Finding Their Bearings
Plebes' journey to becoming officers
Every year, Plebe Summer begins with approximately 1,200 incoming freshmen shedding their civilian clothes and receiving new haircuts. Then they are introduced to their detailers, senior students who will provide mentorship that both shapes and humbles in equal parts, helping pave the way for plebes to one day assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.
Notable graduates from the Naval Academy, who were once plebes themselves, are former President Jimmy Carter, class of 1947, and Acting Secretary of the Navy Frank Kelso, class of 1956.
"We emphasize the small things," said Midshipman First Class Christine Chhor. "Like greeting everyone, 'Good morning or afternoon, Ma'am or Sir,' and staying professional, knowing when to lock it on."
This summer, Midshipman Commander Elizabeth Schilder oversaw both plebes and their detailers. She took pride in being one the first faces they saw as they began their journey toward becoming officers in the United States Navy.