The United States Naval Academy at Annapolis
“Home of the Navy”
Since Aaron does not have any access to a computer or smart phone, I will post some pictures, information, stories, and tid-bits about his life at the United States Naval Academy. I will try to update a few times a week as reports come in. He is not allowed to call, so all we get are letters (old school) and pictures posted on the Academy parent website. Once he makes it through “Plebe summer,” August 22nd, he will be able to post stuff himself. He will want to see everyone when he is back, which will not be until the Christmas break in December. Until then, here is his adventure!
June 27th: Arrive in Washington D.C. to see the sites and acclimate to the weather and time zone.
June 30th: Last day as a civilian!
July 1st: The morning of “I-Day” at long last!!! The culmination of 18 years of hard-work, dedication, and dreaming is finally about to pay off. Of course, the Navy still thinks I need to pay some more…
Going in, alone.
Later that afternoon…
Wow! What a transformation!!!
We will not be together as a family again until Christmas.
I told you that you would miss him.
The next few days:
Before every evening meal we say a prayer, sing the Navy hymn, and have a moment of silence. This is always a solemn time, usually.
Yesterday, we were doing our evening ritual and all was silent. Out of the ranks someone let one rip! It was a big loud fart. We were crying and turning red as we fought to keep back the laughter. Finally, someone lost it. Unfortunately, it was me.
I couldn’t help it. I busted out laughing. The detailers (drill instructors) were on me like starving hyenas. This is how the conversation went:
Detailer: “What’s so funny Mr. Smith?”
Mid. Aaron: “Sir, nothing sir!”
Detailer: “I asked you a question mister!”
Mid. Aaron: “Sir, I am sorry sir. It will not happen again.”
Detailer: “Let me hear it. I want to laugh too!”
Mid. Aaron: “Sir, someone flatulated sir.”
Mid. Aaron: “Sir, I mean someone farted sir.”
Detailer: “You farted!”
Mid. Aaron to himself: What? No!
Mid. Aaron: “Sir, no sir not me sir!”
Detailer: “Everyone, Mister Smith farted!”
Other detailers close in: “That’s gross!”
Detailer: “Everyone suck in that fart now!”
All mids start to inhale deeply and quickly.
Detailer: “Mister Smith, you have dishonored these tables! People eat on these tables! In war time, these tables are used for surgery. The blood of fallen shipmates is on these tables!”
Mid. Aaron in his head: What? Wait? On these tables? I eat here!!!
Detailer: “Never again fart in this hall Mr. Smith!”
Mid. Aaron: “Sir, yes sir!”
Mid. Aaron to himself: What just happened?
More to follow…
I made the USNA Track Team! Go blue and gold! Beat army!
Still more to follow…
New Updates! June 20th
I got the flu! I spent Sunday night regurgitating the corn dogs I ate. Monday, I am SIQ (sick in quarters) all day. It gave me time to write a letter home. I miss my family dearly, but am toughing this out. I feel grittier and emotionally tougher already. But, when I look in the mirror, I almost don’t recognize myself. The pay off is huge, so I am keeping my eyes on the goal. One day at a time…
Small events get you thru this place. We had someone on watch marching up and down the passageway (hall to you civilians) and slipped on some water from the head (bathroom) and fell on the deck (floor). We all laughed hard. One mid laughed harder than everyone. Luckily, it was not me this time. A detailer gave him a stuffed bear to carry around, everywhere! He also had to animate the bear and answer questions for it. We tried not laugh because we knew that next time it could be one of us. It was still very funny.
New Update! July 21st
“Another Link in the Chain”
This is one of the many things that make the USNA special. We recognize the importance of history, heritage, and tradition. No other place makes you feel connected to the past, present, and future like here.
New Updates! July 29th
Well, I am over the “hump!” I have survived Set 1 (the first half of Plebe summer), now for Set 2. The focus is definitely changed. There is still a lot of yelling, inspections, and push-ups, but we are focusing on team building activities more. We also got new detailers.
I told mom that I cannot wait for her to see me in uniform. I must admit we look sharp! I know how to march and drill with my rifle. Our company looks the best.
I qualified sharp shooter on pistols, so I got my first official ribbon for my uniform! We are doing all of this crazy stuff. We push ourselves and each other hard. Then, when it is over, I step back and think, “Wow! That was the real Marine Corps obstacle course I just did!” or “I’m working out with real Navy Seals!” I feel myself getting physically and mentally stronger already.
I spend my “free time,” all 30 minutes of it, folding laundry, reading Navy manuals, and talking with my fellow plebes. For some reason I feel 20 years older. Saturday nights are for sleeping, not partying. Sundays are glorious! We get fellowship hour (Yes, a whole hour!) to socialize and eat Dunkin Donuts. Little things make this ordeal bearable.
I got my class schedule for the fall. I validated out of Calculus 1 and 2! All of that studying in AP calc. finally paid off. I am taking Calculus 3, Chemistry, Naval Science, and English. The Academy also makes every 1st year take wrestling and swimming. I am going to try to test out of swimming (After all, I have my Scout Swimming Merit Badge. 🙂 ).
Amazingly, we already have several Plebes drop out. They decided that the USNA was not for them and quit. I am standing fast and looking to the future. I keep telling myself, this part will end soon. Mom and Dad write me to keep my spirits up too. I will see them in just two weeks!
New Updates! July 31st
Taking the boat out for a cruise on Chesapeake Bay.
Updates August 11th
New updates! August 18th
Finally, after 7 long weeks we get to see the new and improved Aaron.
All I can say quickly is, “Wow!” He is the same old Aaron and yet different at the same time. He looks and talks older. Plebe summer was far from easy, but it is over now. They reform the brigade today with all the midshipmen. Wednesday is officially called “Hello Day” when the returning mids are introduced to the new Plebes. Unofficially, it is called “Hell Day” by the Plebes. Luckily, classes start Monday, August 24th. Although Aaron will still be a Plebe, the “indoctrination” part will subside.
Mom anxiously awaiting for Aaron’s company to dismiss him. Every year, they paint the bronze statute of Tecumseh in front of Bancroft Hall. Learn more about the famed statue Tecumseh.
In the magnificent rotunda of Bancroft Hall. Learn more here.
We really enjoyed visiting with our son. It was harder to say goodbye this time. He will be home for Thanksgiving, though.
Some fun times from the summer…
“I have never loved and hated a place so much as here.” Midshipman 4/C Aaron Smith
This video was release by the USNA: Plebe Summer 2015
I am sorry for not posting in a while. The USNA keeps mids VERY busy!
The academic year began! Classes are great and I like my professors (OK, all but one). Classes, cross-country, navy obligations, and general maintenance keep me going non-stop all week. The days are long, but the weeks are short. I can’t believe that we are now in October! Plebe summer seemed like an entire school year-long, but the semester is flying by.
Say goodbye to NWUs…
Hello school uniform!
Home football games!!! Bellevue H.S. to the 100th power!!!!!!!!
Who’s on the USNA Cross-Country Team?
Dress blues at last! Sharp.
Off to D.C. Finally a weekend off the yard!
*My address if you want to mail me:
Midn. Aaron Smith
USNA Class 2019
M Company / 24th Platoon
Annapolis, MD 21412