It is one of the nation’s finest universities where you can get degrees from Political Science to Electrical Engineering. It has 4,400 students, 600 professors and a campus of some 338 acres. And it is free!
It is the United States Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, Maryland.
After the Revolutionary War, the United States Navy was briefly decommissioned to save money as the new nation had loans and bills to pay. But our first President, George Washington, was able to get the Congress to establish a permanent navy in 1794.
The Naval Academy idea was presented in the early 1840s by the then Secretary of the Navy, George Bancroft. The Academy was established in 1845 and began small. Today it has over 4,000 students who are among the elite students in the nation all of whom will become future Navy and Marine Corps officers.
The U.S. Naval Academy has a long and proud history of service to the nation and of producing some of the finest officers in the Navy and the Marine Corps. Today’s Academy is very diverse in its midshipmen corps. Twenty-six percent of the latest class is female and 40% are from the nation’s minorities, all of whom are shaping a Navy and Marine Corps that looks like the nation they serve. And the mission of the Academy is to turn these midshipmen students into leaders.
The Campus is full of history, too. Under the Academy Chapel there is a crypt under which rests the remains of John Paul Jones, the great admiral of the Revolutionary War. It also boasts the largest dormitory in the world. It is called Bacroft Hall. All 4,000 of the midshipmen in the student body are housed under that one roof.
The campus museum has among its Naval and Marine Corps displays, several hand-crafted model ships called the Bone Ships. They were made out of the remains of food rations given to POWs during the Napoleonic Wars.
The students are called midshipmen. That term goes all the way back to the beginnings of the Navy. It was a term that referred to the young boys who were in training and who were always billeted below deck, amid ship, or in the center of the ship.
Enjoy this video about the modern United States Naval Academy. We can be proud of the quality and history of this fine university and of the quality of leadership it has produced in the officer corps of the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.