To say that the United states Naval Academy is steeped in tradition would be a gross understatement. From the singing of ‘Anchors Aweigh’ and USNA Band concerts to the Navy Birthday extravaganza and the annual showdown with arch rival Army, hardly a day passes when the those wearing the Blue and Gold aren’t taking part in rites of passage at the Naval Academy or honoring its illustrious history. Football season notwithstanding, no time at the Naval Academy combines pageantry and heritage like the annual Commissioning Week. Formerly June Week, Commissioning Week is the glorious time when graduates become officers, plebes become Midshipmen, and proud families gather to celebrate the hard work and dedication of their loved ones. Commissioning Week at the United States Naval Academy is set for May 20-27.
Gradation may only last a couple of hours, but the memories made during Commissioning Week will last a lifetime. Make the most of your trip to Annapolis by exploring the USNA Museum, Memorial Hall, the Naval Academy Chapel, the Yard, and other attractions on the Naval Academy campus, as well as the innumerable downtown restaurants, shops, and attractions within walking distance along West St., Maryland Ave., State Circle and City Dock.
Here are some of the highlights from USNA Commissioning Week. There are a multitude of major and minor events and performances all over Annapolis throughout the week, so for a full schedule, details about dress requirements, event eligibility, and alternate locations for poor weather click here.
Friday, May 20
– Commissioning week will kick off with the Seamanship and Navigation Awards Ceremony at the Robert Crown Sailing Center, beginning at 2:30pm.
Saturday, May 21
– The annual Ring Dance will take place from 7-11 p.m. in Dahlgran Hall as all Second Class Midshipmen are awarded their rings.
Sunday, May 22
– The USNA Band will perform a Chapel Walk Concert at the Zimmerman Bandstand beginning at 10am. A second performance is schedule at the same location beginning at noon.
– The Superintendent’s Reception will take place at the Buchanan House Garden from 4:30-8 p.m. for the 1st and 2nd Battalion and guests. Tickets are required to attend.
Monday, May 23
– The Engineering and Weapons Division Awards Ceremony will be held from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Mahan Hall, with a special project showcase taking place at Rickover Hall beginning at 9:45am.
– The Midshipmen Community Service Awards Ceremony is scheduled for 9:45am inside Memorial Hall.
– The end of plebe year tradition known as the Herndon Monument Climb will take place at 1:30pm.
– The Superintendent’s Reception for the 3rd and 4th Battalions will be from 4:30-8pm at the Buchanan House Gardens. Tickets are required to attend.
Tuesday, May 24
– The Blue Angels are back in the skies with multiple Commissioning Week performances. The team will circle and arrive at 11am over the Severn River, and will hold rehearsal at the same location beginning at 2pm. The Route 450 Bridge will be closed to traffic from 10:45am-1pm and from 1:45-4 p.m. during the Blue Angels performances and will re-open at the conclusion of each
– The Superintendent’s Reception for the 5th and 6th Battalions will take place at the Buchanan House Garden from 4:30-8 p.m. Tickets are required.
Wednesday, May 25
– The Navy Sailing Awards Ceremony will be held at the Robert Crown Sailing Center from 9:30-10:20 a.m.; the Mathematics and Science Division Awards Ceremony will be in Mahan Hall from 10:30-noon; the Humanities & Social Sciences Division Awards wil be in Memorial Hall, also from 10:30-noon; the Navy & Marine Association Awards Ceremony will be in Memorial Hall beginning at 12:50 p.m.
– The Blue Angels will hold a flight demonstration above the Severn River beginning at 2 p.m. The Route 450 Bridge will be closed to traffic from 1:45 through the conclusion of the show.
– The Commissioning Week Organ Concert will take place in the Main Chapel beginning at 4 p.m., featuring a performance by Monte Maxwell.
– The annual Graduation Ball in Dahlgren Hall will be from 7:30-11 p.m..
Thursday, May 26
– The Color Parade will begin at 11am at Worden Field. The parade can be viewed for free but tickets are required for bleacher seating. Vehicle access to Worden Fiels via Gate 8 will be restricted during the procession.
– A Prizes and Awards Ceremony will take place in the Alumni Hall from 2-4 p.m.
– The Gospel Choir will perform its Commissioning Week Concert in Mahan Hall from 7:30-9 p.m.
Friday, May 27
– Parking Gates to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium open at 6am, with all stadium gates and concessions opening at 7am.
– The Graduation Ceremony and all the pageantry that goes with it begins at 10am inside the stadium, with a flyover by the Blue Angels scheduled for 10:04.
– After graduation, photos and the swearing-in ceremony will take place at the Superintendent’s tent inside the Stadium from 1-2:30 p.m.
USNA Gate Access During Commissioning Week 2016
- Gate 1 – vehicular access from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. (1:00 a.m. on Fri & Sat)
- Gate 1 – pedestrian access from 5 a.m.-midnight (2:00 a.m. on Fri & Sat)
- Gate 3 – vehicular access from 6 a.m.-9 a.m./egress 3:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. Mon – Fri ONLY
- Gate 3 – pedestrian access from 6 a.m.- 10 p.m.
- Gate 8 – pedestrian/vehicular access 24 hours