Commissioning Week involves a full week of celebratory events and culminating with graduation of the United States Naval Academy.
Commissioning Week is taking on a different look this year. Instead of graduating in a packed Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the U.S. Naval Academy’s class of 2020 will be commissioned on the “Yard” in five staggered private ceremonies of about 210 midshipmen each. The first group is slated to return on May 11. All of the graduating midshipmen are scheduled to be commissioned and moved out over a ten-day period.
To safeguard the health and welfare of the Naval Academy family and local community, all Commissioning Week public events, have been cancelled. The Herndon Climb, Ring Dance and other class milestone events will be rescheduled when social distancing protocols allow for large-scale events.
While some Commissioning Week traditions are being postponed this year, the energy and enthusiasm surrounding the sendoff of the 2020 class remains as high as ever. Naval Academy midshipmen are part of the fabric of Annapolis, and area residents have prided themselves on providing each graduating class with a grand farewell.
USNA to Host First-Ever Virtual Commissioning
A U.S. Naval Academy commissioning is a moving event that typically only friends, family members, fellow midshipmen, faculty, and journalists are privileged to attend. Until this year. To help ensure health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Naval Academy has scheduled its first-ever virtual graduation and commissioning for Friday, May 22. The live streamed event will kick off with a 2:30 p.m. EDT tribute to the Class of 2020.
Naval Academy midshipmen are part of the fabric of Annapolis. Each year, the community rallies to send its newly minted Navy Ensigns and Marine Corps Second Lieutenants into the world with a fond farewell. While social distancing requirements have resulted in a Commissioning Week devoid of some of the Naval Academy’s – and the community’s – most cherished traditions, Navy fans have an unprecedented opportunity to thank members of the graduating class for all they have done – and all they will do – by 'attending' the virtual commissioning.
You can help continue the tradition by sharing your favorite images from past Commissioning Week celebrations on social media using the hashtag, #CelebrateOurMids and by uploading images HERE. Visit Annapolis will share the images later in May via a collage on the VisitAnnapolis.org website.