The Naval Academy, also known as USNA or Annapolis, was founded in 1845 by the Secretary of the Navy, George Bancroft, in what is now historic Annapolis, Maryland. The history of the Academy has often reflected the history of the United States itself. As the U.S. Navy has moved form a fleet of sail and steam-powered ships to a high tech fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships as well as supersonic aircraft, the Academy has changed also. The Naval Academy gives young men and women the up-to-date academic and professional training needed to be effective naval and marine officers in their assignments after graduation. Every day, as the undergraduate college of the naval service, the United States Naval Academy strives to accomplish its mission to develop midshipmen “morally, mentally, and physically.”
Annapolis is the second-oldest of the United States five service academies, and educates officers for commissioning primarily into the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The 338-acre campus is located on the former grounds of Fort Severn at the confluence of the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay, approximately 33 miles east of Washington, D.C. The entire campus is a National Historic Landmark and home to many historic sites, buildings and monuments.
Bancroft Hall is the largest building at the Naval Academy, and the largest college dormitory in the world. It houses all midshipmen. Open to the public are Memorial Hall, a midshipmen-kept memorial to graduates who have died during military operations, and the Rotunda, the ceremonial entrance to Bancroft Hall. The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy resides in the Rotunda while the Navy is in possession of it. The hall was named for the Academy’s founder,
The Naval Academy Chapel, at the center of the campus, across from the Herndon Monument, has a high dome visible throughout Annapolis. The Chapel was featured on the U.S. Postal Service postage stamp honoring the Academy’s 150th anniversary in 1995. John Paul Jones lies at rest in the crypt beneath the Chapel.
Touring Information: The Visitor Center is the first stop on any visit to the Academy. Information specialists welcome visitors to view a 12-minutes film and then guests will take their private guided walking tour of the yard with a professional, certified guide. The walking tour takes approximately One Hour and 15 Minutes.
The centerpiece of the Graduates in Space exhibit is the Freedom 7 space capsule flown into space in 1961 by Naval Academy graduate Alan B. Shephard, Jr.
Other displays in the Visitor Center include a Sample Midshipmen’s Room, the original figurehead of Tamanend off of the USS Maryland (from which the Statue of Tecumseh was cast), a model of the USS Maryland and an extensive exhibit on the life and times of John Paul Jones, famous Revolutionary war naval hero who is buried in the crypt beneath the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel.
Everyone MUST have a Photo ID.