Navy

Posted by Ellen

A few minutes after commencement and commissioning last Friday, in the parking lot outside the Naval Academy's football stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, the new ensign in his choker whites and shades got his first salute, from midshipman Aaron Kalil, who still has a year to go until his own graduation and commissioning.

Per tradition, the new ensign bought this first salute, handing Aaron a silver dollar.

Ensign Stein now begins five years of active duty in the navy. Midshipman Kalil begins a year as captain of the U.S. Naval Academy wrestling team. There was champagne all around.

Posted by Ellen

 

Somebody is sitting on top of the nuclear submarine Toledo while it's tied up in port. Allen recently spent a couple of weeks aboard the Toledo for a training cruise; he took this picture with his cell phone.

Posted by Ellen

At the Naval Academy, all the students, even the wrestlers, are required to attend all the home football games, They march in uniform from campus out to the stadium, where they parade onto the field by company and then march up into the stands, where they stand, literally, on their feet throughout the game. When Navy scores, plebes race down into the end zone and do pushups, one for each point scored.

But on parents' weekend, some of the students drift on out of the midshipmen's section of the stands to sit with their families like regular people--assuming that "regular people" is a fair term for lightweight wrestler Allen Stein and his good friend Mike Landis, the wrestling team's heavyweight. Mike was captain of his high school football team before limiting his energies to wrestling at the college level, but even without him in the lineup the Midshipmen did well last Saturday, beating Louisiana Tech 32-14.

In acknowledging the victory, the Academy superintendent awarded all the midshipmen an extra hour of liberty Saturday night, till 1 a.m. The wrestlers wasted that hour with the best of them.