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Reliving Naval Academy Commissioning Week 2022

Friday’s graduation completed a busy, and more normal, Commissioning Week. Here’s a look at our Naval Academy coverage of the last two weeks:

Commissioning Ceremony

President Joe Biden took aim at Russia and described a changing world in a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy’s graduation ceremony.

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Delivering the academy’s keynote address Friday, Biden opened with jocular remarks about the commission class being “rowdy” during their plebe year, but developed a more somber tone as he told graduating midshipmen they would be commissioning into a changing global theater, noting the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Read our coverage here.

Biden’s address

Graduates, you will be the symbol and the strength of your commitment to lead the world.

—  President Joe Biden

Read President Joe Biden’s speech here.

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A special guest

John Brenza, who taught engineering at the Naval Academy during World War II, attended Friday’s graduation as a special guest of the Naval Academy. He turns 100 in July.

Watch the ceremony

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The event was livestreamed on YouTube:

Color Parade

The Naval Academy Color Parade is the formal presentation of the color company pennant by the superintendent, the company commander and the “color honoree” to the newly designated spring color company. Each semester, the color company is chosen by virtue of its excellence in academics, athletics and professional accomplishments. The color company competition began in 1867.

Blue Angels perform

The Navy’s Blue Angels arrived for Commissioning Week and practiced over the Severn River and Annapolis Tuesday and performed Wednesday.

S.S. Central America bell donated

A 268-pound bronze bell from an ill-fated ship, the SS Central America commanded by legendary naval officer William Herndon, was donated to the Naval Academy during a Monday ceremony that preceded the annual climb of the campus monument named in his honor.

The bell will be a permanent fixture on the Naval Academy Yard.

Class of 2025 caps Herndon Monument in 3 1/2 hours

After 3 hours, 36 minutes and 58 seconds, the 1,100 first-year midshipmen had worked together by hooking arms, standing on shoulders and cheering each other on to successfully scale the 21-foot Naval Academy obelisk. The climb is part of a tradition for first-year Naval Academy students. Together, they mount a 21-foot obelisk covered in about 200 lbs. of vegetable shortening while they are sprayed with water from hoses.

Sea Trials

Naval Academy fourth class midshipmen take part in the annual Sea Trials exercises which serve as a “Capstone” event for the plebes and a leadership challenge for the upper class on May 17.


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