Naval Academy Graduation: [emailed 19 May 2020 from Spencer Johnson, '63]
It is still chilly here in a Annapolis, even though it is graduation week. Here is what I know.
groups of approximately 210 midhipmen each have returned to the
Naval Academy for a two day period of administrative processing before
commissioning on Friday, to clear their gear from Bancroft Hall, and to
perform a taped "private"commissioning ceremony in Techumsah Court with
chairs spaced at six foot intervals to maintain social distancing
The fifth and last group is in process now and will perform their
"private" commissioning ceremony on Thursday. No parents or other well
wishers have been allowed to attend any of these
"private"ceremonies. At the first commissioning ceremony
Midn1/c David Forney, a first team football player who was found
unresponsive at his desk and later pronounced dead, was remembered by
his football helmet from the 2019 Army game placed on a chair in the
front row. All new ensigns and second lieutenants will have the same
date of rank, 22 May 2020.
[Update: the Tecumseh Court 2020 graduation/hat tossing in sync with the flyover by the Blue Angels, as shown at the close of Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox News, 20 May 2020]
Friday, 22 May, the planned graduation day, a pre-recorded virtual
graduation ceremony will be live streamed. The keynote address will be
given by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, a graduate of the U.S.
Military Academy. Other speakers include: Acting Secretary of the Navy
James E McPherson; the Chief of Naval Operations., ADM Mike M.
Gilday;the Commandant of the Marine Corps ,Gen David H. Berger; the
Vice Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Robert P. Burke; the Superintendent
of the Naval Academy, VADM Sean Buck; and the President of the Class of
2020, Midn1/c Mike Smith. The virtual cermonies begin at 1430 EST with
a half hour tribute to the class of 2020. At 1500 EST the traditional
graduation ceremonies will be streamed. Included will be videos of the
five "private" group commissioning ceremonies performed earlier. You
can view the graduation ceremonies at: www.watchstadium.com/live/us-naval-academy-graduation.
Plebe Summer. The
Class of 2024 will be inducted over a five day period from 29 June to 2
July, a week later than originally planned. All candidates are to
conduct a 14 day period of isolation prior to reporting and will
undergo a shorter period of isolation on reporting to ensure freedom
from the COVID19 virus. There will be no I-Day as we know it. Parents
and other well wishers will not be allowed to attend any induction
ceremonies. Social distancing will be in force for the Plebes as well
as the Plebe detail. Lectures will be delivered virtualy in their
rooms. The Blue Jacket's Manual and the USNA REG Book will be primary
sources of instruction along with Reef Points. Whether or not there
will be a Parent's Weekend as planned 7-9 August is still undecided.
The question of which class had the last "real" Plebe year may soon be
West Point. The
plan for the Military Academy's graduation, as published, includes
bringing the Class of 2020 back to West Point two to three weeks before
a mid-June graduation ceremony. On arrival they will go into a 14 day
isolation period at one of the camps on the reservation and be tested
for the COVID19
virus. Once tested negative, they will be
allowed to return to their barracks to pack out and get ready for
graduation. The President will be their speaker.
Coast Guard The Coast Guard Academy will graduate the 285 cadets of the Class of 2020 by virtual means.
Chapel Dome Copper Memorabilia. I
spoke yesterday with a representative of Herff-Jones, the company that
is making the memorabilia from the salvaged copper of the chapel dome.
He said that in mid-September they will add earrings to their current
offerings and perhaps a cross pendant or charm as well. I will
let you know when I hear more. The link is: www.usnachapeldome.com
Today in Annapolis is a wear raingear day. I still have mine and can fit into it.
Be well and stay safe.
Spencer Johnson '63