HUNTINGTON — Three West Virginians will enter the United States Naval Academy on Wednesday, June 30, for Induction Day, to begin Plebe Summer, a challenging six weeks of basic Midshipmen training, according to a release from the Naval Academy Parents Club of West Virginia.
They are Jackson Shouldis, a graduate of Cabell Midland High School; Jonathan Howat, graduate of Hurricane High School; and Thomas Inman, a graduate of Spring Mills High School in Berkeley County.
Approximately 1,200 candidates are selected each year for the Academy’s “plebe” or freshman class. Last year the Naval Academy received over 16,000 applications for the Class of 2025.
During this time, plebes have no access to television, movies, the internet or music, and restricted access to cell phones. They are only permitted to make three calls during the six weeks of Plebe Summer.
The pressure and rigor of Plebe Summer is carefully designed to help plebes prepare for their first academic year at the Naval Academy.
As the summer progresses, the new midshipmen rapidly assimilate basic skills in seamanship, navigation, damage control, sailing, and handling yard patrol craft. Plebes also learn infantry drill and how to shoot 9 mm pistols and M-16 rifles.
Other daily training sessions involve moral, mental, physical or professional development and team-building skills. Activities include swimming, martial arts, basic rock climbing, obstacle, endurance and confidence courses designed to develop physical, mental and team-building skills. Forty hours are devoted to the instruction of infantry drill and five formal parades.
Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. U.S. News and World Reports has recognized the Naval Academy as a top five undergraduate engineering school and a top 20 best liberal arts college. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a bachelor of science degree in a choice of 25 subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.
West Virginia graduated and commissioned five Navy Ensigns and Marine Second Lieutenants in the Class of 2021 and now has 28 Midshipmen enrolled for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The Naval Academy Parents Club of West Virginia was founded in July 2020 as a charitable organization that supports West Virginia’s Midshipmen and their families. For more information, email the club president at email@example.com or visit westvirginia.usnaparents.net.