Is the Personal Swearing-In Ceremony Worth It?


New Member
Mar 19, 2018
I'm active duty and have the option to swear in my PTB. From the looks of it, the ceremony appears to be a cattle call with a whole bunch of folks doing it at the same time. I've heard it takes away from what little down time you have to spend with your PTB, not to mention wearing whites all day and wearing out your right arm with salutes. Thanks for any thoughts.
You can do it wherever you want, since it’s not official. Pick a monument, steps of the Chapel, in front of the Bill the Goat statue, out at the point where the Severn and Bay meet. What you really want is a memorable photo, right?
We decided against it last year for those very reasons. Plenty of folks do it and if it's important to your PTB, then by all means, go for it...ours said he'd rather spend the time with us, though it's not a low stress sort of meeting given the day they've had and what they all know they're in for once the door of MotherB with everything else in the process, PTB told us what he wanted and we followed his lead.
I would recommend that you let PTB make the decision. I know its likely to be a PITA for you, but its really his/her moment.
One consideration is that it makes PTB stand out from the rest of his classmates at a time when a low profile is often a good thing.

You didn't mention rank, but by age assuming 0-5+. With enough time in the Navy, it's quite possible that you know someone who lives in the yard or could find an office to make a quick change instead of wearing whites (and saluting) all day. I had a classmate who's Dad was a Navy flag officer who was like a chameleon during June week-- he would go from being just one of the Dad's to appearing in uniform when appropriate in minutes.
You could always delete the pictures but you can’t go back in time to recreate the moment.

You don’t need to go to far places on the yard. You can do it outdoor, but they also offer the basement of Bancroft to do it.

The garage is open. Keep your uniform in the car and change in Alumni Hall across the street. It will be worth it.
You are not required to be in uniform. I was in a business suit and still swore in my son at both I Day and Graduation Day.

That said though, at MY graduation, while many classmates were being sworn in by their fathers, I reenlisted my dad and he was in whites for the ceremony.
That pretty much outs me to a bunch of folks as it is not a common event.
I saw some of those last year on I-Day. The ones that looked the most special where of enlisted Dad's swearing in their son or daughter. Not saying a Captain isn't proud of their offspring but y0u could see more enthusiasm on the faces of the enlisted. Beaming would be an understatement.
We did it. My sister is a retired Marine Major, and she came up from Roanoke to see DD on I-Day. After watching DD get sucked into Alumni Hall, my sister (in civvies) and I, toured the Yard and then took in DTA. About an hour before the swearing-in, we went over to the family church and my sister changed into her uniform. We went over to Tecumseh Court, saw a sea of white, and found our plebe. We went to the basement of Bancroft and have a wonderful picture of my sister swearing in DD in front of the flags. We had enough time to take the pictures and have some down time before trying to find her company for the march-in.
The flags are on the second Floor up the big staircase in the rotunda. Once those Doors close you don't see them again.
They also had flags in the basement set up for the private swearing-ins.
They also had flags in the basement set up for the private swearing-ins.
What you're calling the basement is (I think) Smoke Hall where I've seen (and done) this. There is a basement in Bancroft but it is definitely not where they would set up for things like this.
We’ve had 4 go through. The first one we went to Smoke Hall like the Academy suggests. It was packed and not that personal. With the others, my husband swore them in outside in front of Bancroft. Took no extra time out of our Plebe’s brief “freedom” and made for phenomenal pictures. Like others said, plenty of places to change into your uniform before the ceremony.
My DS has asked his 85 year old Grandfather to perform a personal swearing-in ceremony. Each time I have seen Grandpa since, he has told me how honored he is that our DS asked this of him. In fact, he has said it at least twice each time I've seen him!
Thx for the advice regarding possible locations.
I agree with the advice to leave it up to your plebe. That being said, my plebe (Class of 2019) opted out of a personal swearing in by me (retired USAF officer) and quite honestly, in retrospect, glad she did. While the advice above regarding those who chose to do so is sound, we were pretty strictly following the protocol of the day as outlined in the PTR package and there was specific guidance in there regarding personal swearing in ceremonies, including where to report for the ceremony. We decided that the day would be stressful enough without one more thing to have to do given the short 30 minutes or so we would have together following the mass swearing in ceremony in the courtyard. All I will say is don't under estimate the level of stress your plebe may be feeling once you get that precious few minutes with them before they are marched in Bancroft and those doors slam shut. My plebe looked exhausted and exasperated when we saw her and the last she she would have needed was for me to haul her off for yet another requirement following the day she had. Those 30 minutes with us were precious and I'm so glad we didn't do the personal swearing in. We will save that for commissioning day, now just a year away.