Dylan J. McDonnell, a 2017 graduate of Lenape Valley Regional High School and Stanhope resident, having served in the United States Navy domestically and overseas since 2018, has been accepted to the United States Naval Academy and was inducted into the Class of 2026 on June 30, 2022, to begin six challenging weeks of basic midshipman training as part of Plebe Summer.
Approximately 1,200 candidates are selected each year for the academy’s “plebe” or freshman class, and each student is required to participate in Plebe Summer. Last year, the naval academy received over 16,000 applications for the Class of 2026.
During this time, plebes have no access to television, movies, the internet, or music and have restricted access to cell phones, being permitted to make just three calls during the six weeks of Plebe Summer. The pressure and rigor of Plebe Summer are carefully designed to help plebes prepare for their first year at the naval academy and the four years of challenges that await them.
As summer progresses, plebes assimilate skills in seamanship, navigation, sailing, damage control, handling yard patrol craft, infantry drills, and pistol and rifle marksmanship. They also participate in swimming, martial arts, and rock climbing, plus obstacle, endurance, and confidence courses designed to develop physical, mental, moral, and team-building skills, as well as drilling and preparing for five formal dress parades.
Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a four-year service academy that prepares its participants morally, mentally, and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 people representing every state and several foreign countries make up the student body known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. Each year, approximately 1,200 young folks are admitted to the naval academy’s incoming class.