PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- U.S. Pacific Fleet hosted a group of 10 incoming U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) freshmen, or midshipmen 4th class, and selectees for the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) at the historic Pacific Fleet boathouse, June 5.
The meeting gave the selectees and their families an opportunity to interact with Navy leadership, while mitigating COVID-19 risk to all participants in alignment with state and DoD guidelines.
“I wanted the chance to look each of these young men and women in the eye before they embark on this major transition in their lives,” said Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Samantha Nakagawa, a recent graduate of Kamehameha School in Honolulu, looks forward to the challenges that lie ahead at the Naval Academy.
“I am excited but also very nervous because it’s so different from my life here in Hawai’i," said Nakagawa. “I am excited to serve my country and be an example to other young girls and minorities. I think it's really cool that I can be a role model to the people in my community.”
Lance Cpl. Johnathan Effle, a Marine currently assigned to 3rd Radio Battalion, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, spent time preparing for the moral, physical, and mental demands he will face at NAPS.
“I didn’t think I, a Marine that had only been in for three years, had a chance," said Effle. “I’m just trying to take advantage of what time I have left here in Hawai'i and enjoy the calm before the storm.”
The incoming freshmen, or pre-plebes, will travel to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in late June. As a COVID-19 mitigation effort, they will spend 14 days in a restriction of movement (ROM) period before beginning training in preparation to join the Brigade of Midshipmen as the Class of 2024. The six-week training, known as Plebe Summer, will provide the freshmen with a basic understanding of military knowledge and U.S. Navy values.
The NAPS participants will report to Naval Station Newport in Newport, R.I., in August. NAPS is a 10-month course designed to prepare midshipman candidates for academic and physical success at the Naval Academy. Courses of instruction include mathematics, physics, English composition, chemistry, and information technology, along with daily physical, military, and character development programs.
“These are future leaders in our Navy and Marine Corps," said Aquilino, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1984. "I thank them for their service and dedication to our country, and wish them the best of luck in Annapolis and Newport.”