“Best spot” to view Oath ceremony?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by EngineerBoss, May 21, 2019.

  1. EngineerBoss

    EngineerBoss Member

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    Being new at this, I presume it will be nearly impossible to scout/find a location where you can spot your DD or DS when the Oath ceremony is underway on I-day. I feel adventurous so I’ll ask anyway: is there anything one can do to improve the chances of finding THE “best spot?”
     
  2. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Get there a couple of hours early, I guess. You will more than likely not be able to see your Plebe in all those chairs. They all look alike at that point. The most important part (I think) is that your Plebe knows where to look for you after they take the oath. You only have 30 minutes with them after that oath, before they have to line up on Stribling Walk and march into Bancroft Hall. Maybe figure out what that place will be, beforehand.

    We had folding chairs set up (one for our Plebe) and a sandwich with a cold drink. A chair or a blanket will be important, because they will not want to get anything on their new whiteworks uniform. Their minds are typically mush at this point, because they have been getting rushed around and yelled at all day. We found that a chair and a cold drink was just the thing, at that point.
     
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  3. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    Haha I read this as get there a couple DAYS early...some truth to that!!

    Honestly, the best view of the Oath and your own Mid will be in the thousands of pictures and videos posted on official sites, as well as the parent social media pages.

    One cool video we got, was from hustling up towards the doors of Bancroft (AFTER we were done after the oath), to record them “marching” in. DH was up on the curved walkway, and sure enough, DS was on his side. But being at that height on the walkway, it was a good angle to catch him no matter where he was in line.

    Ahhhhh...the memories!!
     
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  4. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    USMA organizes the Plebes by company and tells parents ahead of time on R-Day which company kiddo is in and where that company will be located on the plain in front of the bleachers so parents can align in the bleachers accordingly. I’m bringing this up here even though Navy does it a bit differently to say that even knowing exactly which group our son was standing in and being seated directly in front and above that company, we couldn’t pick him out. Sadly, we’re four days from graduation and we’ve never once in all four years been able to pick our son out of the uniformed crowd ever. And he never seemed to show up in any website pics. Not once. The only pictures we have are selfies he’s sent us and his formal yearly portraits, and he didn’t even get one of those taken Plebe year (even though it was mandatory), so we only have three. Perhaps we’ll be able to pick him out of the graduation crowd, but I’m not hopeful.
     
  5. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    I'm with JDI19, I just don't think its worth the (likely)wait in the heat or the bother to get a "good seat". Plebes have their backs to you; no chance to influence that basic view of things by getting a "better seat". Invest your time on IDay finding a good shady spot to have a moment with your Plebe after the oath. I Feel Ya. That oath is a big deal, and I'm a guy who loves the view 20 rows up on the 50 yd line, but fact is there are no "great seats".

    1) As long as we are talking seats get ahold of at least one folding chair for your Plebe to sit in when you get him/her back for those 30mins you will remember forever between oath and march in. If you are flying in, you can pick one up for $15 and just leave it behind, your Plebe will thank you.----Maybe not at that moment, maybe not ever,------------------------------------ but if they ever actually thought about it -----they'd thank you.

    2) As long as you are talking pictures and viewing angles. The unforgettable moment for me as a parent was my daughter standing in formation waiting to walk into Bancroft. Picking up your picnic stuff can wait; grab the camera and hanky for this one; the looks your kid will shoot you from the ranks amazing. Hard to put into words, but its a mix of: Fear (holy sh* pht what have I done?); Gratitude (I just realized how cared for and protected I've been the last 18yrs); Sadness (I am moving on today without you at my side); Love (-----can't describe that one; but in my minds-eye I can see her face in that moment as I'm typing this).

    Congrats.
     
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  6. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    If you're anywhere in Tecumseh Court itself or along the walls that line it, you'll have a good view of the ceremony, dais and plebes. There are bleachers just inside the walls, where you can lay down a blanket or towels to reserve your spot. Just be sensitive to others and don't take any more space than you need.

    Equally important, stake out a shady spot where you can meet your plebe after the oath. They'll be hot, sweaty and highly appreciative of anything not under the glaring sun. Again, reserve the area with a blanket or towels (or lawn chairs) and watch which way the sun is going. What's shady at 1:00 may not be shady at 6:00.

    +1 to the advice that the best viewing spot is the Alumni Association photo program. Unless your plebe is unusually stealthy, you should see at least a couple photos of them.
     
  7. Proudmama1103

    Proudmama1103 Member

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    We knew based on his company whether he would enter T Court from the left or right. (Lower numbers enter from the left - looking at Memorial Hall - and the higher numbers from the right). We established a clear meeting point in the shade for the 30 minutes after the oath. We had a chair, a drink and something to eat. Also a towel (white) and tide pen for the white works. Get his five digit number assigned to him (I took a picture of his canteen) as you will need it to access pictures on the Legacy website, it will become part of his email down the line, etc. We were also able to stake out a few chairs that they set up in front of the bleachers with a blanket/towel on the side he was entering in. We got a good video of him walking into the oath. It is an amazing day but a long one for your Mid. Ours had a late report time and had just gotten to his room before he had to line up for the oath so he was very stressed as his room was not set up. Just take your cues from them in that 20 minutes and be as supportive as you can. And get ready to start Waldo Hunting! Good luck!!!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  8. OtB

    OtB Dont Tread On Me (No step on snake)

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  9. Yangtze0119

    Yangtze0119 Member

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    The thunderous moment of "I DO!" is something hits me from time to time.
     
  10. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Agreed. I think that the decidedly-outnumbered Detailers were louder than the Plebes with their "I DO!", last year.
     
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  11. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    I noticed that. Perhaps because the detailers had several weeks to contemplate their duties, while the plebes were utterly shell-shocked from I-Day and could barely comprehend what was just presented them. Good thing they saw it in writing earlier in the day (and hence no plausible deniability).
     
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  12. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. 5-Year Member

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    Ditto this sage advice 100%. As noted, there are no "great seats" and find that shady spot in advance. Better to take in the big picture, feel the energy, appreciate the occasion and that your kiddo is part of it. Made it much more meaningful that trying to vainly hunt down that Plebe or get a box seat.
     
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  13. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    I can think of one seat that would be utterly awesome, but probably a 4-5K series conduct offense for the Midshipmen My Plebe Summer room was up on the 3-4 deck, overlooking T-Court. There is a nice roofline , and you can step out the window, and have a great view of T-court. The Statute of Limitations has run, so I can confess to a view visits out there to hang sheet posters in the middle of the night during Plebe Summer.
     
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  14. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    Best seat is one in the shade. Hands down.
     
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  15. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    That happens every year. Plebes are pretty lost at that moment. It’s also why in the hall before they go out the Company Officer reviews the oath with them and they retake it later again usually Parents weekend. Usually the Marines are louder than the Navy at Commissioning too!
     
  16. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    Well. . . I'd agree that there are no great seats available to the general public. However, there are seats on the curved ramps to the side of the podium that are pretty sweet but are for invited guests and alumni parents. Not shaded but a really nice view of the ceremony
     
  17. MathProf

    MathProf New Member

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    Last June there were bleachers set up and we were able to get shady seats an hour before ceremony. Agree on the chair / blanket for plebe to sit on afterwards. Ours was starving, thirsty, and worried about getting dirty. After ceremony, there are signs with letters along Stribling and plebes are told to go to letter matching their last name to meet families. Least crowded is the XYZ sign - tell your plebe to go there.
     
  18. EngineerBoss

    EngineerBoss Member

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    Thanks for all the replies! I guess I’ll try to top off a shaded spot with a nice long telephoto lens :yikes:
     
  19. A6E Dad

    A6E Dad BGO

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    I second the recommendation to get there early and reserve a spot on the bleachers with a blanket (we bought a usna blanket at the mid store for that purpose and brought it home with us), you can do that very early in the day. Being elevated gives a much better view of the entire scene. Be sure to keep your iPhone on wide angle so you can capture the (typical) four plane hornet flyover.

    Also, before drop off at Alumni, it's a good idea to pick a meeting spot, and consider where the shade will be at 6pm, not at 6am. We put down a blanket in the hot sun near Herndon, and by the late afternoon it was cool and shady.

    There will be lettered signs on Stribling to meet, but it will be very crowded and much easier to go straight to the pre-arranged spot.
     
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  20. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

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    NAILED IT!
     
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