Commissioning Week is right around the corner. From Friday, May 20 - Friday, May 27 the Yard will be buzzing with tradition and excitement as approximately one thousand midshipmen launch into life after the Academy, as either an ensign in the U.S. Navy or a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Visit any of these events during the week for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We’ve created a Commissioning Week 2022 Visitors Guide so you’re in the know for the best events, dining and shopping opportunities on the Yard that week. Additionally, the USNA Commissioning Week 2022 schedule lists the most up to date times for each event. Whether you’re sending off your special firstie into their naval career, or simply wanting a bit of excitement, the Yard is the place for you during Commissioning Week. Food, fun, festivities, formations and more, we have it all and we’ve touched on the highlights of this incredible week. So keep on reading and join this old goat on the Yard!
There are three spots for dining on the Yard, all offering a variety of excellent options infused with Naval Academy flavor.
1845 Coffee: Satisfy your caffeine kick here! 1845 serves delicious hot and cold coffee drinks, smoothies, muffins, scones, wraps, breakfast sandwiches and more. Please everyone in your group with this local fair. With two convenient locations at Gate 3 Gatehouse and the Mid Store, a special treat is never too far out of reach!
Drydock Restaurant: Cafeteria style and nestled in Dahlgren Hall, this place oozes maritime fun. Choose from a great lineup of favorites, including some of the best pizza in town.
The Alley Restaurant: This bowling alley turned cozy, dining spot is located on
the lower level of the Naval Academy Club. Normally only open to members with a
few exceptions, they are waiving their member fee during Commissioning Week!
Call ahead to make a reservation at 410-293-2611. You’ll find an excellent selection of fresh Chesapeake Bay inspired and traditional cuisine to satisfy every palate.
While you’re on the Yard, you can participate in several services (Check the schedule above for the most updated times)
at the various spiritual centers, including the following:
- Daily Catholic Mass: St. Andrew’s Chapel in the beautiful USNA Chapel.
- Catholic Baccalaureate Mass: Main Chapel on Sunday, May 22nd at 8:30 am.
- Jewish Baccalaureate Sabbath Service: Miller Chapel on Friday, May 20th at 7:15 pm.
- Liturgical Protestant Service: St. Andrew’s Chapel on Sunday May 22nd at 8:15 am.
Protestant Baccalaureate Worship Service: USNA Chapel, Sunday, May 22nd at 11:00 am.
USNA Commissioning Week is packed with fun.
Shopping: You can start at the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center to visit the Naval Academy Gift Shop, featuring special souvenirs you won’t find anywhere else. Midshipmen, their families, alumni and other groups can also visit the Midshipmen Store, where they’ll find a large variety of Naval Academy gear and apparel.
Visitor Center Guided Tours: Hands down this is the best way to see the Yard. The tour guides, who are USNA experts, are ready to entertain and excite you with tales of the Academy. Starting at the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center, these tours run daily throughout Commissioning Week until 3:00 pm.
Class of 2023 Ring Dance: Since 1925, this historic dance has marked when second class midshipmen receive their USNA class rings and dip them into the “waters of the seven seas.” It continues to be one of the biggest social events of the year. This year’s dance will be held on Saturday, May 21st at 7:00 pm in Dahlgren Hall.
USNA Museum: Find untold Navy treasures at the USNA Museum including the world’s largest collection of ship models, stunning artifacts, and a sense of wonder. Check the schedule for up to date hours.
Yard Patrol Craft Static Displays: Feel the sea breeze while viewing the Yard Patrol ships on display at the Farragut Seawall. Check the schedule for times.
Class of 2025 Herndon Climb: One of the most anticipated events of the year, when plebes are emancipated from their plebedom with a slippery climb to the top of this 33-foot obelisk. Don’t miss it on Monday, May 23rd at 9:00 am at the fabled Herndon Monument located across from the USNA Chapel.
While you’re exploring the Yard, there are many musical and other exciting entertainment options:
Trident Brass Concert: You’re in for a treat! Come hear these talented musicians on Saturday, May 21st at 12:15 pm and Monday, May 23rd from 8:00 am-9:00 am at the Zimmerman Bandstand.
USNA Band Chapel Walkway Concert: Start your day right with a musical morning, outside on Sunday May 22nd from 10:00 - 10:30 am at the Zimmerman Bandstand.
Morning Colors: Watch this ceremony unfold Sunday through Thursday at 8:00 am at T-Court.
Blue Angels: Feel earth-shaking, heart-pounding pride every time this incredible group takes flight. For Blue Angels Commissioning Week 2022, there are several flyovers that are all accessible on the Yard. Check out this map to plan where you’d like to view them!
- Circle and Arrival and Flight Rehearsal: Tuesday, May 24th, 11:00 am-1:00 pm and 2:00 pm, Severn River.
- Flight Demonstration: Wednesday, May 25th, 2:00 pm, Severn River.
- Graduation Flyover: Friday, May 27th, 10:04am, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Noon Meal Formation: This is a not-to-be-missed Naval Academy tradition. Watch as the midshipmen perform their roll-call ritual with precision and then head into King Hall for lunch: Tuesday, May 24th and Wednesday, May 25th from 12:05 pm-12:15 pm at Tamanend Court.
USNA Pipes and Drums Performance: Come hear the only pipe ensemble in the Navy, as they share their Highland magic on Wednesday, May 25th from 12:10 pm-12:30 pm at Tamanend Court.
USNA Drum & Bugle Corps Concert: This band is the heartbeat of the Naval Academy. Come feel their rhythm on Wednesday, May 25th from 12:20 pm-12:55pm at Radford Terrace.
USMC 8th and I Silent Drill Platoon Performance: For an unforgettable experience, watch this historic precision drill exhibition on Wednesday, May 25th at 1:00 pm at Ingram Field.
U.S. Navy Band Cruisers Concert: Enjoy this rousing popular music concert, Wednesday, May 25th at 1:00 pm at Hospital Point.
Commissioning Week Organ Concert by Monte Maxwell: Hear this legendary concert in the spiritual heart of the Yard on Wednesday, May 25th from 4:00 pm-5:00 pm in the USNA Chapel.
Graduation Ball: Time to celebrate on Wednesday, May 25th, from 7:30 pm-11:00 pm at Dahlgren Hall!
Color Parade: See this exciting military tradition on Thursday, May 26th at 11:00 am on Worden Field.
Class of 2022 Graduation: If you’re eligible, you can watch as the first class midshipmen become full-fledged Naval Academy graduates on Friday, May 27th at 10:00 am at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Or you can livestream it here. There are also a number of award ceremonies for specific groups throughout the week.
Before you visit, make sure you know the hours and other important information for accessing the Yard:
Vehicular Access Gate Hours
Secured from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm except for faculty/staff/residents, contractors, handicapped parking tags.
Gate 1: 6:00 am-10:00 pm
Gate 8: 24 hours
Sunday, May 23, 7:00 am-10:00 am
Monday, May 24 -Thursday, May 27, 6:00 am-6:00 pm
Visitor Access Center
Sunday through Thursday. 6:00 am-10:00 pm
Friday and Saturday, 6:00 am-1:00 pm
Whether you’re able to join us for a day or the entire week, there are so many things to see and experience during the Naval Academy Commissioning Week. From the emotional strains of “Anchors Aweigh” to the graduation march of “Pomp and Circumstance,” these special events celebrate the culmination of four years of incredibly hard work for the midshipmen, who now throw their hats up into the air with joy.
We salute each one and wish them well in their next chapter. Come experience this unforgettable week. Set up a tour and then explore for yourself. Every dining, shopping and touring experience gives 100% back to the brigade, so you’ll be showing your support every step of the way. Be sure to check out our Commissioning Week Visitors Guide for more great information. Commissioning Week is truly history in the making. Be a part of it!