10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Oct 4, 2008
I had a question in gerenal about swimming.

Do we need to know how to swim when we come to the Naval academy?

I am attending the CVW on 16-18 April and a candidate for class of 2013 and it said to bring swimming gear but I have no clue about swimming.

Thanks alot
It is very true you do not have to know how to swim. But you MUST be able to swim before too long, and jump off a 10 meter board into the pool, possibly as early as plebe summer, and certainly Plebe year. Swimming failures are put in remedial, also known as the "Rock Squad" (not the good rock either).
Don't worry about the CVW, but do put some sort of swimming experience in your PT program before I day.
This will NOT impact or affect your appointment. But once you are there, you will have extra classes because of this lack of ability. You have spent so much effort being ready, a bit more will lead you to avoiding a failure in Phys Ed right at the start.
Good Luck
...and would that be like PT swimming? I'm a pretty good swimmer, but I'm definitely not in swimming shape. :redface:
Ditto on advice to get comfortable in a pool if (when! let's hope!) you are definitely headed to USNA for I-Day. One of the first things plebes do is go sailing out on the Chesapeake Bay, accompanied by skilled midshipmen, life jackets of course, but you don't want to be completely unfamiliar with water skills. You will be dealing with so much other stress, why not learn some basic strokes, cope with the deep end of the pool and build confidence before you come. USNA will teach you everything you need to know, but it's one more thing to sweat when you're here.
My advice would be to get further along than being just comfortable. Make it a top priority. Four years flunking PT with the resultant grades and the afternoons spent on subsquad will be a miserable existence. Be able to swim the basic strokes 50 yds each back-to-back, including the breast stroke which, when preceded by the crawl and tired, is also an exercise in breath control and comfortability in the water. Be able to swim the length of the pool under water. Be able to drown proof and tread water.

Agree with the above. What was required in our day was ability to swim 4 strokes: breast, back, free and side. For breast, back, and side, you were measured on how few strokes it took you to cover a fixed distance. Thus, technique was more important than speed. For freestyle, speed determined your grade.

We also had to tread water in clothing for 15-20 mins, jump from the 10M platform, swim underwater for 25-40M (can't recall the distance), do the 40-year swim (swimming constantly for 40 minutes in khakis, no shoes and graded on distance covered), and probably some stuff I no longer recall.

IF you've ever taken basic swim courses at the Y or your local pool, you can probably get Cs or Bs in USNA swimming, unless the standards have changed. If you've ever swum competitively (this does NOT mean you are currently a varsity swimmer), you can get Bs and maybe As. If you've never taken swimming, you will lack the technique and speed to score well -- unless you are lucky enough to be a naturally gifted swimmer.

Thus, if you're not comfortable in the water and/or don't have good technique, a swim class or two is time well spent. It's not necessary, but it will help you over the course of your 4 yrs at USNA.
All of the above goes for West Point as well.

You will be given a basic swim test during Beast. Being able to swim is essential to graduation.