10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Oct 29, 2008
For those who have current mids, when do you actually get to have your child come home during the year? I assume Thanksgiving and Christmas, but do they get to come home during Spring Break? And do you get to see them before they depart for their summer cruise? I do understand coming home is a conditional thing.
USNA Leave and Liberty

SRHSMOM, your mid/cadet will eventually be able to take you to school on the difference between leave and liberty. Think you are talking about "leave periods" here, when a mid/cadet can leave their SA, go wherever, wear civilian clothes, etc., and be on break from SA routine. Liberty is the temporary and relatively local ability to leave SA, while following all regulations applicable to uniform and privileges for their class, and go into town or have the coveted overnight liberty for a weekend away.

I can speak to USNA. Your mid will have to do the homework to figure out when he/she is free to leave their SA on leave periods. At USNA, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, they will usually start classes earlier so mids can get out midday. They have to be back at a specified time on Sunday. Christmas/winter holiday, they can usually leave after their last exam, which, at USNA, will fall in the weeks immediately after the Army-Navy game. They have to be back by a specified time after the New Year. Spring break at Navy usually falls in March. Departure on Friday following LMO (last military obligation), return on the Sunday a week later.

Inter-sessional leave periods may be granted at the end of spring semester, following exams and before mids have to report back for various commitments. This could be briefings for summer training, Commissioning Week commitments. For plebes, Sea Trials, Herndon Monument, etc.

Summer training will consist of various mandatory and elective summer training blocks, with usually about 3 weeks leave squeezed in anywhere between June and August. Some mids choose to take voluntary summer school to ease their academic load or find a fun internship; some may be in involuntary summer school because of academic struggles, so some may not have leave at all. Mids cycle in and out of the Academy in between training blocks all summer long. If you are local, they might get a few nights home during the block changeover. Otherwise, they stay in Bancroft Hall or at sponsor's home between back-to-back blocks. Lots of fluidity in the summer, and each mid's schedule is different.

Reform of the Brigade is a specified date and time in August when everyone has to be back.

No matter what Academy, your mid/cadet will get plenty of briefs on the mechanics of the leave periods. Make sure he/she is absolutely confident of when they can leave and when they have to be back before booking airfare.

This has been the pattern for the last 10 years or so. Fellow parents can provide additional insight for your SA.
Still pretty much the same.

Thanksgiving has only changed in that liberty expires at 6pm Sunday and your Mid needs to plan on being back in the area - i.e landing at BWI 4 hours before report time. Makes it difficult from the West Coast but it allows for travel problems. If you have made an attempt to be back by the report time then if there are weather delays, flight delays you have made a good faith effort. Without this buffer all bets off as to consequences for being late.

Finals schedules will be posted to your Mid during the semester. Do not try to guess their final schedule based on other years course schedules and book a flight early. Also there is that little caveat last Military Obligation. Usually does not get you at Thanksgiving, but can get you at Winter Term Finals, Spring Break (Friday) and Finals (Spring Term)

Summer Obligations leave from Annapolis and return to Annapolis. If you live on the west coast and your Mid summer does a block in San Diego, your Mid flies back to BWI and then you get to fly them back to the West Coast. Summer Schedules can change at heart beat... be prepared to pay a premium to get your Mid back to the Academy in time or home from a Summer Cruise cut short (been there with a summer cruise that only lasted 7 days and sent back to BWI to be released to come home - after a night in BWI and not getting a stand by flight we paid to say the least) If you are lucky you get back to back blocks - if not chances are your Mid, especially if a new youngster, will not want to hang out in Annapolis and will want to be at home with friends that they will find they have little in common with after that summer! Mid had Zero block cruise, 1st block off, 2nd block cruise and 3rd block off last summer. Made for a lot of flights in and out of BWI.
Also, note that if your Mid is an athlete (as around a third of them are), practice may impact leave periods. My Mid rows on the crew, which means no spring break. College race schedules eat into zero block for him as well, which affects his summer training options, and therefore leave. Can't speak about other sports.
But think of the alternative as parents if your mid were a "regular" college student, instead of costly flight fares, you'd have a $50,000 + tuition to pay in comparison to the education they receive at the Academy. You're getting off easy having your child serve this great Nation!
Oh Maximus, I am just waiting for someone to have a problem with the wording of your last sentence there.... :biggrin:
^^^LITS I'll bite LOL

I may be getting off easy if you are talking about a financial easy but even for many Mid families that is not the case. Mine and every other Midshipman is taking a "lease on their life." I hardly call that getting off easy.

Maximus - when your kiddo is actually at a SA and you are told by numerous "friends" and relatives about getting off easy you will understand why many Academy Parents do not take lightly to this comment - especially the closer we get to Commissioning. Yes it is not as expensive as going to a "regular college" but it is by no means getting off easy, the "cost" could be tremendous.

Also remember that even an airfare home at a discounted price, or attending your Mid's Parents Weekend is financially difficult for many Mid families.
It's kinda like saying Active duty and retirees get free benefits from the US Government...

I've learned over the years that my father, my ex hubby and my hubby ALL served for the benefits they/we are now receiving..

There is nothing free in life, even the benefits of the military.

Perfect example... my dad.. he served in WWII, Korea and two tours in Vietnam.. 28 yrs of service in uniform to our country and quite a few injuries while serving in time of conflict. Anything he gets now isnt free, it is deserved and earned for a life of service to the US Navy, the US Army and the U.S.A.