Physical requirments/Swimming


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Feb 25, 2008
I want to go to the Academy, but I want to know and prepare myself for some of the physical stuff I will have to do to graduate. I've picked up a couple things from books I've such as the jump from (how many feet?) to simulate jumping from a ship and something about having to swim in the Cheasapeake(sp) Bay for a couple miles and the 1400 meters in 40 minutes. What about mile times, push ups, pull-ups other swimming etc...? Thank you
It's the 10m jump. You have to do that to graduate.

The 40-year-swim takes place first semester of your 2/C year. One must swim a bare minimum of 1000m in 40 minutes to pass (and also graduate). There is no swimming in the Severn or the Bay (minus the occasional falling out of sailboats). I would avoid that water as much as possible if I were you.

Bare minimums for a male to pass the PRT is 1.5 miles in 10:30, 45 push-ups, and 65 sit-ups. I believe the female minimum standards are 12:40 for the 1.5 mile and 20 push-ups (sit-ups remain the same).
There is no swimming in the Severn or the Bay (minus the occasional falling out of sailboats). I would avoid that water as much as possible if I were you.

During the summer, it's chock full of jellyfish. STINGING jellyfish.

Ask me how I know. :mad:

The best way to prepare for the physical rigors of USNA is simply practice, practice, practice. Want to improve your swim times? Then SWIM. Want to do more pushups? Then do PUSHUPS.

In my day, not only did we have to do the 10M jump, but we also had to do a 10M jump, in uniform, and after hitting the water and BEFORE surfacing, we had to swim (underwater) to the other side of the diving well. I also recall having to do a jump and then treading water for 30 minutes or so. No idea if these are still required.

Swimming was the ONE sport/PT category that I actually excelled at while a Mid. I had to struggle through the rest because I DIDN'T follow the advice above, myself. :redface:
Zaphod, we don't do that combined event anymore. Sounds like fun though. :thumbdown: There is still the underwater swim - 40 ft plebe year, and then 50ft youngster year in full cammies. 10m jump was never in uniform. 40-year is still in khakis. No treading water test during the ac year, but we did have to do that a lot during swim class over plebe summer.

I'm not a good swimmer. I had to work hard to pass - never failed a test or a class, but worked really hard to pass. What you say is very true - you have to swim a lot to be get better. I spent countless hours in the pool afterschool everyday in order to pass my 40-year.
40 feet underwater really isn't that bad. The width of my pool is 20 meters, which is over 60 feet and it's pretty easy to swim across. The hardest part would be doing it in anything but a bathing suit but I still don't think it would be too difficult.
I have a question about the swimming, actually. I know they give everyone goggles, but are they prescription for people that need glasses? I know that at NASS, I couldn't recognize anyone at the pool phase because my eyesight was so bad.
I guess the underwater swim isn't too difficult, but like I said, I sucked at swimming. But be aware, there isn't a push-off the wall. We swam to the middle of the pool to the 40ft/50ft marker, treaded water for a minute of so, and then did a surface dive and swam the distance to the far wall. BTW, clothing changes everything. You should try it out sometime.

I had glasses/contacts until I got PRK 2/C year. They just give you regular goggles. I never heard of anyone using prescription ones. I had pretty bad eyesight myself, but I survived. Sure, you might not be able to tell individual people apart at long distance, but all that you are concerned about during swimming is staying in your lane and keeping a safe distance from someone. People recognition is not necessary. I went swimming both with and without contacts in.
I think I will try the 40 and 50 ft under water swim in clothes just for the heck of it. It could be fun. :eek:)
I think that if you go aviation you will be required to, every four years, swim the length of the pool underwater, fully clothed, in flight suit, boots, helmet, and SVA, and, upon surfacing, tread water for some ungodly length of time, like 30-45 minutes. I have tried to block it from my memory.
Ohh, just swimming 40 feet under the water; I thought you meant swimming straight down for 40 feet. Still not that easy though.
I definitely couldn't swim down 40 feet, futureplebe. That would be ridiculous. That's 40 feet down and 40 feet back up. Haha. Not to mention your ears would be popping like crazy.

USNA69- I'm pretty sure I want to go aviation and I will swim underwater in a flight suit and boots and everything else if that's what I need to do to become what I want to become. I would find it as a very interesting challenge... then after I did it, I'm pretty sure I'd try to block it from my memory too. Haha.
My view on swimming was that, if you'd taken a few swim classes as a kid, you would be OK -- get Bs and Cs (maybe the occasional A). If you never took swimming -- and thus didn't learn all the strokes and how to do them -- or really feared the water, you were likely to end up on swimming sub-squad. To get an A in swimming, you either had to have a LOT of natural ability or, more likley, had swum competitively at some point in your life.

Of course, the above is based on the standards in my day. Things may have changed.

BTW, do mids still have to do gymspastics? In our day, men & women had to do it (different events). Again, if you took tumbling as a kid, you tended to do ok -- and this tended to favor the women. I remember so many guys trying for the first time in their lives to do a cartwheel. It wasn't pretty. :yllol:

LOL - at first I just thought this was a typo!

Back in the day..... I recall we did a lot of tumbling in gym class in elem and middle school - my own kids not so much.
IMO all athletes should learn and be able to handle basic tumbling - it teaches you where your body is in space. By the time you get to age 18 - yep - it's too late!
No mando "gymspastics" class. Here's a breakdown of PE classes now by semester:

Plebe - Boxing/Wrestling, Swimming I
Youngster - USMC Martial Arts I ("Semper Fu"), Swimming II
Second Class - Swimming III/Health Class, USMC Martial Arts II

Now 1/C year is the fun part. We take PE electives including volleyball, tennis, golf, kayaking, gymnastics, weight lifting, and swimming. Last semester I took volleyball and now I'm in golf.
Well, I certainly hope that Semper Fu is better than the Hand-to-Gland garbage they taught us.

All we learned was how to get our asses kicked. :rolleyes:
If "Semper Fu" is modeled after basic MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program), then yes your just learning enough to get your ass kicked. The higher MCMAP levels are pretty amazing, but all the tan belt stuff is more dangerous to the person learning it than the person they're fighting.