Other Memories The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and is in Annapolis, Maryland . The Academy often is referred to simply as "Annapolis" although naval officers normally refer to it in conversation as "The Academy," "The Boat School," or "Canoe U." Sports media refer to the Academy as Navy; this usage is officially endorsed. ROTC graduates, Officer Candidate School graduates as well as cadets from the Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), USNA's traditional rivals, often refer to the Naval Academy as "Canoe U." The U.S. Naval Academy was established October 10, 1845.
The Academy's motto is ex scientia tridens, which is Latin for "from knowledge, seapower". The Academy also supports the Navy and Marine Corps core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.
The USNA's campus is in Annapolis, Maryland, on the banks of the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay.
Students at the Naval Academy are referred to by their military rank (Midshipman). Upon graduation, most Naval Academy Midshipmen are commissioned as Ensigns in the U.S. Navy or Second Lieutenants in the Marine Corps and must serve a minimum of five years after their commissioning. Foreign Midshipmen are commissioned into the armed forces of their native countries. Since 1959, Midshipmen have been able to "cross-commission," or request a commission in the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard, provided they meet that service's eligibility standards. Every year, a small number of graduates do this, usually in a one-for-one "trade" with a similarly inclined Cadet at one of the other service academies.
Midshipmen who resign or are expelled from the academy in their first two years incur no military service obligation. Those who are separated - voluntarily or involuntarily - after that time are required to serve on active duty in an enlisted status, usually for two to four years. Alternatively, separated former Midshipmen can reimburse the government for their educational expenses; the sum is often in excess of $200,000.
There is no graduate school directly associated with the Naval Academy. Instead, the Navy operates the Naval Postgraduate School and the Naval War College separately. The Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) is the official prep school for the Naval, Merchant Marine, and Coast Guard Academies.
The institution was founded as the Naval School in 1845 by Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft. The campus was established at Annapolis on the grounds of the former U.S. Army post Fort Severn. The school opened on October 10 with 50 Midshipmen students and seven professors. The decision to establish an academy on land may have been in part a result of the Somers Affair while that vessel was being used for officer training. Commodore Matthew Perry had a considerable interest in naval education, supporting an apprentice system to train new seamen, and helped establish the curriculum for the United States Naval Academy. He was also a vocal proponent of modernization of the Navy.
Originally a course of study for five years was prescribed. Only the first and last were spent at the school with the other three being passed at sea. The present name was adopted when the school was reorganized in 1850 and placed under the supervision of the chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography. Under the immediate charge of the superintendent, the course of study was extended to seven years with the first two and the last two to be spent at the school and the intervening three years at sea. The four years of study were made consecutive in 1851 and practice cruises were substituted for the three consecutive years at sea. The first class of Naval Academy students graduated on June 10, 1854.