Midshipmen attending the United States Naval Academy (USNA) are active-duty members of the military and also Naval Officers. Their Basic Active Service Date begins upon commissioning at the end of their 4-year course of study. At that time, Midshipmen will transition into the uniform and uniform devices signifying their rank as Ensigns in the Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Until that time, Midshipmen wear uniforms that are similar in style to Naval Officers but are unique to their status and rank while at the Naval Academy.
Properly outfitting and fitting more than 4,000 Midshipmen with the different categories of uniforms is an enormous challenge, but one that the USNA Uniform Store rises to meet every year beginning on Induction Day at the start of Plebe Summer. On that first morning of Naval service, the newly reporting Plebes are quickly fitted with their White Works Echo uniforms. This is the uniform worn later that afternoon during the official swearing-in ceremony and the last outfit thousands of family members will see their plebes wear until Plebe Parent Weekend arrives in August.
Additional uniform items will be issued to plebes throughout the summer training period. Prior to the reform of the Brigade, and the start of the academic year, remaining required uniforms and accessories are received.
While issued uniforms are designed to last for the duration of the Midshipman’s time at the Naval Academy and beyond, some instances might cause the replacement of uniform items. Unit commanders and other leaders regularly conduct uniform inspections. Midshipmen are responsible for the fit, quality, condition, and legibility of uniform markings. Loss, accidental damage, excessive wear, and changing physiques can all necessitate replacement of issued items. For when this occurs, the USNA Uniform Department also operates a retail store.
Following the initial issue of uniforms, Midshipmen are financially responsible for the replacement or addition of uniform items and may use their monthly stipend to cover the cost. They don’t need to go far to do so, conveniently located in the same building that serves as the dormitory, Bancroft Hall, Midshipmen can easily make a run down to the 5th Wing basement Uniform Store any weekday to pick up required items.
The USNA Uniform Store doesn’t just serve the Brigade of Midshipmen. Uniform items and accessories needed by the active-duty Naval Officers and enlisted personnel assigned to the Naval Academy are also able to find the specific uniform supplies required for their own ranks and rates. Other eligible shoppers at the Uniform Store and Dress Uniform Center include Alumni and retired Naval Academy Graduates.
The USNA Uniform Department, Uniform Store, and Dress Uniform Issue Center (DUIC) take pride in being able to support the Brigade of Midshipmen and Navy community. These shops, and additional retail stores and dining establishments, are operated by the Naval Academy Business Service Division (NABSD). An integral part of every Midshipmen’s life, the NABSD provides products and services essential to Naval Academy life.
All profits earned through the sale of goods and services enable the NABSD to support the Brigade of Midshipmen. It’s true that 100% of profits are returned to support club sports, extracurricular activities, and additional activities and events such as the Glee Club, the Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Army-Navy Pep Rally. These activities could not be possible without the continued support of the NABSD and those who shop at stores such as the USNA Uniform Store, at NavyOnline, or dine at USNA establishments like the Dry Dock Restaurant and 1845 Coffee.