Religiosity at the Academies

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Hopefulmidclass2016, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Hopefulmidclass2016

    Hopefulmidclass2016 Member

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    What is the general religious atmosphere at the Academies. I am genuinely curious as to how (if at all) my religious leanings would affect the applications process or life at the academy. So please any input or experience would be appreciated.
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Your religious background, or lack thereof, has no direct effect on your application. Some candidates have leadership positions in church-based organizations. That type of leadership counts much as other types of leadership. However, you can be an atheist and it won't matter in terms of your getting an appointment.

    At USNA, there are numerous opportunities to practice your religion. There are 6 chaplains, including Catholic, various Protestant denominations, and occasionally Jewish rabbis or Muslim Imans. After plebe summer, you can go out in town to the church of your choice. Chapel hasn't been mandatory for about 45 years and not going to church is fine.
     
  3. peskemom

    peskemom Member

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    If you talk to any mid or their families, they will sing the praises of the USNA Chaplains. They are THERE regardless of religious affiliation - for the mids ...especially during Plebe Summer. They are vital to the mission of morale and team building and support for each midshipman. I recall during Plebe Summer's early days for my mid - it was the Jewish Chaplain ( we are Catholic) who gave my girl hugs when she needed them most. Another female Chaplain sent me a photograph(unsolicited) taken immediately after the initial Plebe Ceremony at the end of the 1st day ( I wasn't able to be there ). Boy was that something I appreciated!!!

    Most Plebes esp. during Plebe summer welcome sunday chapel - it is a 'safe zone free from Detailers" where they attend services and typically relax and eat pizza or the like....giving them an essential mental break from the rigors of adjustment to USNA life. Chaplains will tell you it's their largest attendence numbers of the year! :)

    You will find that your religious beliefs are simply one more factor of who you are as a total person and the vast majority of mids accept you for whatever that means to you. It is your personal responsibility, as it is for all adults who leave home - to make your own choices for your spiritual growth.
     
  4. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    There are a lot of opportunities to practice your faith at the Academy. There's plenty of groups for almost anything you can think of that meet usually once a week and do weekend retreats/spring break trips if you're interested. My friends who are involved think the religious ECAs are a great environment and a good way to meet people and relax off deck.

    On the other hand, the Academy also has a good environment if you're not religious (I'm not religious). Aside from noon prayer, where you can stand there and think about food if you don't want to participate, nothing is mandatory and people are very tolerant. I came from an environment where most people didn't attend church or talk about religion at all, and it's been interesting and eye-opening to be in a place where a lot of people are religious and eager to talk about their beliefs without pressuring. I've never been in a situation here where I felt uncomfortable in that sense.

    As peskemom said, the chaplains are great. They're always willing to listen and supportive regardless of your faith.
     
  5. USNA

    USNA Member

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    There are numerous groups at USNA that support mids faith. My son is in the BCM, and serves on the worship team. They meet midweek. This weekend he is on a ski trip retreat with them. When they go on retreats they do not get "charged" an overnight. USNA considers this time to be character and leadership development.
     
  6. kokokopuffs

    kokokopuffs Member

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    Just out of curiosity, is there a buddhist club at naval?
     
  7. slammy01

    slammy01 Member

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    Religiosity

    I would describe the academy as a fairly conservative institution overall but still tolerant. I'm from the Southeast (NC) so the thing that surprised me the most were the number of Catholics, it seems like they constitute about 1/3 to 1/2 the brigade. I have personally never had a problem with not being religious.

    Some people get mad about Noon Meal Prayer, I don't. It's very generic and it serves me in an unintended way. I am able to identify the other non-religious people around me by seeing who doesn't have their head down and eyes closed.
     
  8. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I usually stand at parade rest during the prayer, and once another mid came up to me afterwards and asked me how I felt about the whole thing because there's apparently a "group" of mids who don't like it. Honestly, I don't really get bothered by it.
    Ironically, some of the people who do are the ones who lean more religious because the prayers are usually designed to be vague and nondenominational.

    Since I come from the northeast, I was (unlike Slammy) surprised by the number of non-Catholics and people actively practicing their faith in general.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  9. rotorhd

    rotorhd Member

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    So is it mandatory to have your "head down and eyes closed" while praying?

    Slammy - Watch out...some of them may be faking it!
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Of course, don't you know who writes the rules on prayer? Those who don't engage of course...
     
  11. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    In fact, those open-eye Mids might be called to know who it is among their mates they might be praying for! :eek::rolleyes:

    As Isaiah said ...when all gets you down, "look up!" Seems the mission field is Mid-filled.:thumb:
     

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