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January 16, 1987 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-16

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Marching to a formation, U.S. Navy midshipmen put on a show of discipline for people touring the academy.


Special to The Jewish News


Future Admirals

It takes a lot of stamina, courage and
just plain smarts to survive plebe year
at the U.S. Naval Academy, and 11
Jewish midshipmen are showing they
have the right stuff.

reshmanitis: a well-known collegiate
syndrome characterized by fearful-
nesS, loneliness, self-doubt, and all
manner of stress. If you're a plebe at the
Annapolis Naval Academy, that goes double.
Hazing, or indoctrination (as it is official-
ly termed), is both more intense and longer
at "The Yard." First-year students arrive
six weeks before any of the upperclassmen
to suffer the rigors of a unique season
known as Plebe Summer. It is one of those
experiences that changes a person forever. '
It forms everlasting bonds between those
who have suffered its torments together.
It is a watershed that will put all future
adversity into perspective. It is Hell.
There's the mandatory haircut, the pro-
verbial bullying by those in charge, the
learning to salute and march and stand.
Immersion into military life is as sudden
and merciless as a plunge into ice water,
and often just as paralyzing. From the first ,
day, all 16 hours of it, physical and mental`
demands never cease. During that first, in- (
tense, six-week period, freshmen must
assimilate basic skills in seamanship,
navigation, signalling, infantry drill,
marksmanship and dress parade. More im-
portant, they are transformed mentally
and emotionally into a tight-knit unit

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