If you’re connected with the United States Naval Academy in any way, you are excited right now. It’s Commissioning Week and things don’t get much better.
For the Firsties and families, this is like Super Bowl Week. Ball gowns, receptions, party favors, graduation announcements, brunches, pictures, parties, and everything leading up to the Big Moment when that Mid crosses the stage. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Be honest, those last three years flew by.
COVID robbed us of many things but the thing I am most salty about is losing our Commissioning Week. We made the best of it, but it wasn’t the same. And while my Little Dragon is on target to commission from the Air Force Academy in 2025, from what I’ve seen, it’s nowhere near the event that happens in Annapolis. That being said, while I am a bit envious of the families of the Class of 2022, I can’t begrudge them their celebration. These Mids and their families were Youngsters during my son’s final year, so they are certainly connected. And every USNA family deserves to celebrate Commissioning Week, regardless of year.
But 2022 isn’t the only class celebrating. Of course, I’m acutely tuned in to the Class of 2025 as it prepares for its Herndon Climb. Of all the emotions of my four-year USNA roller coaster ride, few stick with me as strongly as the final run-up to Herndon. Once classes ended, I could actually see the finish line and for the first time, I began to let myself realize that Plebe Year would actually end. So the Plebe families have plenty of reason to be hyped. Speaking of hype …
Of course, Plebes realize that once they return from their training this summer, they will officially be Youngsters, which entitles them to the sweet perk of being able to wear Spirit Gear during downtime. If you are currently a Plebe parent do not underestimate how important this can be and be creative in ways to help your Mid take advantage – here’s something we did that our Mid loved.
And I will repeat this at every opportunity – soak it all in. I know Plebe Year was difficult but these next three years are going to fly by. You’ll be selecting graduation announcements before you know it.
The current Youngsters are preparing for their summer training, of course, but they also have a BIG moment just ahead, When they return for their Second Class year, one of the first orders of business will be signing their 2 for 7s. Most will not give this a second thought, but rest assured, several will wrestle with it before putting pen to parchment.
Meanwhile, the current Second Class Mids just celebrated their Ring Dance, which is the official sign they are ready to ascend to the top of the Brigade. They have just one more summer before they begin their Parade of Lasts.
The cherry on the sundae that is May at USNA is that we are already seeing the Class of 2026 families begin to engage with their new family on the Facebook parent pages. May is just so special, five different classes all excited for what’s happening and what’s about to happen. And for those of us watching from a distance, it brings back all the excitement of all five years.
So enjoy, it really doesn’t get any better than this.