Posted by: Jacqui Murray | July 25, 2009

More Plebe Summer Happenings–from the Front

If you read this post and this one straight from Plebe Summer’s front lines, here’s the next one:

Can You Believe We’re Half Way Through?

Meag studying flagsThat’s right… We’re half way to Parent’s Weekend.  In a little over three short weeks, you’ll be reunited with your Plebe, and I guarantee you that you’ll be amazed at the transformation.

The biggest highlight of the past week was qualification on the M-16A2 rifle and the M9 9mm pistol.  This event was one that the Plebes looked forward to since training day 1.  Other popular events with the Plebes included the Tarzan Assault Course, the Platoon Drill Competition, and having General Krulak, United States Marine Corps, as a character development speaker on Wednesday evening.  I would be in error if I didn’t include Sunday morning as a favorite for the Plebes, as well…many of them use the break they get on Sunday morning as a mental booster to get them through the week.  In general, the Plebes have noticed themselves getting stronger at PEP in the morning and being better able to handle the ever-increasing demands that the Cadre are placing on them.


One of the most fundamental activities that the Plebes will be doing this summer is PEP.  The basis for the physical Meag push up2development of Midshipmen is taken straight from the Mission of the Naval Academy, and it is also an integral part of preparing the Plebes to enter the Brigade of Midshipmen in August.  With few exceptions, PEP will occur five days during the week.  Sunday and Wednesday are off days to allow their bodies time to recuperate.  All of the other physical activities over the summer are coordinated around PEP to ensure that the Plebes are not over-stressed physically.  This enables them to give maximum effort at PEP in the morning.

PEP begins at 0610 every morning .  The platoons line up on one of our turf football fields to begin the day.  A dynamic warm-up of 6 “rounds trips” starts the session.  A “round trip” consists of running the width of the football field twice.  After this, the Plebes perform various stretches to get their muscles ready to run.  Occasionally, they’ll do “a few” pushups at this point as well.  Next comes the run portion of PEP, which will be discussed more in-depth in the next paragraph.  For this portion, the Plebes exit the football field and run on the roads at the Naval Academy.  Finally, after the run portion, the Plebes are back on the football field for the strength portion.  Some popular exercises for this portion include push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, flutter kicks, squats, and lunges.  A final stretch concludes the PEP session, which ends at 0740.

For the run portion of PEP, there are a few different variations that are used.  One is the regimental run.  Here, we form up by companies and the whole regiment runs together.  Picture a big congo-line making its way around the Naval Academy, and that’s sort of what we look like.  Another variation has the Plebes break up by ability groups (6 minute miles, 6:30 milers, etc…) for some interval training.  Series of sprints interspaces with jogging give each Plebe a chance to perform to their physical limit.  Finally, there is the Plebe favorite…stations.  Stations usually take place on Saturday morning, and it encompasses the run and strength portions of PEP.  Here, the companies run from station to station, spending 10 or 15 minutes at each.  Some of the stations include pull-ups, squats and lunges, flutter kicks, sprints, and other various strength exercises.

You’ll never see me send any pictures of PEP, and that’s for a reason.  On Parent’s Weekend, you’ll all be invited to come and view a PEP session for yourselves.  That’s right…it starts at 0610!!  You will be able to see first hand the effort that the Plebes are putting out.

Where They’re Going This Week

Meag in water at poolThe second half of Plebe Summer will begin on Thursday morning with PEP.  The morning and afternoon will be spent at their second basic knockabout sailing session, getting some more sailing time on our Colgate 38s.  13th Platoon will also get their first academic advisor session in the afternoon.  They will learn all of the courses they have validated, and begin forming a working relationship with their advisor (who they will keep for their entire first year).  Following the academic session, 13th Platoon will also have their 4th character development lecture.  Sports period and drill will round out the day.

Meag at poolFriday will be an exciting day.  Half of the Plebes will ride up to Baltimore on a Yard Patrol craft (YP), where they will get a chance to put some of their newly learned damage control skills to work and also get an introduction to life underway on a Navy vessel.  The other half of the Plebes will be bussed up to Baltimore, where they will be able to explore some of the local attractions.  As the YPs arrive around 1100 (or noon time), they will switch, and the other half of the Plebes will ride the YPs back to the Naval Academy.  Their counterparts will explore Baltimore in the afternoon and take busses back to the Naval Academy.  This time off of the Yard should do wonders for their spirits.  Some Blue Jacket’s Manual training, their second formal parade, and choir finish this day.

Saturday begins with PEP, and their 4th character development lecture after morning meal.  The entire company will then head off to their second laser sailing session, where they will get some practical experience sailing our one-person lasers.  After noon meal, they get some Blue Jacket’s Manual training, and then get to run the Squad Combat Course.  This course is a treat, as each squad gets to maneuver through a series of challenges such as paddling a rubber raft together, carrying that rubber raft over a long distance, and running together as a squad.  The focus of this evolution is teamwork (and hard work).  All of our future Navy SEALs will shine on this event!  Sports period and drill conclude this Saturday.

Sunday, as always, begins with worship services all morning.  Noon meal formation will be special today, as the Meag with fire hosesecond set of Midshipmen Cadre take over the training of our Plebes.  The second set brings to the game an equal level of professionalism, as well as “fully charged batteries,” and they will challenge the Plebes to excel to new levels of performance.  After turnover, the Plebes will review their academic handbooks, and then get to make their second call home (5 minutes in length, between 2:30 PM and 3:30 PM EST).  Honor training and drill finish out the day.

Monday begins with PEP, followed in the morning and afternoon by their second climbing wall session and their third uniform tailoring session.  On the climbing wall today, they will get to put the basic skills they learned in the first session to use by actually climbing the wall.  Sports period, drill, and choir round out the day.

Tuesday begins with PEP, and in the morning the Plebes will get their second haircut and an introduction to gymnastics at the Naval Academy.  In the afternoon, they will take part in their third sailing session aboard the Colgate 38s.  After sports period and evening meal, there will be a special screening of the movie “Apollo 13” for the entire Fourth Class Regiment.  As well as being professionally relevant, the movie should be a relaxing time for them.

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  1. […] Original post:  More Plebe Summer Happenings–from the Front […]


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