Hundreds of hot, sweaty Naval Academy plebes lathered in oil worked together to scale a 21-foot obelisk yesterday.
The annual tradition happens in mid-May at the United States Naval Academy. Freshman students can’t begin their summer until they’ve taken off their shirts, climbed the slicked down edifice whilst being sprayed by a giant hose, and replaced the underclassman’s “dixie cup” hat at the top of the monument.
Once this task has been completed, a cannon is fired and the men cry out, “Plebes no more!” officially marking the end of their first year at the USNA.
The Herndon Monument is a 21-foot tall stone obelisk erected in honor of Captain William Lewis Herndon, who died in a shipwreck in 1857. The first recorded Herndon Monument Climb happened in 1962 and took 12 minutes. The fastest recorded time was by the class of 1972, who completed the task in 1 minute and 30 seconds.
This year’s freshman class took significantly longer. 2 hours and 21 minutes, to be exact.
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Herndon climb at the US Naval Academy! It took them 2 hours, 21 minutes and 21 seconds to beat the 50 pounds of lard and replace the plebe Dixie hat with the second year cover. Plebes no more! #stormyweather #herndon #usna #usnavy #climbing #lard #challenge #plebe #commision #teamwork #teamworkmakesthedreamwork #navy #marines #students #gopro #ilovemyjob #videographer
It took the class of 2020 2 hours and 21 minutes to scale the 21 foot Herndon Monument on the grounds of the US Naval Academy. The plebes were promoted to Midshipmen after climbing the lard covered monument and replacing a "Dixi Cup" cap that had been placed in top with an officers cap. Congratulations #plebesnomore #usna #usnavalacademy #annapolis #classof2020