Payton E. Douglas, a graduate of Richmond Hill High School, was inducted June 27 into the Naval Academy Class of 2023 and will begin six challenging weeks of basic midshipman training as part of Plebe Summer.
Douglas has completed two years at Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus, where he participated in the Regents Engineering Pathway Program, and was accepted to attend Georgia Tech this coming fall as a chemical and bimolecular engineering. However, he chose to transfer to the U.S. Naval Academy upon his appointment after two years of applying with his sights set on the nuclear engineering program.
Approximately 1,200 candidates are selected each year for the Academy’s “plebe” or freshman class, and each student is required to participate in Plebe Summer. This year the Naval Academy received 16,332 applications for the Class of 2023.
During this time, plebes have no access to television, movies, the internet or music, and restricted access to cell phones. They are only permitted to make three calls during the six weeks of Plebe Summer.
The pressure and rigor of Plebe Summer is carefully designed to help plebes prepare for their first academic year at the Naval Academy and the four years of challenge, which awaits them.
As the summer progresses, the new midshipmen rapidly assimilate basic skills in seamanship, navigation, damage control, sailing, and handling yard patrol craft. Plebes also learn infantry drill and how to shoot 9 mm pistols and M-16 rifles.
Other daily training sessions involve moral, mental, physical or professional development and team-building skills. Activities include swimming, martial arts, basic rock climbing, obstacle, endurance and confidence courses designed to develop physical, mental and team-building skills. Forty hours are devoted to the instruction of infantry drill and five formal parades.
Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.
The Brigade of Midshipmen is comprised of approximately 4,400 students from every state in the union and a handful of international students. Each year, approximately 1,200 young men and women are admitted to the Naval Academy’s incoming class.