Two BA graduates join the Naval Academy’s Class of 2026 and soon begin training | Brentwood homepage

Gus Elliott and Patrick Melton, graduates of Brentwood Academy, were inducted into the Naval Academy Class of 2026 on Thursday and will begin a challenging six weeks of Basic Midshipman training as part of Plebe Summer.

About 1,200 applicants are selected each year for the Academy’s “plebe” or freshman class, and every student is required to attend Plebe Summer. Last year, the Naval Academy received more than 16,000 applications for the Class of 2025.

Meanwhile, the plebs have no access to television, movies, the internet or music, and have restricted access to cell phones. They are only allowed to make three calls during the six weeks of Plebe Summer.

A statement says the pressure and rigor of Plebe Summer is carefully designed to help Plebes prepare for their first year of college at the Naval Academy and the challenging four years ahead.

As the summer progresses, new midshipmen quickly pick up the basic skills of seamanship, navigation, damage control, navigation and the handling of yard patrol boats. Plebes also learns infantry drill and how to shoot 9mm pistols and M16 rifles.

Other daily training sessions relate to moral, mental, physical or professional development and team building skills. Activities include swimming, martial arts, basic climbing, obstacle courses, endurance and confidence classes designed to develop physical, mental and team building skills. Forty hours are spent on infantry drill instruction and five formal parades.

Kristen T. Prall