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United States Naval Academy

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United States Naval Academy
Motto Ex Scientia Tridens
Motto in English From knowledge, seapower
Established 10 October 1845
Type Federal military academy
Superintendent VADM Michael H. Miller
Undergraduates 4,400
Location Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.
Campus Naval base, 338 acres (137 ha)
Athletics Varsity, club, and intramural programs
Colors Blue and gold
Mascot Bill the Goat

The United States Naval Academy (also known as USNA, Annapolis, or Navy) is a four-year coeducational federal service academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft began it in 1845. It is the second-oldest of the United States' five service academies. It educates officers mostly to join the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The 338-acre (137 ha) campus is on the former grounds of Fort Severn where the Severn River flows into Chesapeake Bay. It is about 33 miles (53 km) east of Washington, D.C. and 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Baltimore, Maryland. The entire campus is a National Historic Landmark. The campus has many historic sites, buildings, and monuments.

Candidates for admission generally must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination, usually from a congressman. Students are officers-in-training and are called "Midshipmen". The Navy pays for the Midshipmen's college expenses in exchange for the students serving in the military upon graduation. About 1,300 "plebes" enter the Academy each summer for the orientation program, but only about 1,000 Midshipmen graduate. Graduates are usually commissioned as Ensigns in the Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps, and occasionally as officers in the US Air Force, US Army, and U.S. Coast Guard. The academic program grants a bachelor of science degree. Midshipmen get grades on a broad academic program, military leadership performance, and mandatory participation in competitive athletics. Midshipmen are required to adhere to the Academy's Honor Concept.

On 3 June 1949 Wesley A. Brown became the first African-American to graduate. On 8 August 1975, Congress authorized women to attend service academies. The class of 1980 was inducted with 81 women midshipmen.


Annapolis has a very broad sports program. All students must play at least one sport each semester, either at intramural (within the school) or intercollegiate (against other schools) level.

The intercollegiate sports teams are known as the Navy Midshipmen. Most of the Academy's teams play in the Patriot League. The football team plays at the top level, known as Division I FBS, but is independent—not in a conference. However, the football team has announced it will join the American Athletic Conference in 2015.



  • Conrad, James Lee (2003). Rebel Reefers: The Organization and Midshipmen of the Confederate States Naval Academy. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81237-1
  • Forney, Todd A (2004). The Midshipman Culture and Educational Reform: The U.S. Naval Academy, 1946–76. Associated U. Press. ISBN 0874138647
  • Gelfand, H. Michael. Sea Change at Annapolis: The United States Naval Academy, 1949–2000 U of North Carolina Press, 2006
  • Hunter, Mark C. A Society of Gentlemen: Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, 1845–1861. Naval Institute Press, 2010. 264 pp.
  • Karsten, Peter. The Naval Aristocracy: The Golden Age of Annapolis and the Emergence of Modern American Navalism. Free Press, 1972. 462 pp.
  • Leeman, William P. The Long Road to Annapolis: The Founding of the Naval Academy and the Emerging American Republic (University of North Carolina Press; 2010) 292 pages
  • Ross MacKenzie. Brief Points: An Almanac for Parents and Friends of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen (2004)
  • Scharf, J. Thomas. History of the Confederate States Navy: From its Organization to the Surrender of its Last Vessel. New York: Rogers and Sherwood, 1887; repr. The Fairfax Press, 1977.
  • Todorich, Charles. The Spirited Years: A History of the Antebellum Naval Academy. Naval Institute Press, 1982. 215 pp.

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Coordinates: 38°59′04″N 76°29′20″W / 38.98443°N 76.48888°W / 38.98443; -76.48888