Directed by Bruce Seth Green, “Annapolis: The First Year” shows the U.S. Naval Academy in the mid-to-late 1970s. This portrait supposedly shows the 1976 plebe year, but also includes footage from later classes in an attempt to show that the Academy had becoming sexually integrated.
The United States Naval Academy (also known as USNA, Annapolis, or simply Navy) is a four-year coeducational federal service academy in Annapolis, Maryland, United States. Established on 10 October 1845, under Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, it is the second oldest of the United States’ five service academies, and educates officers for commissioning primarily into the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The 338-acre (137 ha) campus is located on the former grounds of Fort Severn at the confluence of the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay in Anne Arundel County, 33 miles (53 km) east of Washington, D.C. and 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Baltimore. The entire campus is a National Historic Landmark and home to many historic sites, buildings, and monuments. It replaced Philadelphia Naval Asylum, in Philadelphia, that served as the first United States Naval Academy from 1838 to 1845 when the Naval Academy formed in Annapolis.
Candidates for admission generally must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination, usually from a Member of Congress. Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as midshipmen. Tuition for midshipmen is fully funded by the Navy in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. Approximately 1,200 “plebes” (an abbreviation of the Ancient Roman word plebeian) enter the Academy each summer for the rigorous Plebe Summer, but only about 1,000 midshipmen graduate. Graduates are usually commissioned as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps, but a small number can also be cross-commissioned as officers in other U.S. services, and the services of allied nations. The United States Naval Academy has some of the highest paid graduates in the country according to starting salary. The academic program grants a bachelor of science degree with a curriculum that grades midshipmen’s performance upon a broad academic program, military leadership performance, and mandatory participation in competitive athletics. Midshipmen are required to adhere to the academy’s Honor Concept.
The 1970s brought change. In 1972, Lieutenant Commander Georgia Clark became the first female officer instructor, and Dr. Rae Jean Goodman was appointed to the faculty as the first civilian woman. Later in 1972, a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia terminated compulsory chapel attendance, a tradition which had been in effect since 1853.
On 8 August 1975, Congress authorized women to attend service academies. The Class of 1980 was inducted with 81 female midshipmen. In 1980, the academy included “Hispanic/Latino” as a racial category for demographic purposes; four women identified themselves as Hispanic in the class of 1981, and these women become the first Hispanic females to graduate from the academy: Carmel Gilliland (who had the highest class rank), Lilia Ramirez (who retired with the rank of commander), Ina Marie Gomez, and Trinora Pinto. In 1979, the traditional “June Week” was renamed “Commissioning Week” because graduation had been moved earlier to May.
Bruce Seth Green is an American television director. His credits include Knight Rider, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dawson’s Creek, Gilmore Girls, Law & Order, Diagnosis Murder, Baywatch, and Highlander. His last directorial credit was an episode of Roswell in 2001
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