Parents of USNA Midshipmen BEAT ARMY !!
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  • Questions & Answers

    Incoming parents and students often have questions about what to expect. Here are some questions others have asked along the way. The answers were provided by parents in our archives. Additional questions and potential answers may be submitted by emailing the WebMom. (The link is on the left column)

    Q:What is it like I-Day morning?
    A: Be there earlier than the reported check in time. Lines can be long and traffic is terrible. Pack tissues, a camera and lots of hugs.

    Q: What do incoming Plebes wear on I-Day?
    A: Incoming Plebes should wear kakhi shorts and a nice shirt without any words or pop-culture images on it. They shouldn't wear a Summer Seminar shirt or they will be accused of thinking they are better than those who didn't go to Summer Seminar. Make SURE that their shirt is tucked in!!! This was a much repeated (yelled) phrase that morning!

    Q: Can the Mids bring books to study or read?
    A: Even though the brochure says you can, don't do it since during plebe summer they do not have ANY time. Maybe send them later.

    Q: Should I send extra socks?
    A: No, they are provided and they must all match. You don't want to call attention to your Mid. If they need more socks, you can order them from the Mid Store.

    Q: Do the plebes get to phone home during the summer?
    A: Yes and a schedule will be provided by your plebe's company (this will be mailed to you). DO NOT live by that schedule as it is subject to change and it WILL. Just be by your phone after the first two/three weeks every Saturday and Sunday. Don't be upset if your mid doesn't call. He/she may have watch and can call later.

    Q: Do I send care packages?
    A: Absolutely!! And send them often. Don't pack candy. Send packages by regular mail (once again, don't want to attract attention to your mid by sending them another way). Always pack their favorite things that won't melt and won't spoil.

    Q: Do they need extra cleaning supplies?
    A: Sometimes Plebes will request them but everything they really need is supplied. Don't get bleach sticks since they melt the uniforms.

    Q: What about Plebe Parent Weekend?
    A: Make reservations as soon as you take your Mid for I-Day. This is a great weekend and something you and your Mid should concentrate on. They can make it and you can too! If possible go to PEP on Friday morning. You can watch them go through their paces as the sun rises. For once they have an appreciative audiance.

    Q: For insurance purposes, I need to prove that my Mid is at an accredited college. Is USNA an accredited college?
    A: USNA is fully accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, a recognized regional accreditation. As a federal institution, USNA is outside of the authority of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (which does not accredit anyway).

    Verification of Attendance from the website:
    The Office of the Registrar may verify the current or former attendance of a student from a telephone conversation. The office may be contacted at (410) 293-6383. Have available the student's name, year(s) of attendance, and social security number. The office will verify dates of attendance and degrees without requiring a student's release of that information.

    Sometimes more formal documentation of attendance is needed. Insurance companies and human resources departments, for instance, often have a unique form that must be submitted. Forms may be directed to the Office of the Registrar, United States Naval Academy, 589 McNair Rd., Annapolis, MD 21402-5031 or may be sent via telefax to (410) 293-2327. If such a form requests more information than dates of attendance and degrees earned, the form will need to be accompanied by the student's signed release for the information.

    Letters of attendance are available upon request, with the same stipulations. These may be requested via a telephone call to the Office of the Registrar at (410) 293-6383. Such letters have been used to document USNA time that may count toward civilian retirements but that is not included on a graduate's DD-214. If a non-graduate requires a copy of the form DD-214 separation document, that must be requested in writing as private information is included on that document.

    Q: But should I keep my student on our insurance policy since every Mid is covered by tricare?
    A: (Direct from Capt Michael Waters, JAGC)
    IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE ALL KEEP OUR MIDN ON OUR PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE. I cannot overemphasize this point. The reason is complicated for many reasons, but boils down to this: every year, as you all are well aware, we find MIDN that develop some serious illnesses--illnesses that disqualify them medically from commissioning. If that occurs and a MIDN is disenrolled from USNA and discharged from the Navy, he/she IS NOT ENTITLED to disability compensation (as are active duty Sailors and Marrines) and will have no Navy medical benefits and may only be able to use the VA. VA has great services, but they are hard to access. So an uninsured son/daughter with a serious illness could prove financially devastating.

    If you look in your MIDN's original USNA acceptance and information package, the Academy recommends you retain your private insurance. So my advice is that, unless the cost is very prohibitive, you should not remove your MIDN from your coverage. The DoD is working on legislation that will help our MIDN--but what I have seen will only provide pennies on the dollar for the cost of caring for the treatment of such illnesses.

    Now I know our MID's all think they are indestructible; and we all know the chances of our MIDN developing such disorders as Crohn's, diabetes, or any form of cancer are slim--the fact is that just such an occurrence happens 6-8 times each year. Bottom line: It is near impossible to have coverage started when such conditions are already diagnosed. So keep your family coverage.

    Q: What do I wear when we are supposed to wear formal attire?
    A:Knowing what's the right thing to wear can be tricky. Here's a listing to help with the decisions...

    Military women and men: Dinner Dress White Jacket
    Officers of other services will wear the corresponding uniform of their service .. Civilian women: Long formal gowns, dressy cocktail suits, dressy cocktail dresses.. Civilian men: Black Tie; tuxedo. Children: Attire to correspond with adults

    Military women and men: Summer White
    Officers of other services will wear the corresponding uniform of their service. Civilian women: Suits; street length, mid length long skirts or dresses as current styles dictate; pantsuits. Civilian men: Business suit. Children: Attire to correspond with adults

    Military women and men: Summer White
    Officers of other services will wear the corresponding uniform of their services. Civilian women: slacks, walking shorts, capri pants, sporty skirts, sundresses. Civilian men: Khakis, polo or sport shirts, walking shorts. .Children: Attire to correspond with adults

    Q: What's the difference between Leave and Liberty?
    A: LIBERTY exists in three varieties... Yard Liberty, Town Liberty and Weekend Liberty.
    Yard Liberty allows a Mid to move about the Yard unrestricted but not leave the Academy grounds. Town Liberty allows a Mid to travel anywhere within a 22 Mile Radius of the Academy which includes the BWI Airport and part of the Eastern Shore but falls just short of Washington, D.C. Weekend Liberty is the most scarce of these three. It allows a Mid to
    remain away overnight. The 22 Mile Limit may or may not apply depending on circumstances. Weekend Liberty is handed out in increasing amounts to Mids as they progress toward Firstie who receive the most (but never enough) Weekend Liberties.

    is the unrestricted ability to leave the Academy and travel at will, remaining overnight as desired for the entire Leave period. Your Plebe will be able to return home for Thanksgiving. They will have Leave for Thanksgiving, for Christmas and for Spring Break. Dates are in the schedules found on our web site under Calendars in the Site Index. If a Mid left home for the Academy in sufficient time to have arrived at least four hours BEFORE his scheduled return time and is still late due to unforeseen circumstances, they have a good chance of being forgiven.

    Q: Who is in charge of each company?
    A: Each Company has a Navy Officer in charge. The Company Officer is not a sudent. They are commissioned officers in the Navy or Marines. He/she is the official Naval Advisor to their company. In addition to the CO, each of the 30 Companies have Midshipmen Officers to fill the various leadership positions.

    Company Commander - Midshipman Lieutenant - 3 Stripes
    Company Executive Officer - Midshipman Lieutenant JG - 2 Stripes
    Company Operations Officer - Midshipman Lieutenant JG - 2 Stripes
    Company Training Officer - Midshipman Lieutenant JG - 2 Stripes
    Platoon Commanders (4 per Company) - Midshipman Lieutenant JG - 2 Stripes
    (designated by various numbers of Stripes on the Sleeves and Shoulder Boards of the Midshipman Uniform. - That's why they are called Stripers.)

    All 1st Class Midshipmen have a single horizontal stripe (parallel to the edge of the cuff) with an anchor above it to designate that they are "Midshipmen in Ranks - First Class". Midshipman Officers are identified by horizontal stripes (parallel to the edge of the cuff) with a STAR above it to designate their rank.

    In addition there are a number of other leadership positions held by other First Class within each Company - such as Squad Leaders, Maintenance Officer, Admin Officer, and others. These are Midshipmen Ensigns - 1 Stripers. ALL Striper positions are held by First Class ONLY. (An "almost" exception is the position of Company First Sergeant which is held by the highest ranking 2nd Class Midshipman within the Company. While not a Striper, Company 1st Sgt is a leadership position.) Midshipman Officers are appointed for each Semester and serve for either 1st or 2nd semester ONLY.

    Q: Is dating allowed?
    A: Upper classmen may not ever date Plebes. Upper classmen may date each other, except they may not date a member of their own company. If Mids within a company are interested in a member of their own company, one of them has to apply for a change in company before they can get involved. There are serious consequences to ignoring this rule!

    Q: Sould we continue coverage under our family insurance?
    A: It is a good idea to continue family medical coverage for your student. While they remain students they are of course covered for all medical issues by the Navy Tricare system, but if they leave for any reason, it can be a problem to get the family coverage to pick them back up. Pre-exiting conditions might not be covered under a new policy and this has been an issue for some unfortunate families.

    Many homeowner policies do not cover loss of personal property on a Military Base. Since USNA is a base, it is a good idea to get insurance coverage for their personal belongings. USAA offers a very inexpensive policy. Call them at 1-800-292-856 for information. But first check with your homeowners insurance to see if your Mid is already covered.

    Q: What happens if a Mid gets hurt while on Leave?
    A: Students are covered by Tricare. Their website is Tricare coverage is great. If students get sick/injured on leave, they just call the Advice Nurse at 1-800-308-3518 or Military Medicine at 410-293-1758. Non emergency care needs pre-authorization. If it's a life threatening emergency, just go to an emergency room and tell them you are covered by Tricare and that your Mid is Active Duty. Give them your policy number (which is your students's SSN), and have them bill: TRICARE, Region 1 Claims, PO Box 7011, Camden, SC 29020-7011. Call Tricare to inform them of your ER visit within 24 hours of care.

    Q: What do we do if we have a family emergency?
    A: A parent or guardian should inform the Red Cross in the case of an emergency. Call your Mid's Company Officer. If you don't have their number, you can call the Main Office of Bancroft Hall at 410-293-5001 and ask for the Command Duty Officer. If the Command Duty Officer is out of the office you can expect a call back in a very short time if you leave an emergency notice and your phone number. You may request a Chaplain to be involved in the notification process. In the case of an close family member death, leave and transportation will be arranged. In other emergencies, support and counseling is made available.