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    Class of 2027 Plebes Report for Duty at Naval Academy: ‘This Is Not a Normal College Experience’

    Class of 2027 Plebes Report for Duty at Naval Academy: ‘This Is Not a Normal College Experience'

    The freshmen arrived at Alumni Hall early Thursday morning on a campus shuttle. Hugs were exchanged with family members. Some of the students were buzzing with nervous energy.

    In some ways, the balmy morning was a typical college drop-off scene: crying parents, eager freshmen and parents buying school merchandise.

    The message on a T-shirt available in the campus store, however, set the record straight: “Not college.”

    Nearly 1,000 first-year entrants reported to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis on Thursday for Plebe Summer, the first part of their nine-year tenure in the armed service.

    Plebe Summer is the six-week indoctrination that aims to prepare freshmen for their time at the academy. Through the program, they gain a basic understanding of protocols, weaponry and seamanship, all while undergoing intense physical training, according to the academy's website.

    “So being a midshipman, this is not a normal college experience,” Induction Day Coordinator Lt. Nick Vandiver said. “The brigade of midshipmen takes pride in that. Today is one of the few days that they all share together.”

    As the plebes made the rounds, Capt. Luis Angel Gonzalez, the officer in charge of Plebe Summer, cited the increased racial, gender and socioeconomic diversity of the academy class as an asset..

    “Now, when it comes down to being able to harness and put to better use the diversity that we have, it is a strength,” he said….

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