Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by osdad, Aug 12, 2010.
Some good close ups of our Waldos. Especially D&B
I wonder if there really is a midshipman named Waldo.
If there is, you just know he's really smart. He'd have no choice. It's sort of a like The-Boy-Named-Sue Syndrome.
Daughter was excited with an "Eyes Right" and sword salute as they were marching back to Mother B from the formal parade. Michelle Obama and Sasha during their visit to Annapolis and the Naval Academy. Admirals were there also so don't give me a hard time about rendered honors. Still looking for the picture she said the official photographer took.
Anyone know the history of why they wear enlisted whites? Are the brownies fully commissioned or upper class cadets? I noticed one had service medals on the left breast.
Enlisted style whites are quick and easy to issue on I-Day and don't require tailoring, etc. They are easy to clean en masse and just very utilitarian. Once academic year starts they will be worn less frequently. The midshipmen in khakis are detailers; this change came about a couple of years ago. It saves wear and tear on tropical whites, and facilitates distinguishing the detailers.
So, are the detailers mids or fully commissioned? One photo shows an ensigns collar bar with service medals on left breast.
I presume a former enlisted, now a mid, would be allowed to proudly wear any service medals earned as enlisted, would they not?
Midshipmen who were prior enlisted and have ribbons and badges such as dolphins, aircrew wings, etc, are authorized to wear them on appropriate uniforms (not white works). Because most uniforms worn by the midshipmen are identical to those worn by naval officers you really have to look at cap insignia, shoulder boards, etc. Unfortunately, to the unaccustomed eye a midshipman's Ensign bar will look very similar to an officer's Ensign bar.
Mids may earn ribbons and devices (e.g., jump wings) while at USNA. Most plebes qualify on pistol and/or rifle and wear those ribbons. There may be some ribbons, such as the National Defense Service Medal, that everyone in the military at a certain time was/is entitled to wear. And, as '64 said, prior enlisted are entitled to wear the ribbons and devices they earned while enlisted.
It's funny how military folks can determine a lot about a fellow military person's career with only a quick glance at their collar and the area above their left chest pocket.
From devices, you can determine their warfare specialty (e.g., subs), whether they are in command (gold star), certain special qualifications (jump wings), their shore duty (e.g., CNO staff), etc.
Based on the ribbons, you can tell whether someone has deployed (Sea Service Ribbon) and how many times (little stars for each deployment), whether they were prior enlisted for any length of time (Good Conduct Ribbon), whether they were injured in action (Purple Heart), whether they served in a war theater (various ribbons, depending on the war/campaign), how many staff jobs they've had (which tend to produce different ribbons than "sea" jobs), whether they've done something really brave (Silver Star, Navy Cross), etc. Some only wear the top row of ribbons, which is permissible.
In many cases, you can "guestimate" a person's rank solely from his/her ribbons, as certain ones (Navy Achievement Medal or NAM) are given to junior officers (sea or staff), others (Navy Commendation Medal) to senior lieuteants and O-4s, and different ones (e.g., Legion of Merit) to senior officers. While not universally true, it's generally accurate.
There's a lot more nuance than what I've described above (and there are additional things you can learn about enlisted personnel from their uniforms, such as time served) but, trust me, the average military or former military person can tell quite a bit about a person's career without their ever saying a word.
And, finally, as '64 said, ribbons are worn on most USN officer uniforms -- whites, khakis, SDBs, and SDWs (dress blues and whites). At USNA, ribbons and devices are not worn on "whiteworks" (the sailor uniform) or uniforms worn to class (previously WUB "D" and "A" but now called something else, I believe).
More than you wanted to know, I'm sure.
No, it's all quite fascinating. I had a "sheltered" 4 years at a small Naval Hospital so long ago my original service number was changed to SS#. Spent a couple hours on the USS Wasp, just so I could say I was on a ship, not exactly "salty".
No complaints, I didn't have to spend time in the jungle with the jarheads!
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