Curious about Summer Leave...

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by ctkttww, May 14, 2015.

  1. ctkttww

    ctkttww Member

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    My son will be entering USNA with the class of 2019. I know I am most likely putting the cart before the horse, but I am curious how summer leave / assignments work at USNA. Any former/current mids want to enlighten me? When do you find out when you have leave? Is there a more common time to have off, etc. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I assume you are talking about leave for next summer. There is no leave for Plebe Summer -- although there will be liberty at PPW.

    In general, summer training the remaining three years is assigned in blocks of roughly a month each. Those blocks are filled with cruises, summer school, international programs, internships, NASS (as squad leaders, etc.), Plebe Summer (as detailers), etc. Typically, one block each summer is for leave; however, many mids give up some of their leave in order to participate in more of the many great summer programs.

    It's hard to explain but mids typically find themselves bored after about a week of leave. Most of your friends either aren't home or are working. You are also so used to being active all of the time that, after you catch up on your sleep and meals, there's not a lot to do. I took my full month the first summer and then did other activities such that I had about two weeks off and maybe a few more days during "dead week" (between classes and Commissioning Week). It was more than enough.

    I'll let a more recent grad provide additional info.
     
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Summer is broken up into what Mids refer to as "blocks." There is zero, 1, 2, 3 blocks of summer. Zero block is more rare than the other 3. It actually starts right after finals and alot of athletes get this block due to athletic obligations (fall sports report back to school earlier than other Mids due to practice), summer school, etc. Essentially each block is 4 weeks long. The majority of Mids will have 2 blocks of training and one block of leave. These can vary upon their class year, what they request and what they are selected for, etc. There are tons of training opportunities and your DS will get lots of input from upperclass, briefs, etc on what he can request to do. As Mids progress at USNA, different opportunities in training such as internships, study abroad, language programs, etc. open up to them. Like I said this is what the majority of Mids do, but sometimes based upon what training they have this can change. Some Mids elect to give up summer leave to go to voluntary summer school or do additional training.
     
  4. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    During plebe (fourth class, freshman) year, your son will rate (earn) leave over Thanksgiving, winter break, and spring break unless he is on restriction, has other duties, or travels with a sports team or an extracurricular activity. He may also get leave between the end of finals week (after LMO or last military obligation) and Sea Trials, which is usually the week before Commissioning Week; and again between Sea Trials and Commissioning Week (but my understanding of this is fuzzier, so current or recent mids should fill in).

    Summers are divided into four blocks, Block 0 through Block 3, each approximately 4 weeks long, with Block 0 being much shorter. Here's a link to Summer 2015 dates - obviously these will be different next summer, when he's a rising youngster. During these blocks are when summer training (2 blocks) and leave (1 block) are scheduled, as well as mandatory or optional summer school, co-ops or internships, NOLS trips, that sort of thing. Generally training in Block 0 is reserved for athletes in intercollegiate sports and a very few select others. Sometime in his spring semester, he will express preferences for training activities (to the extent he can) and dates. He will find out what he got at some later time. Mids are supposed to get three weeks' leave in the summer. However, in ALL things about USNA leave and more broadly, leave while in the Fleet, it is super important to remember to be flexible. Plans can change by a day or two or a week because he can't get on a transport, or there's a storm, or myriad other reasons. I've heard of mids having, rarely, 5 or 6 weeks' leave one summer, or a few days instead of three weeks. It's rare but it happens.
     
  5. ctkttww

    ctkttww Member

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    Thanks to all of you for the quick response. Yes, I was thinking about 2016 and beyond. I knew a little about the blocks, but it wasn't sure how they were assigned. As I'm quickly learning, looks like we will just have to wait and see what happens in the future! Thanks again!
     
  6. ahs67

    ahs67 Member

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    My Plebes schedule has already changed more than once for this summer.
    The term you will hear and (begrudgingly)embrace will be Semper Gumby. Welcome to USNA and your new normal.
     
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  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Agree as mentioned above, training blocks change frequently. I knew I was doing a surface cruise at one point, but didn't know ship or location until the day I reported back to USNA. Your DS will figure out from his upperclass how all this works and what not. Not sure where you are located, but this is where Southwest Airlines is a huge bonus. No change fees and so easy to change tickets around. I booked all my own travel as a Mid and it was much easier, but you will have to do what is best for you and the family. In the 4 years I was at USNA I never had the full 4 weeks of leave. My cruise went a little long one year, another year I had extended summer school, and most summers I always volunteered for one week or more of coaching at basketball camp. I actually think there are more training opportunities now than when I was there and some of them sound really awesome.
     
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  8. MiddyB

    MiddyB Member

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    Since we're on this topic. After Plebe year you must dedicate one the training blocks to being on a YP craft, right? Assuming another is for leave, the third can possibly be whatever you wanted?
     
  9. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    MiddyB, see that link I posted above (here it is again too: https://www.usna.edu/Training/SummerTraining.php). There is a 4/c brief (c/o 2018) for summer training - when of course they will be rising 3/c youngsters. Rising youngsters can be squad leaders for NASS, and it looks like they can now do Air Assault, Airborne, and mountain warfare training plus "adventure" training (NOLS, Philmont, etc.). Although I outprocessed before what would have been my 3/c summer training, that's a LOT more varied than I remember being available in my day!
     
  10. Shawn

    Shawn Member

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  11. 18MIDN

    18MIDN Member

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    There are also international programs such as LREC's and LSAP's available to rising 3/C.
     
  12. MiddyB

    MiddyB Member

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    I'm sorry, I thought there was a requirement after Plebe Year that you had to be on a ship for one of your training blocks.
     
  13. Navy92

    Navy92 Member

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    MiddyB, I'm like you, thought you had youngster cruise after plebe year. Not necessarily on YP's but on a ship, mine was a carrier and I loved it! But like others have said, you typically have a 4 week leave, of which most mids opt out of some portion and go with their ECA's for something fun and adventurous. One I really enjoyed was a sailing trip, I think it was called DelMarVa around the peninsula...great memories!
     
  14. hthp37

    hthp37 Member

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    My soon to be plebe-no-more is cutting into more than half of his leave by doing an overseas LREC. His summer schedule is busy and exciting and I would never want him to miss out on an invaluable experience to hang out with us at the beach. We are grateful for the moments we are able to be together. We planned a somewhat loose vacation this summer around the time he "might" be able to join us so we'll see.
     
  15. MidMod18

    MidMod18 New Member

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    Not required, but almost guaranteed that you will be on a fleet or sub cruise after youngster year. The Academy tries very hard to get you on a ship at least one of your training blocks whether it be after youngster year or 2/c year. As for YP's, that counts as one block of professional training, but there are plenty of other options like off shore sailing, NOLS, internships, NASS, LREC, Airborne, Mountain Warfare, etc.
     
  16. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    DD with sailing experience sailed to Newport on a 44 first summer during O Block. Then did Carrier to Boston next year for Fleet Week and hated it (but they stole her USNA blanket) . Then did Boomer out of Kings Bay Georgia and loved it . The Captain was from her Company and let her drive for awhile. Also did trainer Jets out of Virginia and loved the ride. Command Pilot asked if she liked roller coasters? She said yes and he showed her what a real one was like and gave her the stick for a while. You don't get this at your State University.
     
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  17. balloonattack911

    balloonattack911 Member

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    Just to clear things up, after reading the instruction for summer training, the only hard requirement for graduation is that a Midshipman, during the summer training of any year, completes one of the following:
    1) surface cruise
    2) sub cruise
    3) aviation cruise
    4) EOD cruise
    5) leatherneck
    6) MAGTF training

    On the original question of how the assignments work, we rank preferences for a "fleet cruise," "professional development," and leave by both what we want and when we want it. Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you don't. Sometimes things go haywire and you end up with 9 weeks of leave (this happened to me my 3/c summer) and sometimes things work exactly how and when they should (this was how my 2/c summer ended up).

    Here is the link to the summer training instruction, which is pretty helpful... though it hasn't been updated in seven years, and now the summer training opportunities are much greater. https://www.usna.edu/AdminSupport/_files/documents/instructions/1000-1999/1530.1B.pdf

    Note that everything in the instruction besides the one hard requirement I talked about above is a guideline (this includes the flowcharts). The process and assignments are much more fluid and flexible in reality.
     
  18. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    DD did Leatherneck during one of her summers. She was selected for USMC. Did TBS and she is now Marine Officer at Paris Island and married to a Marine Pilot. Only one of the listed or one each year?!
     
  19. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Good question. Was curious about that too. I know things are slightly different now. I actually think the amount and various training available is better than when I was there. Each year we had a mandatory training block... For us it was YPs (3/c), surface or sub cruise (2/C), sub/surface/aviation or leatherneck (1/c). The other block could vary depending on class year, etc. I do like Mids are going on fleet cruises 3/C summer. I think that helps put things into perspective and exposure to the fleet is always valuable.
     
  20. balloonattack911

    balloonattack911 Member

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    Only one of the listed is absolutely required (not one each year). PROTRAMID is also required 2/c summer, but if you miss it due to medical reasons or whatever, you don't have to make it up to graduate. You still (most of the time) have to have two blocks of training each summer.

    It's typically a surface/sub cruise 3/c summer along with something random (such as NASS squad leader), PROTRAMID 2/c summer along with something random (such as weapons detail), and a cruise with the desired service selection 1/c summer along with something random (such as plebe summer detailer).
     

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