50:00 AM

Looking for books to read this fall, winter or to keep busy during quarantine? If you are a Midshipman parent, alum, veteran or just interested in attending the Academy, we have the reading list for you. No matter your preference, you are sure to find something in the following reading list to spark your interest:

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

What Is a Midshipman?

By Bill the Goat on Oct 6, 2020 8:30:00 AM

The title of Midshipman has its roots in the Royal Navy. Dating back to the 1600s, this category of rank was filled with experienced deckhands promoted to work a specific location amid ships, usually between the main and mizzen masts.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

The Silver Dollar Salute

By Bill the Goat on Sep 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Commissioned Officers in the United States Navy are responsible for the effective and efficient management of personnel, ships, aircraft, and weapons systems. These highly educated leaders have successfully completed extensive specialized training enabling them to execute the mission of the Navy.
Topics: Insider
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2 min read

How Does Navyonline Support the Brigade of Midshipmen?

By Bill the Goat on Sep 22, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Navy_Impact Video_PROOF_v6

The development of Midshipmen isn’t restricted to formal educational settings. Extracurricular activities and sports clubs play a significant role in building the qualities necessary to become a well-rounded naval officer. The Naval Academy Business Services Division (NABSD) provides support to the Brigade of Midshipmen through sales at Navyonline.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

NAPS - Naval Academy Preparatory School

By Bill the Goat on Sep 16, 2020 9:00:00 AM

With the exception of the United States Naval Academy (USNA), academic education isn’t necessarily something that the average citizen associates with the United States Navy (USN). The Navy places tremendous value on developing a fighting force which actively works to gain new skills, expertise, and expand its knowledge base. Not only is education highly encouraged, but is required for career advancement.
Topics: Insider
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3 min read

A Look Into the Chain of Command in the US Navy

By Bill the Goat on Sep 10, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Most organizations establish some form of structural hierarchy that delineate clear lines of authority. Frequently referred to as a chain of command (COC), this structure allows everyone within the system to understand their positional relationship to all others within the organization.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

The Many Names of Tecumseh

By Bill the Goat on Sep 2, 2020 10:04:45 AM

Tecumseh Court sits in front of Bancroft Hall, and in that court stands the statue of Tecumseh, watching over the dorm of the Brigade of Midshipmen. Did you know that it’s not really Tecumseh? The bust is of Tamanend, a chief of the Lenni Lenape. He was known to want peace and friendship, and he is the reason that Pennsylvania exists today, as he signed a treaty with William Penn.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

Army-Navy Game History

By Bill the Goat on Aug 26, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Go Navy! Beat Army! Those words are yelled by Midshipmen throughout the year at the Naval Academy and culminate with the yearly Army-Navy football game, typically held at Lincoln Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This rivalry between the Midshipmen and Cadets was first played at West Point on November 29, 1890. It was a shutout! There’s no doubt the Midshipmen were cheering raucously as they won the game 24-0.

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

What is the USNA Honor Concept?

By Bill the Goat on Aug 19, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Honor is just one of many widely used terms in the English language that has multiple meanings.  It is a noun where it represents the concept of a subject deserving great esteem or the strict adherence to a standard of conduct.  Additionally, the word honor also functions like a verb when it refers to the act of conferring or adhering to those same concepts.

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3 min read

This Summer's Best Sellers

By Bill the Goat on Aug 12, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

USNA Flag Usage and Ceremonies

By Bill the Goat on Aug 5, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

The Naval Academy Club

By Bill the Goat on Jul 29, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The term “club” is related to the Old English noun “clump”.  First used in the 1660s, it referred to a gathering in mass for social discourse or to promote a common interest. It’s a word whose definition has remained largely consistent over the centuries of an evolving language. Today, Merriam-Webster defines it as “an association of persons for some common object usually jointly supported and meeting periodically”.  However, an alternate definition also describes a club as the meeting place of a club of persons. Therefore, a club can be a group of individuals who share a common interest as well as the physical location in which they meet.

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3 min read

Highlight on the USNA History Museum

By Bill the Goat on Jul 22, 2020 9:00:00 AM

There are many reasons we study history and seek out our past. There is the famous, and frequently paraphrased, quote from philosopher George Santayana that, “those who cannot remember their past are condemned to repeat it.” Besides using our past mistakes to make more intelligent decisions in the future, history helps us to understand where we came from, why things change, who we are, and why others are the way they may be. 

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3 min read

History of Dahlgren Hall

By Bill the Goat on Jul 15, 2020 9:00:00 AM

As circumstances evolve, so do requirements; and places and spaces are replaced or repurposed to meet current needs. The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is no exception. Throughout the years, the USNA has seen both transformational and preservational changes.

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3 min read

USNA Uniform Store

By Bill the Goat on Jul 8, 2020 9:26:34 AM

 

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

History of the 4th of July

By Bill the Goat on Jul 1, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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3 min read

Notable USNA Grads

By Bill the Goat on Jun 24, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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2 min read

Reef Points: A Plebe's New Favorite Book

By Bill the Goat on Jun 17, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Reefing a sail is employed when a ship’s exposure to heavy winds needs to be controlled.  Reefing a mainsail allows for improved performance and stability in rough weather.  The sail’s reef points are the sturdy ties that secure the unused portion of the sail material to the boom.  These reef points increase helm visibility and prevent the foot of the sail from flopping about uncontrollably.  Skilled sailors rely on a ship’s reefing system to ensure a controlled and safe sail no matter the conditions.

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2 min read

100 Objects: A History of the Navy

By Bill the Goat on Jun 10, 2020 9:00:00 AM

We as a species are fascinated with the past. It’s a curious characteristic of mankind. Our history is something that delivers information, entertainment, and a sense of identity and community. But as intellectually oriented as humans are, oral stories and written descriptions only satisfy our curiosity to a certain point. Nothing brings history to life more than physical remnants of days gone by. Artifacts that we examine with our senses, provide credibility to what might otherwise be dismissed as myth or embellishment. We are drawn to the tangible and often fragile connections to our past like magnets.

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2 min read

USNA Tailor Shop

By Bill the Goat on May 27, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Famous quotes rarely come from cowboys, but cowboy-turned-actor, Will Rogers, seemed to have a comprehensive understanding of the human psyche. One of his more well-known quips is, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

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3 min read

Bancroft Hall: The Place They Call Home

By Bill the Goat on May 20, 2020 9:00:00 AM

English is an imprecise language. Its ambiguities and vagaries lead to varied interpretations. A case in point, the word “home” can have many meanings depending on the context. At the core, its most basic definition is the physical dwelling in which one lives and where possessions are kept.  But “home” may also refer to a physical location or region that one has a relationship with or an affinity to. And two diverse places might be “home” at the same time. The city where one is born or raised can be thought of as “home” as much as an adopted location may be.

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3 min read

USNA Cobbler Shop: Nope, Not the Dessert

By Bill the Goat on May 13, 2020 9:12:00 AM

Cobblers, the dessert, are the result of true American ingenuity.  Early settlers craving traditional British puddings were forced to pull from whatever items were available in their pantries and throw a similar dish together.  The resulting biscuit and fruit dessert may be what most Americans envision upon hearing the term “cobbler”, however, the original definition of the word has a much longer history. 

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3 min read

Tours and Tea at USNA

By Bill the Goat on May 6, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is more than an institution of higher learning and military instruction. Its 338 acres on the former grounds of Fort Severn are rich in U.S. and Naval history. As such, the entire campus, also known as The Yard, is a designated National Historic Landmark on the country’s list of National Register of Historic Places.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

USNA Barber Shop: Plebe Hair Requirements

By Bill the Goat on Apr 29, 2020 9:15:00 AM

For members of the military, uniform regulations dictate personal appearance to include grooming and hair requirements.  These regulations are not arbitrary or merely time-honored military traditions.  While these regulations have both appearance and functional purposes, they have been able to adapt to the changing demographics of the personnel making up our armed forces.

Topics: Insider
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3 min read

Home of the Midshipmen - Bancroft Hall Steerage Restaurant

By Bill the Goat on Apr 22, 2020 9:15:00 AM

As most of you know, Bancroft Hall has quite a lot to offer a midshipman - it’s their home while at USNA, their means of grabbing a quick snack, there’s Smoke Hall and much more.  We’re developing a blog series on all the ins and out - and details you might not know - about Bancroft Hall. Our premier blog is about the Steerage Restaurant. 

Topics: Insider
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2 min read

47th Annual Spring Oratorio

By Bill the Goat on Apr 15, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Beginning in the 16th century, the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri church in Rome achieved notoriety for a unique style of musical religious service. In an effort to instill moral musical entertainment, St. Philip Neri instituted services which included two musical acts separated by a sermon. With a name derived from the church where it originated and the and Latin verb, orare, meaning “to pray”, these performances came to be known as oratorios.

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Annual Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference

By Bill the Goat on Apr 8, 2020 9:00:00 AM

In a letter written by John Paul Jones, he noted that “It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner.  He must be that, of course, but also a great deal more”. The world in which John Paul Jones fought and commanded ships bears little resemblance to the contemporary global environment, yet his view regarding the qualifications a Naval Officer must possess is still relevant today.

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I-Day: A Day in the Life

By Bill the Goat on Apr 1, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Young people who choose to serve their country in the United States military might enlist after high school or enter an officer candidate program after earning a 4-year college degree.  But a select few spend their high school years building an outstanding record of achievement that will make them competitive for an appointment to one of the nation’s military service academies.

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New Spring Navy Apparel for the Whole Family

By Bill the Goat on Mar 25, 2020 9:57:52 AM

It’s been a surprisingly warm winter around the Naval Academy. In the fall we all prepped for the Dark Ages and cold weather at USNA by getting our hands on warm gloves, cozy hats, and thick jackets. We’re all starting to realize we aren’t going to need them for much longer considering it’s been a warm 40-50 degrees over the last couple months. There have been cooler days, but overall we haven’t needed to thoroughly bundle up our children too much this year like we did last year. There’s been no shoveling snow by the midshipmen - or grumpy teenagers - around Annapolis, and I don’t either of them are too upset about that. 

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120th Submarine Birthday Ball

By Bill the Goat on Mar 18, 2020 9:30:00 AM

Sir Winston Churchill once famously stated, “Of all the branches of the men in the forces there is none which shows more devotion and faces grimmer perils than the submariners.”

This brave fighting force is the silent service, requiring highly educated and qualified personnel to staff and operate its complex weapons systems undersea. Life aboard these platforms is demanding. Submariners forgo fresh air and natural light, working and living in close quarters to perform their critical duties beneath the seas. The submarine community and its history are celebrated each year at the Submarine Birthday Ball.

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The Yard Over the Years

By Bill the Goat on Mar 11, 2020 9:15:00 AM

On October 10, 1845, Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft established the Naval School.  Opening with 50 midshipmen and seven professors, the original academic program required a five-year course of study. Located on the grounds of former US Army Post, Fort Severn, the United States Naval Academy has experienced incredible changes and evolved throughout its noble history.

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Where did Anchors Aweigh Come From?

By Bill the Goat on Mar 4, 2020 9:45:00 AM

Military bands have long been used as a means of communication on the battlefield.  The first documented evidence is found in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War from 2,500 years ago when drums and gongs were used to broadcast orders to troops.

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What Feeds America’s Midshipmen?

By Bill the Goat on Feb 26, 2020 10:00:00 AM

There’s an old saying that an army marches on its stomach. This famous quote has been attributed to both Napoleon Bonaparte and Fredrick the Great, but no matter which military leader first came to this conclusion, its meaning is clear. The intent of the phrase is to convey that the effectiveness of a military force relies on the quality and quantity of the food it is served.  At the US Naval Academy (USNA), the requirement for plentiful and appetizing meals to serve the Brigade of Midshipmen is no different. But what exactly does it take to feed future Naval and Marine Corps Officers? Quite literally tons of food and optimum efficiency.

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USNA Winter Musical: Oklahoma!

By Bill the Goat on Feb 19, 2020 9:30:00 AM

There’s something magical about musical theater. It keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. At any moment a character might unexpectedly break into song, sharing their innermost emotional turmoil, or ambitions for pulling something over on another character. In other scenes, the entire cast is suddenly in on the action, belting out the same thought as a choral ensemble. While no one ever really publicly breaks into song to get a message across, there is something to love about campy songs with catchy melodies paired with over-the-top storylines.

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USNA Black History Month Concert

By Bill the Goat on Feb 5, 2020 11:06:00 AM

Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans. An idea born from Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and other notable African Americans, its origins date back to 1926. For its debut, a single week spanning the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass was chosen by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) as a proper time to raise awareness regarding the significant role African Americans have played in the nation’s history. Community response to the event proved popular with organizations nation-wide holding their own educational event and celebrations. 

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Naptown Funk - A Viral Video

By Bill the Goat on Jan 22, 2020 9:30:00 AM

The first video to go viral appeared in 2004, when Gary Brolsma posted his lip-synced Numa Numa Dance. Hilarious, wildly unexpected, and a bit endearing, viewers repeatedly watched and shared the short video of Brolsma gesturing along to the song without abandon. 

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USNA Midshipmen Classical Recital

By Bill the Goat on Jan 15, 2020 9:22:00 AM

Live music provides an energy to performances that recorded tracks are unable to match. And this is precisely what makes a recital such a special event. During a recital, all attention is devoted to the music and the musician. On January 31, musicians and their instruments will take their turn as the stars of the show during the Midshipmen Classical Recital.

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Naval Academy Spring & Summer Photo Series

By Bill the Goat on Jan 6, 2020 11:50:00 AM

It’s chilly here at the U.S. Naval Academy!  We’ve had a little snow and ice, and we’re just in the beginning stages of winter. Let's all take a couple moments to reminisce about warmer, brighter days at the USNA during the spring & summer. Enjoy some fun facts about the USNA extracurricular activities you might not have known about.

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USNA's Distinguished Artist Series

By Bill the Goat on Dec 27, 2019 8:45:00 AM

The Fine Arts are distinguished from decorative and applied art in that its purpose is to be appreciated for its beauty or aesthetics rather than practicality or function. It consists of art concentrations in classical areas such as painting, sculpture, music, and dance, as well as more modern forms such as photography and film.

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Stocking Stuffers

By Bill the Goat on Dec 17, 2019 8:45:00 AM

With the chaos of Black Friday now behind you, you’ve undoubtedly made significant progress toward obtaining all those big-ticket wishlist items. However, giving should be less about snagging the latest holiday deals and more about finding thoughtful gifts matched perfectly to the recipient.

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The Messiah Concert

By Bill the Goat on Dec 3, 2019 8:45:00 AM

December brings with it a season of multi-sensory experiences. Twinkling lights softly brighten the night while the scent of freshly baked treats fills the air; but there may be nothing more powerful than music for eliciting the spirit of the season.

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Giving Tree Ceremony

By Bill the Goat on Nov 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Giving back to the Annapolis community is a gesture that midshipmen feel quite strongly about. Being able to volunteer without leaving the campus allows the Brigade greater opportunity to help and serve others. The midshipmen of 6th Company have taken on the duty of arranging an annual holiday tradition, the Giving Tree.

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Army-Navy Game Buses

By Bill the Goat on Nov 21, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Go Navy! Beat Army! The biggest game of the year is just weeks away, and anticipation for this long-standing, inter-service rivalry matchup is mounting.

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USMC Birthday

By Bill the Goat on Nov 7, 2019 9:00:00 AM

“Happy Birthday, Marine!” is a refrain heard throughout the world each November. The birth of this revered fighting force is celebrated with great production, pomp, and tradition every November 10.

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What is NASEC? Naval Academy Science and Engineering Conference

By Bill the Goat on Oct 30, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Professional conferences provide attendees with a variety of opportunities unavailable in their daily working lives. Not only can participants share and listen to presentations about new research and ongoing work that others in the field are doing, but they can also network with individuals they might not otherwise meet.

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The U.S. Naval Academy’s Anniversary

By Bill the Goat on Oct 9, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Anniversaries are a time to reflect on and celebrate the significance of a particular event. Marking the passage of time, and appreciating how the event has shaped us, helps us to understand who we are and where we have come from. Within the United States Navy family, October is well known for being the month to celebrate the Navy’s birthday, which was established on October 13, 1775. October is also the month in which the United States Naval Academy was established. This year marks the Academy’s 174th anniversary.

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History of the USNA Halloween Concert

By Bill the Goat on Oct 1, 2019 9:00:00 AM

As the seasons slowly change from summer to fall, trees transform into kaleidoscopes of magnificent color, and the crisp, cool air seems to summon treasured autumn traditions. Football games, bonfires, apple picking, and pumpkin-spiced lattes all have their enthusiasts, but Halloween is one tradition with devoted fans of all ages.

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The Seal of the Naval Academy

By Bill the Goat on Sep 26, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Visitors to the Naval Academy may have noticed an intricate design cut into the stone above the entrance to Bancroft Hall. The same design can also be found cast in bronze and embedded into the sidewalk near the figurehead of Tecumseh. This is the seal and coat-of-arms representing the United States Naval Academy. 

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Naval Academy Songs

By Bill the Goat on Sep 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Few would doubt the significance of music and songs in human history and culture. Songs not only provide entertainment, they tell our stories and convey our emotions. Shared musical experiences are also known to facilitate important social bonding.

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Fall Club Sports and the Midshipmen Welfare Fund

By Bill the Goat on Sep 5, 2019 12:20:22 PM

With the start of the fall sports season, there is no doubt that midshipmen, parents, and alumni are already eagerly awaiting this year’s Army-Navy football game in December. But there’s far more to the Naval Academy’s fall sports than cheering on the football team. There are a number of other exciting sports teams to join and follow.

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USNA Traditions: Brigade Parades

By Bill the Goat on Aug 29, 2019 9:20:00 AM

The United States Naval Academy has carried on the proud and long-standing military dress parade tradition since its establishment in 1845. Naval Academy parades exhibit the Brigade of Midshipmen’s dedication to military discipline, professionalism, and teamwork vital to their future success as officers serving in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

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Ready to Be Impressed? A Look into Laundry at USNA

By Bill the Goat on Aug 22, 2019 12:55:00 PM

For most college students, laundry is a dreaded and frequently avoided chore. Students joke about how clothing collects in large piles until they can scrounge up enough quarters to get it all done at once. However, midshipmen are not typical college students, and their laundry requirements are considerably different.

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New to the Navy Family? 10 Staple Items and Things to Do

By Bill the Goat on Aug 15, 2019 8:28:00 AM

Welcome to the Navy family, we’re glad you’re here! Whether you are a parent of a plebe or the loved one of a newly accepted incoming midshipman next year, you are now part of a prestigious family valuing honor, courage, and commitment. This journey is steeped in noble history and Naval tradition, and is sure to be filled with endless pride.

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Behind the Scenes: Plebe Summer Prep

By Bill the Goat on Aug 8, 2019 11:48:54 AM

Happy Plebe Parents' Weekend to the midshipmen parents of the 2023 class!

Plebe Summer officially begins with Induction Day, the day when candidates and their families descend upon Annapolis and the Naval Academy. It’s an exciting and moving milestone for the incoming class, as they enter military service and say goodbye to loved ones.

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History of the USNA Pipes and Drums

By Bill the Goat on Jul 26, 2019 9:20:00 AM

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History of the New 1845 Coffee Shop

By Bill the Goat on Jul 18, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Guest Blog Written by Jim Cheevers

The Gatehouses

The two small buildings just inside Gate 3 at Maryland Avenue were constructed in 1876 as gatehouses. The one on the left had an addition put on its back in 1881. These are the only buildings from the 19th century remaining in the yard, and they have been used, for most of their existence, as gatehouses for the security force assigned to the Naval Academy. This security force has included the yard master-at-arms, the U.S. Marines, the Naval Academy police force, U.S. Navy shore-patrol, and in more recent years, the Department of Defense police.

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Take a Tour of John Paul Jones’ Crypt

By Bill the Goat on Jul 10, 2019 9:30:00 AM

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Introducing the NEW 1845 Coffee Shop

By Bill the Goat on Jun 26, 2019 9:30:00 AM

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All About I-Day and Plebe Summer

By Bill the Goat on Jun 20, 2019 9:30:00 AM

The long-awaited day has finally arrived. After years of hard work in high school and months of anxiously waiting for the letter of appointment, congratulations are due; it is Induction Day (I-Day) at the United States Naval Academy (USNA)!

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The History of Midshipmen Uniforms

By Bill the Goat on Jun 12, 2019 10:00:00 AM

The concept of utilizing distinctive dress to identify oneself as a member of a larger group has long been part of human history. Surprisingly, the institution of uniforms for military personnel is a relatively recent development, first appearing in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

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Dive Into the Naval Academy Yard Patrol

By Bill the Goat on May 30, 2019 1:11:48 PM

A classroom is the traditional place to acquire knowledge, but some skills are best developed through hands-on experience. Classroom instruction is reinforced and retained when students put it to use. While lessons in maritime topics such as navigation and seamanship may begin in the classroom, they require practical afloat training to be mastered.

The mission of the United States Naval Academy’s Yard Patrol (YP) Squadron is to deliver realistic at-sea training for midshipmen in a realistic environment under the mentorship of qualified personnel.

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Founts of Inspiration: Presidential Grad Speakers (Part 2)

By Bill the Goat on May 23, 2019 3:30:00 PM

Our last post took us through the memorable graduation speeches of Presidents Trump, Obama and George W. Bush. We’ll head back to the twentieth century and see some of their predecessors’ words of wisdom to the U.S. Naval Academy graduates. See if they speak to you as well.

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Founts of Inspiration: Presidential Grad Speakers (Part 1)

By Bill the Goat on May 16, 2019 2:39:00 PM

On May 24th, an as-of-yet-unannounced speaker will take the stage at the USNA commencement ceremony, to impart his or her words of wisdom on the future leaders of the Navy and Marine Corps, on a day where they celebrate four long years of self-sacrifice, excellence and perseverance.

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Three Hoorays for Commissioning Week!

By Bill the Goat on May 2, 2019 11:24:27 AM

 

Updated May 29, 2019: Watch acting Defense Secretary address the 2019 Naval Academy graduates.

What to Expect

It’s one of the most exciting weeks at the Yard, and it’s quickly approaching. This time of celebration features a series of events that culminate in an incredibly moving graduation ceremony for graduating Midshipmen, who receive both their diplomas and their commissions to serve in the Navy or Marine Corps.

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Annapolis Cup: Annual USNA vs. St. John's Croquet Match

By Bill the Goat on Apr 23, 2019 8:20:00 AM

Go Navy Beat St. John’s!

Saturday, April 27th is the big day when Navy will come face to face (or mallet to mallet) with St. John’s for that much awaited annual ritual – the Annapolis Cup – a celebration of competitive croquet, and a sure sign of spring. Tickets for this year’s match are sold out, but you can still get in on the action here. And if you’re twelve or younger, you can always get in for free, no tickets required.

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How To Proudly Display Your Navy Flag

By Bill the Goat on Mar 27, 2019 7:58:00 AM

When flags are mentioned, the first one that comes to mind for many is the Stars ‘n Stripes, for which we have such great depth of feeling, and to which so much history is attached. The glory and history of our nation, of course, were achieved many times by the patriotic self-giving of countless Americans who served with one or another branch of our armed forces, each of which has its own flag.

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Impress Your Midshipman with Your Knot Knowledge

By Bill the Goat on Mar 20, 2019 9:07:00 AM

When it comes to knowing your nautical knots, you might find yourself in a bind, fit to be tied. You might even be tempted to turn to the International Guild of Knot Tyers for help (yes, there is one). But fear “knot,” here is a primer on the knots you need to know.

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What Makes the USNA “Lucky Bag” Yearbook Lucky?

By Bill the Goat on Mar 15, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Earlier this month, the USNA’s oldest living alumnus, Retired Rear Admiral Edgar Keats, passed away. He was 104 and an accomplished World War II veteran who served in the Pacific. He and almost 100,000 others have passed through the gates to this hallowed Yard as Midshipmen. They include such luminaries as Jimmy Carter, Major General Charles Bolden, Wendy Lawrence, John McCain, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and more. All of these men and women had their USNA experiences captured in the annual USNA yearbook, The Lucky Bag, a tradition that started more than a century ago.

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3 Unique Gifts for Navy Fans That Have It All

By Bill the Goat on Mar 7, 2019 1:30:18 PM

You and your family are huge Navy fans. (Beat Army!) However, this means you have all the gear that naturally comes from being a Navy fan. You have the jerseys, the T-shirts, the jackets. You have the stickers for your car and the Naval Academy license plate frames. What else is there to buy? And since your family is as Navy-strong as you are, you have no idea what to get them for their birthdays, holidays, or even just for fun.

Fret not, fellow Navy fans. Our newly redesigned merch store Navyonline.com has some unique gifts for the Navy fan who has it all! Here are just a few:

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USNA Sports History Highlights - The First 100 Years

By Bill the Goat on Feb 20, 2019 1:31:00 PM

Go Navy, Beat Army! Yes, the classic, annual Navy v. Army game…known by USNA fans, Navy fans, and sports fans alike. But did you know there is a rich history of sports, yes even outside of football, at the USNA?

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Founders Day: The Formation of the Naval Academy

By Bill the Goat on Feb 14, 2019 11:26:00 AM

The United States Naval Academy has a very rich history that dates to the 1840’s. However, some people may not know how the USNA got its start. To help, here is a brief history of how the Naval Academy was established and the foundational values on which it was built.

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