I-Day marks the beginning of a demanding six-week indoctrination period called Plebe Summer, during which civilian students are indoctrinated into military life.
This indoctrination period is meant to help plebes develop discipline, honor, self-reliance and organization. These attributes will provide them with the foundation they will need to be successful midshipmen and throughout their military careers.
"Today, for you, is a day of transformation," said USNA Superintendent Vice Adm. Ted Carter. He talked with both the new plebes and their parents about the legacy of the U.S. Naval Academy and naval service in general.
"It's a remarkable history, and their journey is just starting," he said. "I look forward to watching your sons and daughters grow, not just over the summer, but in their midshipman career and their future Navy and Marine Corps career."
The new class includes 888 men and 327 women - making up 27 percent of the incoming students.
Sixty-one of the incoming plebes are prior-enlisted personnel, 50 from the Navy, 10 from the Marine Corps, and one from the Army.
On I-Day, the new plebes receive uniforms and military haircuts, undergo medical evaluations, learn to render a salute and complete their registration.
I-Day concludes when the midshipmen take the Oath of Office in front of their family, friends and new classmates during a ceremony in Tecumseh Court. After the ceremony, plebes say goodbye to their families who will not see them again until Plebe Parents Weekend, Aug. 10-13.
With the conclusion of I-Day, Plebe Summer officially begins. During this time, plebes start each day at dawn with mandatory physical training. The remainder of each day is packed with drills and instruction on the military lifestyle and more physical training. The plebes are allotted minimal leisure time.
During these six weeks, the plebes are led and trained by upper-class midshipmen. Instruction includes seamanship, boat handling, navigation and small arms training.