Recent Press

Fulfilling the mission

Excerpt from “The Boat School Boys”
by Dick Stratton, Former POW
(extracted from POW Sea Stories)

The United States Naval Academy performs a unique service for the country that other institutions, like my Georgetown and Stanford, never could nor should perform. USNA is in the business of forming from the raw material of society a group of leaders of men and women, a class of warriors, a cadre of men and women who are willing to sacrifice their treasure, bodies and very lives for the constitution and citizens of the United States of America. USNA recreates the dedication of the signers of the Declaration of Independence who gave their all for their beliefs. USNA is in the business of developing integrity, honesty, courage, stamina through rigorous physical and intellectual conditioning.

The product of USNA is not an engineer, a political scientist, a chemist, or a physicist. The product is a citizen, a person formed in a heroic mold, who we hope will never have to be a hero, but who we are confident has the fortitude to go in harm’s way to protect the Republic. The product is a person who will do the right thing for no other reason than it is the right thing to do. The product is a person who recognizes excellence and is willing to strive for it. The product is a person dedicated to the caring for the enlisted men and women of the U. S. Navy, those people who do most of the work and most of the dying in our Navy. The product is a person that well represents the nation no matter what port he enters or sea she sails upon. No other institution does this.

The greatest accolade given the USNA in the Vietnamese Communist prison was the statement the Camp Commander, Major Bui, made to John Sidney McCain III, BSB, when John, son of the Commander in Chief Pacific, John, a man born to serve, refused an early propaganda release: “They have taught you too well, McCain! They have taught you too well.”

May we always continue to teach the Midshipmen “too well”.