On The Yard


    I-Day Is Here!

    By Bill the Goat on June 18, 2024

    I-Day Is Here!

    It’s one of the biggest milestones at the Naval Academy, and it’s almost here. Plebe Summer kicks off at the end of June with Induction Day at USNA. This seven-week program of intense training turns accomplished high school graduates into hard-working midshipmen plebes at the Naval Academy. The Class of 2028 is expected to contain about 1,100 men and women. Like the classes before them, they’ll enter the Yard with excitement and nervousness, leaving their civilian lifestyles at the entrance gate. By the end of the day, these newly inducted, coiffed, and outfitted plebes will represent the newest part of the Brigade.

    Related: I-Day: A Day in the Life.


    Welcome, Plebes!


    USNA Induction Day–Class of 2028 (known as I-Day) will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2024. On this full and exciting day, future plebes receive the gear they need to prepare for their training over the next four years at the Naval Academy. Called Plebe Issue, this event marks the culmination of nine months of behind-the-scenes prep work, impeccably organized and efficiently orchestrated by the Naval Academy Business Services Division (NABSD). This department is responsible for twenty business units that support the midshipmen with everything from shoes and haircuts to books and the support of brigade-building activities.

    Plebe Summer


    The Large Assembly Line


    Plebe Reef PointsI-Day starts early in the morning, when future plebes arrive at the Naval Academy with their Permit to Report packets and head to Alumni Hall. These new students follow a yellow tape line on the floor efficiently leading them through 23 processing stations, which include disposal of contraband, receipt of Reef Points, a blood draw, a haircut, a uniform fitting, and many more. When they get to the end of the line, they’ll put all of their belongings in a sea bag, throw this heavy sack over their shoulder, and head to Bancroft Hall to meet their Plebe Summer detailers. They then drop their items in their berthing units (aka dorm rooms) and learn what it means to be “squared away,” with all items neatly in place. Towards 7:00 p.m., the new class takes their Oath of Office in Tamanend Court, just outside of Bancroft Hall, and are confirmed as plebes. After saying goodbye to their friends and family, they march into Bancroft Hall and Plebe Summer begins!


    I Day


    360,000 Items: Behind the Scenes

    NABSD Team

    Leading up to this date, more than 80 NABSD team members have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure a smooth process. Since they need to outfit over 1,100 plebes in a matter of hours, excellent planning is key. They must anticipate many unknowns, such as the exact class size and makeup, which are typically not finalized until after many of the issue-items have to be ordered.


    Accurately forecasting sizes and quantities is critical to ensuring the plebe class is prepared for their summer, and also for their entire plebe year at the Naval Academy. The NABSD team orders, receives, unboxes, reboxes, stores, and ultimately distributes more than 300 essential items to each and every plebe. That’s more than 360,000 items — an enormous coordination! They must organize toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and more, as well as school supplies like notebooks, pens, pencils, and others through a detailed, accurate, and efficient process. The Uniform Store also works to provide several pairs of shoes, uniforms, hats, and accessories to each plebe.


    The Fall Order


    The planning begins the fall prior to Induction Day at USNA, when the previous plebe class starts their academic year. Even though the NABSD Plebe Issue Team doesn’t have exact sizing until approximately three weeks before the 1,100 plebes arrive, they’re able to predict sized items and the quantity of unsized items, too. They’ll estimate the female/male split and order enough gender-specific items like sports bras and male specific razors and shaving creams. By October, the team takes inventory and starts adding customized items like uniforms.


    The Winter Order


    Plebe IssueIn January/February, it’s time to order personal items, including sheets, pillows, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and more. As these items arrive, they fill ten storage trailers that will wait for the plebes’ arrival.


    The Spring Assembly


    Since the Brigade Sports Complex (BSC) melts their ice in May, the Issue Team utilizes this Olympic-rink-sized indoor space to assemble the stacks of plebe issue boxes. Every moment counts now, as there are only 30 days until I-Day. The team is a model of efficiency; unboxing is followed by an assembly line system of reboxing. Once everything is packed, about 6,000 boxes will get neatly configured in 30 Bancroft Hall dorm rooms, waiting for the plebes to arrive on Induction Day at USNA.Plebe Summer 2


    The Summer Reconnaissance


    The team’s work doesn’t stop here. At the end of the summer, they take time to ask the midshipmen what they’re using so they can improve the issue and include other recommended items both in issue and at the Midshipmen Store in the future. Preparations for the next incoming class get underway just as this new plebe class heads into the academic year.


    The work is daunting, but the team, whose mission is “to excel in delivering retail products and services to the Brigade of Midshipmen” is rewarded and fulfilled when they see the fruits of their labor throughout the year as the plebes settle into their new home. The NABSD is unfailingly proud to support the plebes and all midshipmen.

    Related: All About I-Day and Plebe Summer.


    Welcome, Plebes!


    You can help the plebes, too. Every time you take a USNA tour of the Yard, dine on the Yard, and shop on the Yard, you’re giving back to the midshipmen who give so much — because NABSD gives all proceeds to the midshipmen. These proceeds fund extracurricular activities like cultural arts, music, theater, club sports, and more for the plebes and the entire Brigade, to foster teamwork and camaraderie. On Induction Day at USNA, you’re a big part of the plebe issue team, too. Thank you for supporting the midshipmen that support us all!

    Support the Brigade of Midshipmen

    Bill the Goat
    Written by Bill the Goat | June 18, 2024


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