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Cushing accepts rigors of Plebe Summer with academy

ANNAPOLIS, MD. – Riley Cushing of Madison has been inducted into the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2023 in Annapolis, Md.

Cushing graduated from Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile. He is pursuing six challenging weeks of basic midshipman training as part of ‘Plebe Summer.’

‘Plebe’ is the nickname given to the academy’s freshman class. Academy officials select approximately 1,200 candidates each year as freshmen. In 2018, the Naval Academy received more than 16,000 applications for the Class of 2022.

Each student is required to participate in Plebe Summer. During this time, plebes cannot access television, movies, the internet or music. Their rules restrict access to cell phones and permit only three calls during the six weeks of Plebe Summer.

The academy staff carefully designs the pressure of Plebe Summer to help plebes prepare for their first academic year at the Naval Academy. The experience also will help with the four years of challenge that await them, according to academy sources.

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 nine-millimeter pistols and M-16 rifles.

In daily training sessions, the plebes also meet moral, mental, physical and professional development and teambuilding skills. Activities include swimming, martial arts, basic rock climbing, obstacle, endurance and confidence courses designed to develop physical, mental and team-building skills.

For 40 hours, the plebes study infantry drill and practice for five formal parades.

Founded in 1845, today’s U.S. Naval Academy is a prestigious four-year service institution that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically as professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen.

“U.S. News & World Report” 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.

At graduation, midshipmen earn a bachelor’s degree among 25 majors and then serve at least five years as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

The Brigade of Midshipmen is comprised of approximately 4,400 students from every U.S. state and a few international students.

The Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. supplied this information. For more information, visit usna.edu.

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