I think that just by virtue of the fact that these Second Class midshipmen came back to USNA yesterday proves they are ready to sign!
Seems we parents make a bigger deal of it than our mids do. I asked my girl about it while she was home in leave, and she was casual in her remarks.....as if :"well, duh, I came here to graduate, so what is the big deal?".....but my dear child knows me well enough to say it to me with her winning smile - so in the communication comes her yanking my chain at the same time.
Nevertheless, whether or not our mids see it as momentous as we do - it IS a big committment. And it is the MINIMUM really, of future committment. Many billets such as aviation require longer time in service than what these young adults will be committing to this week.
God bless each and everyone of them for their committment, their honor and their courage.
Ditto. In our day there was no signing or ceremony. They just told us that, if you attended your first class of 2/C year, you'd "signed up." A couple of weeks into the year, we had the big beer party; of course, drinking age was 18 in those days, so no problem.
There were a few 2/C who held off attending class while trying to make up their decision, although I don't personally know of any who ultimately decided at that late moment not to stay.
Also in my day, we HEARD that at USMA military profs really treated 2/C (and firsties) differently than the junior classes b/c they HAD made the commitment. Not sure if it was true then or is true today, but we always thought it sounded nice, since no such thing happened in a general way at USNA. Wonder if the "signing ceremony" has changed that at all?
The 2-for-7 paper signing in Memorial Hall is only for ceremonial reason. The real contract is signed prior to showing up for I-Day (in the cluster of paperwork). This contract remains in your service jacket.