United States Naval Academy

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United States Naval Academy, at Annapolis, Md.; for training young men and women to be officers of the U.S. navy or marine corps. George Bancroft, Secretary of the Navy, founded and opened (1845) it as the Naval School at Annapolis. In 1850–51 the school was reorganized under the present title. During the Civil War it was moved to Newport, R.I., but was returned to Annapolis in 1865. Women have been admitted to the academy since 1976.

Candidates for admission must be between 17 and 22 years old and meet certain physical and educational qualifications. An applicant must obtain a nomination to be considered for an appointment. The following are the sources of nomination: the President of the United States; the Vice President; U.S. Senators and Representatives; and the representatives of the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. Special appointment categories include children of deceased and disabled veterans or of military or civilian personnel who are prisoners of war or missing in action, foreign students, regular U.S. navy and marine corps, U.S. navy and marine corps reserve, honor graduates of military and naval schools and ROTC, and children of Medal of Honor recipients.

Approximately 4,000 midshipmen attend the academy; they receive full scholarships as well as a monthly allotment to pay for supplies, clothing, and personal expenses. The four-year course includes scientific and general studies as well as technical courses on naval subjects and practical work on cruises. Graduates receive a bachelor's degree and a commission as an ensign in the navy or as a second lieutenant in the marine corps. John Paul Jones is buried at the Naval Academy, which is a national historic site.

See J. Crane and J. F. Kiely, United States Naval Academy: the First Hundred Years (1945); K. Banning, Annapolis Today (6th ed. 1963); J. Sweetmen, U.S. Naval Academy (1979).

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NAVAL ACADEMY. The United States Naval Academy was established in 1845 by Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft as the Naval School in Annapolis, Maryland, and was renamed the U.S. Naval Academy in 1851. Known from the start for its high standards of discipline and efficiency, after the Civil War the academy added new buildings, modernized its curriculum, and began emphasizing athletics. Throughout its history it has conservatively reflected the soundest trends in U.S. engineering institutions, while keeping uppermost the fundamental mission of educating professional officers rather than technicians. Women have been admitted to the academy since 1975. The brigade of midshipmen is kept at a strength of approximately four thousand by a dozen methods of entry, of which congressional appointment supplies the greatest number.


Sweetman, Jack. The U.S. Naval Academy. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

R. W.Daly/c. w.

See alsoEngineering Education ; Navy, Department of the ; Navy, United States .