Wednesday, May 18, 2016

U.S. Naval Academy Plebes Endure Rigorous 14-Hour Sea Trials

By MC2 Jonathan Correa

The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) plebes, or freshman class, endured 14 hours of rigorous physical and mental challenges during the annual Sea Trials training exercise May 17.

Sea Trials is modeled after the Marine Corps' Crucible and the Navy's Battle Stations recruit programs. It serves as a capstone event for the plebes.

“Sea Trials is one of the culminating events to end plebe year,” said Midshipman 2nd Class Megan Rosenberger. “It is a time for them to put forth everything they have learned mentally and physically throughout the year and work together as a team. The plebes are put under pressure and stressful situations that they have to work through as a team and be able to adapt.”

Although the primary purpose of Sea Trials is to serve as a rite of passage to the plebe class, it also strengthens senior midshipmen’s roles as leaders.

“We have a phrase we say as upperclassman – ‘positive pressure with a purpose’ – and it’s to help us remember to be those leaders who are helping others, staying positive and guiding them and making sure we are building them up for success,” said Rosenberger.

The exercises took place at different locations throughout the Yard and Naval Support Activity Annapolis. Events included a variety of physical and mental challenges that simulated situations officers might encounter in the fleet and Marine Corps. Companies focused on teamwork to overcome each obstacle.

“This day is the most amazing day I have ever had,” said Midshipman 4th Class Morgan M. Jones. “I have bonded more with my company today then I have ever since arriving here back in July. This event has brought us together, and no one here has any negative energy. Everyone is helping each other out and keeping each other positive, so we can move forward and finish.”

During a ceremony at the completion of the exercise, 29th Company was named the Iron Company, recognizing them as the top performers in endurance and spirit throughout the event.

“The two lessons that were reinforced today and that is taught to you here is the importance of attitude and effort in everything you do, and the power of the human will,” said Marine Col. Stephen Liszewski, commandant of midshipmen. “These two things can shape your future in anything you do.”

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