Yellow Sweater with Black N?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Ben_m_usna2020, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. Ben_m_usna2020

    Ben_m_usna2020 Member

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    Just out of curiosity, I found the copy of midregs posted on the USNA website. When I got to the uniform regulations section, I came across this one peculiar entry:

    COMDTMIDNINST 5400.6Q
    4 NOV 13
    Chapter 4.8-Physical Appearance and Uniforms
    Section 2.G.-"Midshipmen may not, at any time, wear a yellow sweater bearing a black N"

    Is there a good story behind this? I know the background of the infamous "Black N*" in that it's totally unofficial and only awarded by a mid's classmates for misconduct above and beyond the call to mischief. But is that the reason it's specifically prohibited as per MIDREGS? Is yellow specifically prohibited because yellow and black are AWP's colors?
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Nothing to do with AWP. It's to not encourage Black Ns being worn. They are awarded as you mentioned by classmates but you won't see them often. As Halloween they traditionally do a parade of Black Ns in King Hall and that is about it. The administration doesn't want them to be a big deal and that is their way of downplaying them.

    You won't see them in uniform, mostly outside of USNA is where you will see them. And tailgating after graduation!
     
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Navy Hoops, as usual, delivers answers.
    I will also gently point out that yellow is not part of either USNA or USMA official colors. They each use a specific branded gold color. I will agree gold is in the yellow family, but you typically won't hear yellow used by anyone familiar with either place to describe the color. The shades of gold have shifted along the spectrum over the years, but they don't get called yellow, no matter how buttery they look.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    How many pages into the regs is this?
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Exactly what I was thinking LITS. Then again, I am pretty sure I rarely looked at MIDREGS unless there was something specifically I wanted to know. Maybe that is how I ended up on restriction... once or twice... okay maybe it was more that!
     
  6. Ben_m_usna2020

    Ben_m_usna2020 Member

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    Thank you Navyhoops and capt mj! That satisfies a little of my curiosity about the eventful year to come. And LITS- It's on pages 4-10 and 4-11, so quite a ways in.
     
  7. Ben_m_usna2020

    Ben_m_usna2020 Member

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    Although if it's not about looking like AWP, why would they specify the color yellow as being prohibited color for one's black N* sweater?
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Because that is the color they are and have been for decades and decades. The normal letter sweater at USNA is a Navy Blue with Gold Letter and Star for each time you beat Army in the designated contest. The Yellow Sweater is really really bright and cannot be missed. As a Plebe the first Black N sweater you will probably see is Halloween. You won't see them often as they are brought out usually only after all the Company Officers and SEL go home and the Mids come out to play!
     
  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    That conundrum is likely the first of many head-shaking experiences you will have with military regulations.

    My best guess: the varsity athlete letter sweater is a heavyweight navy blue cardigan, with the large N* in a gold appliqué. A gold/yellow sweater with a black N* would be the in-your-face opposite, and likely seen as too obviously defiant, and thus officially called out as forbidden. I never saw a yellow/gold version during my time as a BattO, or since then being around the Yard and our sponsor mids, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist at a specific time or continues to exist in underground fashion.

    An amazing number of regulations spring out of one incident. To illustrate, there were two 3/c female mids changing out of uniform into civilian clothes (not a privilege they had at that time) in a moving car on US 50 near USNA. A retired admiral in a nearby car and, of course, a USNA grad, took down the license number and reported them directly to the Supe. This caused a flurry of emails and policies to flow downhill, in good military style. The "yellow sweater reg" may have sprung from an incident that put USNA in a public bad light.

    My gut tells me no relation to Army colors. But that's JMPG. (admittedly corny variation of JMPO)
    Edit: cross-post with Navy Hoops
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
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  10. Ben_m_usna2020

    Ben_m_usna2020 Member

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    Those both make sense, thanks again to you both!
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Very interesting stuff. I wonder how these things are procured.
     
  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Company mates all chip in and buy them. At one point I knew how we purchased them, but can't remember now. I was just texting with a good buddy of mine who happens to have a Black N with Star... asked her where her's was. She said it was in the closet next to her letter sweater with 4 stars! Oh the fun we had... she got caught more than me!
     
  13. pilot2b

    pilot2b Candidate Appointee

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    I'm a 2/C at USNA. Both my roommates have Black N's. Procurement is through a Firstie member of the Black N society. It's regarded here (in a sort of twisted sense) as a sort of honor to earn a Black N.
     
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  14. parentalunit2

    parentalunit2 Parent

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    Welp, you learn something new every day! Thank you for contributing to my knowledge of SA history. I had never even heard of this before. The Alumni Association has some pretty funny stories regarding the Black N Society.
     
  15. md403

    md403 Member

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    One of our 2/C MIDS got his before finals this month! We have several being stowed at our house. One does not want parents to see it as it will lead to lots of questions that I dont think she want to answer. There are a lot of good stories that go along with them that is for sure. What was funny to me, we had a father/son get them and the father was not happy to see his that his son got one lol. Some see it as a real honor, and others say just dont get caught.
     

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