Commissioning Week at the US Naval Academy begins this Sunday, May 17 with the Baccalaureate services at the Chapel at 9 AM and 11 AM. As the week progresses many activities take place on the Academy grounds (the yard) including the spectacular display by the pilots of the Navy’s elite flying team the Blue Angels. If you have never seen a Blue Angels show you might want to work your way to the Severn River around Annapolis this year to see this display of close formations and expert maneuvering between the six jets as they twist, twirl and speed through the skies. The show generally runs in the 2 – 4 PM time frame depending on winds, weather and cloud cover. So, bring your chair or a blanket as you may have to wait for the show to begin but once it does it is a show you will remember for a lifetime.
The actual graduation ceremony takes place on Friday morning. It is called Commissioning as they midshipmen not only graduate with a BS degree from USNA on Friday but they also receive their Commission papers as Ensigns in the US Navy or 2nd Lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Every year several of the graduating class may opt to get commissioned and enter as officers in the US Army or US Air Force. What they all have in common is that they are stepping up to defend our country and our freedoms for at least the next five years.
The midshipmen toss their hats (covers) at the end of the ceremony and change into the new officer’s cover. At this time it is our turn to take off our hats to all these young men and women for their service to our country and wish them “fair winds and following seas.” Go Navy!!