ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- After 43 days of summer training, the plebes of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 2015 reunited with their families during Plebe Parents' Weekend Aug. 11-14 at the academy.
Plebe Parents' Weekend provides an opportunity for parents to meet with their sons and daughters after the intensive six weeks of Plebe Summer that leads into into a midshipman's freshman year. During Plebe Summer, new midshipmen cannot use the internet, watch television, listen to the radio or leave the confines of the academy.
Plebe Summer, which this year began June 30, is a demanding, fast-paced boot camp-style orientation that begins four years of preparation of midshipmen before commissioning as naval officers. It demands physical and mental challenges with the purpose of the development of leadership ability, motivation, moral strength and physical skills.
"I am very excited to be here with my wife and see our son finish with his plebe summer at the Naval Academy," said Burt Nabors of Birmingham, Ala.
Often time, parents say they don't recognize their sons and daughters right away, as in just over a month most of them have drastically changed. They say they stand taller and straighter, often say "sir" and "ma'am" and use Navy terms, acronyms and abbreviations with ease.
"Certainly, my son looks a lot different from where we left him. He looks more professional and stands up straighter," Nabors explained. "We are very excited for his opportunity to serve in the military and gain education. The whole program seems to be outstanding in all aspects, character, academic and physical development."
"We are looking forward to the new academic year, and meeting the challenges of balancing the physical and academic portions that are ahead of him," Nabors added.
During the three-day weekend, parents can watch a dress parade, tour the dorms as well as the academy's engineering and mathematics departments, sail with their midshipmen and meet with faculty and staff members to get a glimpse of the life at the Naval Academy.
For the new fourth class midshipmen, Parents' Weekend is also a suitable occasion to wear new uniforms, share their knowledge acquired and introduce shipmates to the parents.
For Nabors, being able to participate in Parents' Weekend is a great experience.
"The people we have met from other parts of the country here are equally excited," said Nabors. "It's been great for us to get a chance to interact with fellow Americans around the country and participate in this type of process and opportunity."
The U.S. Naval Academy is currently accepting applications for the class of 2016. The deadline to apply is Jan. 31 and completed applications and recommendations must be received no later than March 1. For more information on admissions and applications, go to: http://www.usna.edu/admissions/steps.htm.
For more news from U.S. Naval Academy, visit www.navy.mil/local/usna/.